Drafts of European Constitution Now Recognize Churches' Legal Status

BRUSSELS, Belgium, APRIL 6, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The latest drafts of the future European Constitution include the recognition of the legal status of churches.

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The drafts were presented Friday during the plenary session of the European Convention meeting here.

«Article 37 of the draft of the European Constitution represents a significant step in the right direction, although it does not express completely the acceptance of the religious dimension in the Constitution,» according to a statement from the group Christians for Europe.

The organization emphasized that «the formulation of Article 37 could ultimately be improved by making explicit the institutional autonomy of churches,» Vatican Radio reported.

Christians for Europe also expressed its gratitude for the work of its members, «who have been careful to introduce in the draft Constitution what was established in the Amsterdam Treaty in regard to the recognition of the statutes of churches as well as the institution of a ‘regular dialogue’ between the religious confessions and the European Union.»

Christians for Europe is a permanent convention of Euro-parliamentarians, politicians, diplomats, educators, academics and lay professionals, set up to evaluate the elaboration of a future Constitution for the continent.

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