Pope Benedict XVI turns to global audience

Pope Benedict XVI is greeted by members of the Catholic clergy, including Cardinal Edward Egan, archbishop of New York, third from right, as he arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Friday, April 18, 2008. The other clergy members are unidentified.

UNITED NATIONS – Pope Benedict XVI told diplomats at the United Nations on Friday that respect for human rights was the key to solving many of the world’s problems, while cautioning that international cooperation was threatened by “the decisions of a small number.”

The pontiff, addressing the U.N. General Assembly on his first papal trip to the U.S., said the organization’s work is vital. But he raised concerns that power is concentrated in just a handful of nations.

“Multilateral consensus,” he said, speaking in French, “continues to be in crisis because it is still subordinated to the decisions of a small number.”

The world’s problems call for collective interventions by the international community, he said.

Benedict, only the third pope to address the United Nations, made the remarks after three dramatic days in which he repeatedly discussed America’s clergy sexual abuse scandal.

 

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