[autom.vertaling] De paus beklemtoont behoefte aan Christelijke basis in Europa (en)

Met dank overgenomen van EUobserver (EUOBSERVER) i, gepubliceerd op maandag 14 juli 2003, 11:38.
Auteur: Marcin Frydrych

Pope John Paul II has reiterated his calls for a mention of Christianity in the Constitution just three days after the draft treaty was agreed by the Convention.

Addressing hundreds of pilgrims gathered on Sunday outside his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the Pope said, "a certain loss of Christian memory has been accompanied by a sort of fear in confronting the future".

"In this historic period, in which we see the important process of European reunification and the enlargement of the European Union to other countries, the Church looks upon this continent with love," the Polish pontiff said but added "there is no lack of shadows."

This was a clear reference to the final draft of the European Constitution which failed to explicitly mention Christianity in its text - despite consistent pressure by the Vatican.

According to the head of the Catholic Church, the roots of problems such as "fragmentation" and the "fading of interpersonal solidarity" can be traced to a worldview without God or Christ.

A group of Catholic countries are expected to continue the battle to include a reference to the Christian tradition of Europe in the document.

The Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini, told reporters on Friday that Rome may propose a change in the Constitution to cover this view, when EU leaders begin to fine tune the text at an intergovernmental conference beginning in October.

Opponents to the inclusion of a reference to Christianity say that it would offend millions of Muslims and other religious communities in the EU and that faith should play no part in a constitution.

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