The Holy See has played an active global role for centuries. It has permanent observer status at the United Nations and has all the rights of full UN membership except voting.
Read more of Kim Lawton's interview about Pope Benedict, the Vatican, and foreign policy with Father Thomas Reese, S.J., senior fellow at Georgetown University's Woodstock Institute.
The 280 U.S. Catholic bishops meet this coming week (November 12-15) in Baltimore, with a sharp debate likely over religion and politics, specifically on how much weight the issue of abortion should have in Catholic decisions on how to vote. Joining us to explore the arguments is Father Tom Reese, senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Woodstock Theological Center and a longtime authority on the U.S. bishops. More