PopeWatch: UN of Religions



Well, PopeWatch has heard worse ideas, but this one is definitely in the running:

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said Francis, who visited the Middle East in May, did not make “any decision or personal commitment” after listening to Peres’ proposal.

The former Israeli leader outlined his idea for a new world body in an interview with the Italian Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana, hours ahead of his meeting with the pope.

“In the past, the majority of wars were motivated by the idea of nationhood. Today, instead, wars are sparked above all with the excuse of religion,” Peres said.

“Now, given the fact that the United Nations has had its day, what is needed is an Organisation of United Religions, a U.N. of religions. It would be the best way to combat these terrorists who kill in the name of faith because the majority of people are not like them …,” he said.

Islamic State, which has declared an Islamic Caliphate in areas it controls in Syria and Iraq, has driven tens of thousands of Christians and members of the Yazidi religious minority from their homes. They have killed two American journalists.

“People who shoot the most these days, nearly always say they are doing it in God’s name,” Peres said. What is needed is an unquestionable moral authority that says in a strong voice ‘No, God does not want this and does not permit it’,”.

Peres, who gave no details on how the organisation of world religions would be formed or its representatives chosen, also said in the interview he believed Pope Francis should head it because “he is perhaps the only leader who is truly respected”.

Go here to read the rest.  This tone deaf proposal is bad for any number of reasons:

1.  It misunderstands the role of most religions which are focused on the next world rather than this.

2.  The UN of Religions would lack any enforcement power.

3.  Religious figures demonstrate each day that they lack any particular wisdom in solving earthly problems.

4.  The Pope has more than enough on his plate without taking on new responsibilites.

5.  Conflicts in the contemporary world are not cause by religions but rather by one religion:  Islam.

The list could go on for a very long time indeed.


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  1. Sounds like something right up Pope Francis’ alley. Worldly-focused and “let’s just dialog and get along”. And of course he’d love to be the figurehead!

  2. Well, they are also caused by that other religion, Atheism. And by territorial expansion, control over resources, seeking to increase political/social/economic hegemony, and a myriad of other factors.

  3. “In the past, the majority of wars were motivated by the idea of nationhood. Today, instead, wars are sparked above all with the excuse of religion,” Peres said.

    I don’t think either of those statements are true. There have always been wars of conquest, revenge, profit, and belief. I don’t see any particular trend about what kind of wars are happening more frequently. Maybe if you define “the past” as 1550-1970, then Peres’s statements would work.

  4. Perez’s “proposal” is a secular/secularist one. While the Vatican does participate as an observer at the UN, I would not hold your breath waiting to see if the Church would go with this. More important measure (and actually to which I believe Mr Perez was responding) is the recent ‘declaration’ from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue which basically put forward a Magna Carta to all world religions concerning religious persecution etc. It is a little known but very important document and could very well be a key to further Interreligious Dialogue

  5. How can the Bride of Christ be united with falsehood? Yes, some religions may possess a degree of truth. The Taoist statement that the way which can be named is not the eternal Way is true enough, for as Christians we know that that Way is the pre-existent, ever-existent Logos, Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Light. But ultimately Taoism leads down a blind alley. The same may be said in varying degrees regarding Buddhism or Judaism. Islam with the advocacy for violence and dhimmitude expressed in its Quran is very low on the scale of containing truth. Lower still would be the various pagan and wiccan religions that have surfaced among today’s liberal elitists. So how can the Catholic Church, the Bride of Christ, possibly participate in a United Religions society? Indeed, these religions prostitute themselves with falsehoods and heresies. Thus, as Saint Paul asks in 1st Corinthians 6:15, “Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute?”

  6. Pinky–I believe within the last month. It was on several of the Catholic news blogs etc . I am not good at computers lol google it see what comes up

  7. cmatt: “Well, they are also caused by that other religion, Atheism.”
    Atheism is a belief. Religion is man’s response to the gift of Faith from God, the worship of God in thought (belief, consent to believe), word (spoken and written, press) and deed (peaceable assembly), our First Amendment. Atheism has no part in our Constitution since “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” annihilates atheism.

  8. Paul Primevera,

    That is a problem when using a secular/secularist mode or approach. However, given that our God is both Logos and Agape and that we as human beings are created in His image, we can participate in what Pope Paul VI called the Dialogue of Salvation, based on the truth of our common humanity with any and all people, religious and non-religious. Since we are created in the image of God Who is Logos we can enter into reasonable conversation, addressing common interests and common problems

    When entering into conversation/ dialogue with other world religions we first of all are doing nothing other than what Saint Paul did at the Aeropagus in Athens (Acts 17). We know that within every human being, as Saint Augustine puts, ‘You have created us for Yourself and our hearts do not rest until they rest in You O Lord”. His ‘rule’ given to the church in Philippi then can be applied, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatsoever things are of good report,; if there be any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things” [Philippians 4.8]

    See, Paul, no compromise, no watering down of the Catholic Faith, but honest, truthful dialogue, which is not afraid to speak of such difficult things as persecution of certain religions in the name of another religion [that is happening wholesale today, and not only with Muslims]. However, it needs to be done within a cultural/religious setting and not a secularized one. The secularized would attempt to impose “see we all really believe the same thing, we just do it in different ways’ and ultimately secularize every religion that came in contact with it

  9. Peres, still apparently a believer in the U.N., doesn’t seem aware that the U.N already tries to ride herd on the religions of the world. And it is not being used by the OIC in a way Peres would appreciate.
    Here is a quote from heritage.org
    “The alleged need for international protection against “defamation of religions” was explained in a recent report submitted to the Human Rights Coun­cil by the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC):

    The Muslim Ummah has noticed with utmost concern the continued attacks by a section of marginal groups and individuals in the West on the most sacred symbols of Islam including the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad in an offensive and denigrating manner, the most recent being the reprints of the blasphemous cartoons by 17 Danish newspapers on February 13, 2008 and the release of the film Fitna by a Dutch Parlia­mentarian on March 27, 2008.…

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