Vatican rejects EU legislation and distances itself from Brussels
Italy is in precisely the same position as the UK with regard to EU law – that is to say, about 80 per cent of Italy’s laws originate in Brussels and EU law is supreme over national law. It is not therefore Italian law but EU law with which the Pope is taking issue. The announcement in the Vatican's newspaper, Osservatore Romano, has prompted debate on whether the move was a ‘masked warning’ to the Italian government of Silvio Berlusconi. But since his essentially conservative government has been more favourable to Catholic orthodoxy than was the administration of Roman Prodi (or any of the Left), it lends credence to Cranmer’s belief that it is not so much Italian domestic legislation which irks His Holiness, but the thousands of directives and reams of new laws which emanate from the EU.
And he is sufficiently disapproving to unilaterally adapt the Lateran Accords of 1929, since which time the Vatican has accepted Italian law automatically, except on bilateral treaties or when there is a sharp divergence with Canon Law. Pope Benedict XVI enjoys a luxury which no EU member state any longer possesses – sovereignty. And the world’s smallest sovereign state will now first examine Italian (=EU) laws one by one before deciding whether or not to adopt them.
And this is a consequence of Italy’s (= the EU’s) 'anti-Church' rulings which are frequently at odds with Catholic doctrine. One thinks of its ‘equality’ agenda, in particular over matters of homosexuality and ‘civil unions’. And then there is divorce, abortion, stem cell research, ‘living wills’ and the growing demands for the decriminalisation of euthanasia.
The Vatican also finds that there is a ‘really exorbitant number’ of Italian (=EU) laws, which are ‘badly written’, ‘difficult to understand’, lead to ‘instability’ and ‘contrast’ with the principles of the Roman Catholic Church.
Moreover, the Vatican is also repudiating the treaty-signing prerogative bestowed upon the EU by the Lisbon Treaty. Henceforth, the government of the Holy See will scrutinise international treaties before deciding whether or not to adhere to them, and that includes anything which emanates from the United Nations.
It is curious that the Vatican perceives what a Godless, secular, anti-Christian, immoral and corrupt institution the EU is, while the United Kingdom continues to ‘gold plate’ all EU directives, frequently without parliamentary scrutiny. While the Catholic King of the Vatican is reasserting his sovereignty and is now in a position to refuse his assent to EU laws, the Protestant Queen of the United Kingdom has surrendered her sovereignty: as a citizen of the EU, she is subject to all EU laws, however much they may be antithetical to the founding principles of the Church of England, or to the traditions and heritage of her once-great nation.