Irish Government Should Defend Its Christian Culture, Says Dana Scallon, MEP

DUBLIN, JULY 24, 2003 ( Dana Rosemary Scallon MEP welcomes and supports John Paul II’s desire that the new Europe «build herself by revitalizing her original Christian roots».

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The Pope quoting from his apostolic exhortation «Ecclesia in Europa,» said that «Europe has been widely and profoundly permeated by Christianity,» and added «in the complex history of the Continent,» Christianity constitutes «a central and qualifying element, which has gradually consolidated itself on the foundation of the classical heritage and on the diverse contributions made by successive ethnic-cultural currents in the course of the centuries.»

«A European Constitution which projects a future excluding its roots, is disturbing,» Scallon said. «Christian tradition, a fact of European history, cannot be denied.»

«It is time for Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Irish government representatives and all Irish political parties to take the lead and support Pope John Paul’s call and defend the explicit mention of the Christian heritage in the preamble of the European Constitution. This would also be in tune with Ireland’s Constitution,» Scallon stressed.

I fully agree with Pope John Paul’s statement that «the Christian faith has shaped the culture of Europe constituting a whole with its history and, notwithstanding the painful division between East and West, Christianity has become the religion of the European peoples,» she added.

«The European project will fail to be neutral if it only expresses the secular concept and excludes the religious beliefs of the majority of Europeans. Christianity has promoted those values which have made European culture universally appreciated. It is necessary once again to defend the Christian heritage, without which it is unthinkable to speak of Europe,» she concluded.

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