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Pope Champions Human Dignity at United Nations

9/26/2015

Supreme Knight offers televised commentary after historic speech.

In one of the most anticipated speeches of Pope Francis during his apostolic visit to the United States, the Holy Father addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations Friday morning, Sept. 25. With more than 190 heads of state in attendance, he discussed a wide range of issues affecting governments throughout the world.

The pope said, "The common home of all men and women must continue to rise on the foundations of a right understanding of universal fraternity and respect for the sacredness of every human life, of every man and every woman, the poor, the elderly, children, the infirm, the unborn, the unemployed, the abandoned, those considered disposable because they are only considered as part of a statistic."

Following the pope's U.N. address and his visit to the World Trade Center memorial site, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson provided commentary to Fox News about the Holy Father's message.

"Popes don't think in terms of left or right, or conservative or liberal," Anderson explained. "They think about what the Gospel teaches, what justice demands, what human dignity requires."

The Holy Father's most essential point is that "every human life has dignity and deserves to develop in its fullness, economically, spiritually. Let's see if they take action to respect what he said," Anderson said.

The pope challenged government leaders to use "international mechanisms to protect religious minorities and stop the violence against minorities in the Middle East," he said.

Anderson further noted that the U.N. is "one of the largest providers of abortion in the world," expressing hope that the pope's words about human dignity would have an impact on U.N. leaders.

Pope Francis' speech marked the fifth time a pope addressed to the U.N. General Assembly since the international organization was founded in 1945. Pope Paul VI first spoke to the General Assembly in 1965. Pope John Paul II addressed the assembly twice, and Pope Benedict XVI spoke at the U.N. during his apostolic visit to the United States in 2008.

Supreme Knight Anderson had the opportunity to visit with Pope Francis at the residence of the Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations before the Holy Father left for the U.N. headquarters.

Asked about the visit, the supreme knight said the pope told him, "Pray for me. Pray for each other."

Pope Francis, the supreme knight added, "is in private the way he is in public: very humble."