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Thursday, October 20, 2016
Bishops' reaction to draft EU constitution
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 The Executive Committee of COMECE (Catholic Bishops' Conferences of the member states of the European Union) today published its assessment of the draft EU Constitution to be presented tomorrow, 20 June, at the EU summit in Thessaloniki, Greece. The President and Vice-Presidents of COMECE, who met in Rome on 16-17 June, welcome the achievement of the European Convention but also express reservations about the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for the European Union. They regard the invocation of Europe's religious heritage as a significant advance for the EU and welcome the fact that the values and objectives of the future EU correspond to the social teaching of the Church. The Bishops welcome the incorporation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which they see as an important step in protecting citizens' rights, and underline the confirmation that it will apply only to the actions of the EU. They propose that the EU, once it has legal personality, should sign the European Convention of Human Rights. They also greet with approval the draft Constitution's section on the democratic life of the Union, especially the proposed Article 51 on Churches and religious communities. However, the Bishops raise some questions regarding the draft Preamble of the Constitution. In particular, they emphasise that a reference to the contribution of Christianity remains essential and that a reference to God would be appropriate as a guarantee of the freedom and dignity of the human person. For more information visit the COMECE website at:
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