Pope a global spiritual leader: Ban

2013-04-09 16:24

Vatican City - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday hailed Pope Francis as "a spiritual leader of the world" and emphasised goals of social justice shared between the Vatican and the United Nations.

"It is very important to meet a spiritual leader of the world," Ban said at the start of his meeting with the Argentine pope, who last month became the first non-European leader of the world's Catholics in nearly 1 300 years.

"The Holy See and the UN share common goals and ideas," said Ban - one of the first world leaders to be received at an audience by the new pontiff.

Francis has called for the Roman Catholic Church to be closer to ordinary people and help the needy, as well as to reach out to people of different religions and non-believers.

"We discussed the need to advance social justice and accelerate work to meet the Millenium Development Goals," Ban said after the meeting.

The international community has undertaken to meet goals including eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and reducing child mortality by 2015.

Shared goals

"Pope Francis is a man of peace and purpose. He is a voice for the voiceless," he said.

Ban said he also invited the pope to visit the United Nations "at his earliest convenience".

The UN leader also commented on the pope's choice to name himself after St Francis of Assisi, saying this was "a powerful message for the many goals shared by the United Nations".

"It speaks loudly of his commitment to the poor, his acute sense of humility, his passion and compassion to improve the human condition," he said.

Ban gave the pope a large book with the Charter of the United Nations in six languages.

The pope, who only spoke in Italian, gave Ban a mosaic of Rome.

  • Hugh O'l Phart - 2013-04-09 16:46


  • Insedlu Trading - 2013-04-09 16:47

    i dont understand he is not my leader anywhere mxh

  • Insedlu Trading - 2013-04-09 16:48

    i dont understand he is not my leader anywhere mxh

  • GB Garratt - 2013-04-09 17:14

    Hyperbole! He represents a ever declining minority of the World's people.

      Julius Malememba - 2013-04-09 18:21

      Yes ... he even represent the so-called "faithless" who pretend to "know" that there is no God (ever decreasing in number since even a gr3 can see through such foolishness) ... and he even knows how the RCC will sort them out eventually since the "faithless/atheist/agnostic" are also an invention/daughter of Rome ...

      GB Garratt - 2013-04-09 18:48

      Juluis. I know there is no Tooth Fairy. Do you know that? I know there is no Easter Bunny. Do you know that? I know there is no Santa. Do you know that? I know there is no Tokoloshe. Do you know that? The evidence for the aforementioned and your god is exactly the same. Do you know that?

      Julius Malememba - 2013-04-09 20:27

      BG ... in your ignorance at least spell my name correctly. I eat Easter bunnies every Easter ... so their goes that stupid argument. As for the tokoloshe ... he is short ,fat and butt ugly - thus half of your family qualifies ... another argument refuted. As for evidence for the existence of God --- check out he heavens above you boet ... they declare the glory of God every day --- don't blame Christians if your ears cannot understand their speech ... that would be like blaming spoons for you being fat ...

      SarcasticHeathen - 2013-04-09 21:07

      If you have no more verifiable evidence for your god than you have for leprechauns, don't expect your claims to be taken seriously.

  • Will Oosthuizen - 2013-04-09 17:25

    It is always safe to keep religion out of politics. Remember the dark Ages when the Church of Rome was a persecuting politico-religious power persecuting those challenging the doctrines and systems of the Church? The proverbial wolf in sheep's wool!

      Tlhologelo Desire Magolela - 2013-04-09 20:48

      You know your history about the antichrist that.

  • Fezile Russ - 2013-04-09 17:27


      GB Garratt - 2013-04-09 18:49

      Agree. Full caps. Fail. Must be very insecure in his beliefs if he needs to shout.

  • Eugene Beetge - 2013-04-09 18:44

    Dont think so

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