Euro Text Has Good Points, But Also Gaps, Says Vatican Official

Archbishop Tauran Comments on Draft of Constitution

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2003 ( The draft of the European Constitution still has gaps regarding the fundamental rights of the Nice Charter, on issues such as cloning, marriage and the family, says a Vatican official.

Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Vatican secretary for relations with states, acknowledges that the draft brings together numerous opinions and common values resulting from the dialogue with various sectors of civil society. A recent summit of European leaders in Salonika, Greece, studied the draft of the Constitution, presented by the European Convention president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.

Reflecting on the text, Archbishop Tauran emphasized the importance of Article 2, which is concerned with respect for the human person. But he told Vatican Radio that there are still shortcomings regarding bioethical and family-related issues.

“Nevertheless, it is positive that for the first time in the history of European treaties an article was introduced which was proposed by all European Christians in virtue of the principle of subsidiarity,” he added.

“In fact, the Union commits itself to respect the statute enjoyed by religious confessions according to the national legislation of member states,” the archbishop said.

Likewise, there is a commitment to maintain a constant dialogue with the religious confessions “thus recognizing their identity and their specific contribution to the public dialogue of European society,” Archbishop Tauran noted.

“Although maintaining certain concerns regarding, for example, the Christian patrimony, it is a positive construction which certainly marks a new chapter in the history of Europe,” he said.

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