Vatican Hits Anti-Catholic Bias in Some OSCE Nations

Archbishop Lajolo Cautions Against «Unbalanced Solutions»

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SOFIA, Bulgaria, DEC. 7, 2004 ( The Holy See denounced the discrimination suffered by Catholics in some member-countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The complaint was expressed Monday by Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, Vatican secretary for relations with states, when addressing this institution’s Ministerial Council, meeting in Sofia.

In highlighting the struggle that the OSCE must undertake on «the front lines of the fight against racism, xenophobia and discrimination,» the Italian prelate said that «several members of the Catholic Church have paid, oftentimes in person, for their opposition to these perverse phenomena.»

«Additionally, Christians, who constitute the religious majority in the territory covered by the OSCE, in some countries are also affected by discriminatory norms and behavior,» he contended.

«As a result, the Holy See considered itself obliged to draw attention to and insist upon the necessity of confronting also this problem, so as to guarantee that the OSCE can face discrimination and intolerance in an objective and peaceful way,» the Vatican official said.

«In combating these scourges, this organization must not accept unbalanced solutions: Besides being unjust, they would not be in line with its traditionally inclusive approach,» Archbishop Lajolo noted.

«It would be paradoxical to ignore the existence of discriminatory measures against Christians, while intending to fight discrimination,» he said. «Anti-Semitism, discrimination against Muslims, and discrimination against Christians must never be placed in a kind of hierarchy!»

«The competent representative, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and the expected Cordoba Conference will have to treat, openly, justly and adequately, also the problem of discrimination against Christians,» the prelate continued.

«Only in this way will the participating states be able to come to a proper awareness of this unsettling phenomenon and adopt necessary remedies and solutions,» he added.

«The Holy See will continue to contribute to this engagement in a spirit of dialogue and cooperation, moved by the will to serve effectively the great cause of the human person, which is also the center of the great causes promoted by the OSCE,» he said.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is the largest regional security organization in the world with 55 participating states from Europe, Central Asia and North America. It is active in early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management, and post-conflict rehabilitation.

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