New Vatican ambassador to U.N. may prioritize nuclear issues

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican City's recent choice to represent the Catholic Church at the United Nations, may prioritize the issue of nuclear proliferation as ambassador.

The Catholic News Agency said that Auza, 55, would play a role in discussions regarding the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to be held in 2015, GMA News reports.

"Archbishop Auza will continue the Catholic Church's leading role in the debate," the Catholic News Agency said, according to GMA News. "As one of the founders of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Holy See has always backed the right use of nuclear energy for civilian reasons. At the same time the Holy See has always worked for a treaty which would lead to a ban on the possession of nuclear weapons."

The Catholic News Agency also said that while the Holy See has been asked multiple times in the past to raise its status to a member state at the U.N., it maintained permanent observer status to exercise moral authority without having to vote on war resolutions, GMA News reports.

Auza was chosen to represent the Vatican at the U.N. earlier this month, and is expected to arrive in New York City at the end of August. He will replace Archbishop Francis Chullikat, who played a role in previous discussions regarding nuclear proliferation.