Is Benedict in Favor of World Government? Human Dignity and UN Authority in Caritas in Veritate

By Douglas A. Sylva, Ph.D. | August 20, 2009

As observers continue to decipher the meaning of Pope Benedict XVI’s latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, all appear to agree that the passage of note, the passage that may prove historic in its implications, is the one that is already becoming known as the “world political authority” paragraph:

In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a trongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth. Tne also senses the urgent need to find innovative ways of implementing the Principle of the responsibility to protect and of giving poorer nations an effective voice in shared decision-making. This seems necessary in order to arrive at a political, juridical and economic order which can increase and give direction to international cooperation for the development of all peoples in solidarity. To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority. . .

Could Benedict be in favor of world government, as many now believe? Taken in the context of papal writings since the dawn of the United Nations (UN), as well as Benedict’s own opinions, recorded both before and after his election as pope, the passage gains another meaning. It is in reality a profound challenge to the UN, and the other international organizations, to make themselves worthy of authority, of the authority that they already possess, and worthy of the expansion of authority that appears to be necessary in light of the accelerated pace of globalization.