Gallagher: Holy See is a ‘Light Bearer for the Gospel’ at the United Nations
By: Steven Schwankert
The Holy See’s secretary for relations with states and international organizations thanked Catholic diplomats for their support at the UN
Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher celebrated Mass at Our Church of the Holy Family on Monday, September 25, joined by invited guests from the New York-based diplomatic community, as the United Nations entered the second week of its annual General Session.
“I believe that is the context in the celebration of this Mass to express to each of you the thanks of Pope Francis for the friendship and support of the work that you generously offer to the Mission of the Holy See in New York,” Archbishop Gallagher, who serves as the Holy See’s secretary for relations with states and international organizations – essentially its foreign minister – said at the beginning of his homily.
Although largely confined to the day’s gospel, the archbishop tied his remarks back to the work of his concelebrant, Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, the permanent observer to the Holy See to the United Nations.
“Jesus used the image of a lamp to describe how His disciples are to live in the light of His truth and love. Our mission is to be light bearers of Christ, so that others may see the truth of the Gospel and be freed. This is also the mission of the Holy See at the United Nations, to be the light bearer of the Gospel in negotiations, debates, and resolutions take place, in rooms where there is no natural light, but only artificial lighting,” he said.
On Friday, Sept. 22, Archbishop Gallagher told the UN General Session that “Health is not a luxury; it is for all.” Although he did not cite specific statistics, the archbishop told the assembly that approximately one-quarter of all healthcare facilities are Catholic, and in some places “faith-based organizations are the only healthcare providers,” according to Vatican News.
Approximately 100 diplomats from Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere attended the Mass. Archbishop Caccia concelebrated the Mass, along with a number of other priests. The archbishops were assisted by the Church of the Holy Family’s Pastor, Father Gerald Murray, JCD.
Sign up for The Good Newsroom’s weekly newsletter, a summary of our top stories and events, here.