Euro Convention OKs Draft That Fails to Mention Christianity

Proposed Constitution Refers to «Religious» Inheritance

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BRUSSELS, Belgium, JUNE 13, 2003 ( After 16 months of work sessions, the European Convention approved by consensus a final draft of the European Constitution that omits any reference to Christianity.

Part of the preamble states: «Drawing inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe, which, always present in its heritage, has embedded within the life of society its perception of the central role of the human person and his inviolable and inalienable rights, and of respect for law.»

The draft, approved today, represents a compromise. So as not to mention Christianity, the members of the convention decided to eliminate from the first draft the reference to the Greek and Roman civilizations, as well as to the Enlightenment, as inspirers of European values.

Monsignor Aldo Giordano, secretary-general of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences, said it a good sign that «religion» was mentioned, but he expressed disappointment over the absence of «a clear reference to the Judeo-Christian roots» which shaped the continent.

The heads of state or government of the European Union will pronounce themselves on the text next week at the European Council meeting in Greece, and the intergovernmental conference, which will open next autumn, will use it as the basis for the reform of treaties.

When presenting the proposed Constitution, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, president of the European Convention, acknowledged that the result «is not perfect» but said it will create a «sovereign Europe in the world.» The Constitution is expected to come into force in 2009.

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