World News and Trends
Pope reiterates religious stance on Europe
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Rocco Buttiglione, a Roman Catholic and friend of Pope John Paul II, was unable to become European justice minister in the European Commission after the EU parliament objected to his conservative views on homosexuality and single mothers.
According to The Guardian (Nov. 8, 2004) he afterwards "began a public campaign to form a European 'Theocon' movement for those who believe that traditional values should be part of public life." Mr. Buttiglione stated that he has been the recipient of thousands of letters of support.
Further measures have been taken by others of like mind. An article in the online Telegraph reported that "more than a million people are going to deliver a petition to Tony Blair and fellow EU leaders calling for changes to the constitution recognising Europe's Christian heritage. Refusing to accept a secular 'fait accompli' from Brussels, a Christian coalition is demanding that each EU state publish its version of the constitution preamble with references to God if desired" (Nov. 29, 2004).
Perhaps more importantly, "the move has the backing of Pope John Paul II, who has repeatedly condemned the 'moral drift' of Brussels. 'One does not cut the roots of one's birthright,' he told pilgrims this summer " (ibid.).
The Vatican has not been happy with the fact that the proposed European Union constitution does not specifically mention Christianity. According to the Vatican-based ZENIT News Agency, during a recent meeting with Romano Prodi, outgoing president of the European Commission, the pope reminded him of the symbolic value of Rome as the site of the signing of the original Treaty of Rome in 1957 as well as the new constitution in 2004.
The pope clearly stated: "Whoever speaks of Rome, speaks of the radiation of universal juridical and spiritual values. The Holy See favored the formation of the EU before it was juridically structured, and has followed the successive stages with active interest. It has always felt the need to express openly the just expectations of a great number of Christian citizens of Europe, who have so requested it.
"This is why the Holy See has reminded all that Christianity . . . has contributed to the formation of a common conscience of European peoples and has helped enormously in shaping the civilizations. Whether or not it is recognized in official documents, it is an undeniable fact that no historian will be able to forget" (Oct. 28, 2004).
Whatever the outcome of the current campaign, religion eventually is going to have the last word in Europe—notwithstanding the secular EU. If you would like to understand why, please request or download our free booklets You Can Understand Bible Prophecy and The Book of Revelation Unveiled. (Sources: ZENIT News Agency [Vatican], The Telegraph, The Guardian [London].)