Skip to comments.European Christians Unhappy With Omission in EU Constitution
Posted on 11/30/2004 4:02:42 PM PST by kattracks
Paris (CNSNews.com) - More than a million Europeans have signed a petition asking the European Union's member states to include a reference to Christianity in the 25-nation bloc's newly-adopted constitution.
The European Parliament's center-right European People's Party (EPP) is spearheading a grassroots movement to petition EU heads of state to adopt wording that acknowledges Europe's Christian heritage when they implement the constitution in their national laws.
Authored by a committee headed by former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the constitution was adopted with only a reference to the "cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe."
It was signed by all the EU members on October 29, following intense debate on voting power, and another, less publicized debate about including a mention of Europe's Christian roots in the preamble.
Support for the reference to Christianity was strongest among Catholic nations in Europe such as Ireland, Italy and Poland. Pope John Paul II also urged the inclusion of a Christian reference.
EU officials say it is now too late to change the constitution, but the petition will be presented to individual government leaders, asking them to refer to Europe's Christian heritage in the national statutes that they will have to adopt to ratify the constitution.
"Recognizing that they can't change the constitution, the petition wants each member state to adopt a wording stating that Europe has a Christian origin or heritage which needs to be acknowledged," said EPP spokesman Robert Fitzhenry.
Each of the 25 member states must ratify the constitution, but so far, only Lithuania has done so. Some nations are planning a referendum before ratification.
The petition has gathered 1,300,000 signatures according to Marie Claire Bonavia, an EPP press officer at the European Parliament.
It will be delivered in the coming months to European leaders and to the EU's new executive Commission.
Bonavia said that more than 300 members of the European Parliament and members of national parliaments have signed the document, as have scores of non-governmental organizations.
"For unknown reasons, the petition was not considered by the EU before the constitution was signed," she said.
But the Christian campaign has continued growing and now includes supporters from most European countries.
Bonavia said that France and Belgium were primarily responsible for blocking the reference to Christianity. "Pressure from Turkey...was also very strong." Turkey is not an EU member but is pressing to become one.
France has argued that the current wording encompasses all religions and does not exclude or offend anyone. The French government also said it wanted the European constitution to be secular, in line with its own secular laws.
Bonavia said the petition's supporters include prominent Jews and Muslims.
"The word 'Christianity' is an all-encompassing word that includes Judaism and tolerance of other religions," she said.
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Well, that's a new definition to me.
I'll start calling my toaster oven, "space ship one"
Makes about as much sense.
More than a million Europeans have signed a petition asking the European Union's member states to include a reference to Christianity in the 25-nation bloc's newly-adopted constitution.
More than a million out of 450M people. Hmmm....
If we assume that 95% are (nominally) Christian, that means that 0.234% of Europeans Christians feel strongly about their religion. No wonder the Pope is so worried.
That only more than a million, set me back on my heels as well...the E.U. will turn muslim before long.
In 40 years, Islam will be the reigning religion in Europe and the Founding Mothers don't want to have to bother amending the Constitution at that date, so they figure they may as well leave it out.
Whew. Talk about "too little too late."
This is pathetic to read. Are these really the people who built those magnificent cathedrals with their bare hands?
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