European Bishops Call for a More United EU to Promote Peace

Make a Statement on Iraqi Crisis

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BRUSSELS, Belgium, APRIL 1, 2003 ( – A commission of European bishops called on the European Union to promote a more just and peaceful global order, as it considered the EU response to the Iraqi crisis.

At its spring plenary meeting, the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) adopted a statement on the war, entitled «Blessed Are the Peacemakers.»

In it, the bishops express their concern for the suffering of the Iraqi people and urge the EU leaders and institutions to work together for peace and justice in the Mideast and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the bishops observed at their March 27-28 conference that a consensus seems to be emerging within the European Convention on the contribution of Catholic churches and religious communities in European society and respect for their status under national law.

They reaffirmed their commitment to the principle of a secular state. They also emphasized that the Catholic Church’s proposals to the European Convention should reflect the role of religion at the service of society as a whole and not discriminate against any community of faith or conviction.

In addition, the bishops called on the European Union to respect the various ethical approaches to research with human embryos and embryonic stem cells in member EU states, and therefore not to fund such research under the 6th Research Framework Program.

The meeting also marked the launch of the COMECE Web site.

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