Archbishop Chullikatt Will Represent Holy See’s Pro-Life Views at United Nations
by Terrence McKeegan, J.D.
July 22, 2010
LifeNews.com Note: Terrence McKeegan writes for the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. This article originally appeared in the pro-life group’s Friday Fax publication and is used with permission.
New York, NY (LifeNews.com/CFAM) — Late last week, Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Francis Assisi Chullikatt as the new permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations (UN) in New York, succeeding Archbishop Celestino Migliore, who was recently appointed papal nuncio to Poland.
Archbishop Chullikatt has extensive experience as a member of the Holy See diplomatic corps, having served most recently in one of the most challenging posts, apostolic nuncio to war torn Iraq and also Jordan, a position he has held since 2006. Born in Bolghatty, India in 1953, he is the first non-Italian to head the Holy See Mission in New York.
Chullikatt began working as a Vatican diplomat in 1988 and served in Honduras, several countries in southern Africa, and the Philippines. From 2000 to 2004, he served as Counselor for the Holy See Mission to the UN in New York.
Following this, Chullikatt worked in the Secretariat of State for the Vatican in Rome until his appointment to Iraq and Jordan. He is fluent in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Latin.
Observers who have followed the work of Chullikatt in Iraq gave him very high marks for his outspoken defense of the persecuted Christian and other religious minorities there, his work on interreligious cooperation and good relations with Muslim leaders, and his personal courage. Terrorists frequently targeted Christians and churches in Iraq, as well as Chullikatts residence on several occasions.
In the words of one observer, Archbishop Chullikatt was a courageous leader during his time in Iraq. He did his work well, and he did it fearlessly. Chullikatts tireless defense of the Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq, oftentimes at great personal danger to himself, soon gained him the affection and attention of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, who took a personal interest in the welfare of the Christians in the Middle East.
Archbishop Migliore served as the head of the Holy See Mission for nearly eight years. During that time, the Holy See was very involved in the successful passage of the UN General Assembly (GA) resolution that called for a ban on all forms of human cloning in 2005, as well as the GA resolution that granted a heightened UN status to the Holy See in 2004.
On the other hand, one of the single greatest pro-life setbacks at the UN occurred during Migliores tenure. In 2006, the Convention on Persons with Disabilities became the first treaty to contain the phrase sexual and reproductive health, which caused the Holy See to announce that they could not sign on to the treaty. Keeping such language out of UN treaties had been a priority of the Holy See and other pro-life delegations because it is language used by abortion advocates to be synonymous with abortion.
Archbishop Chullikatt is expected to be in New York before the UN General Assembly opens in mid-September.
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