SAO PAULO (CNS) — The Portuguese Bishops Conference praised former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres for his “deep sense of humanity and faith” after he was nominated as United Nations secretary-general.
“We hope he can face with courage, dialogue and resolutions all the great challenges on the world agenda today, always seeking peace, peaceful resolutions and the development of friendly relations among nations, as stated at the beginning of the United Nations Charter,” the bishops said in an Oct. 6 statement.
The U.N. General Assembly is expected to meet next week to approve Guterres’ five-year appointment. He will succeed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of South Korea early next year.
A member of Portugal’s Socialist Party and a fervent Catholic, Guterres, 67, was one of the founders of the Franciscan-backed Grupo da Luz (Light Group) in the early 1970s while still a college student in Lisbon. The group worked with poor people living in Portugal’s capital. Among his colleagues within the group was Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Portugal’s current president.
“The United Nations now has a unique opportunity to rethink, to revise, and to reform its service toward the international community,” Rebelo de Sousa told journalists while waiting to speak to the U.N. in early October about his friend.
Guterres served as Portugal’s prime minister from 1995 to 2002. In 2005, after leaving the Portuguese government, Guterres led the U.N. refugee agency for 10 years until he stepped down in December.
Quoting Pope Francis, bishops’ spokesman Father Manuel Barbosa said he hoped Guterres in conjunction with the world body could render effective service to humanity that is respectful of diversity and capable of bringing out the best in each person for the sake of the common good.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: