Official Outlines 3 Ways to Get Religion into a European Constitution

Italian Aide Addresses Warsaw Conference

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

WARSAW, Poland, SEPT. 9, 2002 ( Italy’s Minister of European Affairs has proposed three ways the role of religion could be mentioned in a possible Constitution for the continent.

The minister, Rocco Buttiglione, outlined his proposals at the end of a Conference on Religious Liberty in the European Union, held her last Wednesday. Buttiglione is a jurist and philosopher who has specialized in the thought of Karol Wojtyla.

The European Convention in Brussels, Belgium, is discussing a possible Constitution.

«The first option,» Buttiglione said, according to the PAP Polish agency, «is to mention God’s name in the Constitution, but this solution is challenged by those who see in it a possible discrimination on the part of believers.»

The second possibility would be to recognize the role of religion in the creation of European societies, without including God’s name, he continued.

Although Buttiglione was less favorable to this idea, he thought it is the most probable, since it could win the support of Great Britain and France. The latter has a sharp tradition of separation between church and state.

The Italian’s third proposal was that reference be made in the Constitution to the Continent’s Greek and Judeo-Christian roots.

«Our European identity stems from the dialogue of classical culture and Christianity, which for its part should refer to Judaism. These are Europe’s roots,» he stressed.

The Conference on Religious Liberty, organized by Polish and German Catholic universities and organizations, gathered jurists, representatives of the Catholic Church, and intellectuals from Paris, Bonn, Luxembourg, Prague and Budapest over three days.

The conference heard John Paul II’s Sept. 2 appeal to the EU countries, urging them not to marginalize the role of believers. The Pope repeated his appeal Sept. 5.

At the conference’s opening, Archbishop Jozef Zycinski of Lublin reiterated Poland’s request that an invocation to God be written in the future Constitution.

«There is no right to use the stones of the Berlin Wall to build a new, modernized Tower of Babel,» without Christian foundations, Archbishop Zycinski warned.

Poland is one of the 10 applicant countries seeking entry into the European Union in 2004. On Aug. 19, at the end of his trip to Krakow, John Paul II supported his country’s entry into the Union, but urged his homeland not to give up the values that forged its history.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation