Parliament to Vote on Report That Condemns Catholic Church

BRUSSELS, Belgium, MARCH 11, 2002 ( The European Parliament on Tuesday is poised to debate a report that condemns the Catholic Church for its moral principles and its position on women priests.

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The document, written by Spanish Socialist María Izquierdo Rojo, was approved last October by the Women´s Rights Commission and analyzed subsequently by the Citizens´ Liberties and Rights Commission.

Among other things, the document condemns «the administrations of religious organizations and the leaders of extremist political movements who promote racial discrimination, xenophobia, fanaticism and the exclusion of women from leading positions in the political and religious hierarchy.» The report could be voted on this Wednesday.

The report also deplores «the interference of the churches and religious communities in the public and political life of the state, in particular when such interference is designed to restrict human rights and fundamental freedoms, for instance, in the sexual or reproductive sphere.»

The European chamber´s principle would thus deny the Catholic Church the right to proclaim the moral doctrine it has always preached.

The proclamation of religious truths is guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Union´s Charter of Fundamental Rights, on «Liberty of Thought, Conscience and Religion.»

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