Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pöttering and Barroso: Lisbon Treaty strengthens the role of churches

While Ireland is (presently) withstanding being beaten into submission on the Lisbon Treaty, one of the principal concerns of the Roman Catholic Church remains that it could permit abortion into Ireland ‘through the backdoor’. The Czech Republic, currently chairing the EU's six-month rotating presidency, is therefore currently drafting three legal guarantees for the Irish government that would help ensure its sovereignty in the areas of taxation, defence and such social affairs in return for ratification of the Treaty.

But Brussels has also played the religion card in an effort to persuade the Irish that the Lisbon Treaty really is holy writ. They have wheeled out the two biggest guns to speak ex cathedra: European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and President of the ‘European Parliament’ Hans-Gert Pöttering said that ‘securing a stronger consultative role for European religions in EU policy making is another good reason to support the Lisbon Treaty’.


Cranmer shall set their vapid assertion aside, for ‘another’ was not contextualised with the first ‘good reason’, though the Irish may be persuaded it is linked to farming subsidies. But there is a slight tone of blackmail in this statement, for it is manifestly aimed at the Roman Catholic Church which hitherto has enjoyed privileged access at the highest levels of the EU’s organs of government. Apparently, ‘such discussions in the future could not be guaranteed without the full ratification of the Lisbon Treaty’.

You see, dialogue between European religious leaders and the EU institutions is carried out on the ‘basis of good will’ rather than because of a legal obligation. So President Pöttering declaims: ‘If the Lisbon Treaty is not ratified, with the new leaderships in the commission and the parliament, they could abolish this dialogue because legally it's not binding.’

A little spiteful and petty, don’t you think? President Pöttering insists that it is the ‘responsibility of Ireland’ to ensure the Treaty comes into effect, and if it does not, all privileges for the Roman Catholic Church shall be withdrawn.

Of course it is not quite couched in this language; they refer to it as ‘inter-faith religious dialogue’. But there are no Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist or Jedi Knight groups which have access to the inner sanctum of the EU, and the only Christian denomination to be so honoured (and financially subsidisd) is the Roman Catholic Church.

President Barroso said: "One of the purposes of these meetings is to highlight how it is important in Europe to keep freedom of religion (and) also the freedom not to have a religion. President Pöttering added that the Lisbon Treaty ‘is the first time ever that our churches and our religious communities are included in the law of the European union’.

It is a curious assertion, given the EU’s pathological secularism and its distinctly anti-Christian agenda, that the two most powerful EU fonctionnaires have the gall to state that the Lisbon Treaty is the only guarantee of keeping God at the heart of ever closer union. Given that the preamble of the ‘Constitution for Europe’ specifically excluded all reference to God and Christianity – preferring instead to leap from the civilisations of Greece and Rome straight to the values of the Enlightenment – there is very little that is overtly expressed in the Treaty which should persuade Ireland’s Roman Catholics that the Pöttering/Barroso assurances are worth anything at all.

But the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, who attended the meeting, has been bought lock, stock and barrel. He is now busy persuading his bishops and priests to persuade the faithful that ‘Ireland needs Europe but also Europe needs Ireland’, and that ‘Europe needs the diversity of its smaller nations and different cultures’.

The Archbishop believes the Irish rejection of Lisbon was because of a ‘lack of understanding by Irish citizens ahead of the last year's referendum’, and he believes that a new debate would provide ‘greater clarity...on a number of issues that were of concern to the Irish electorate’.

Isn’t EU democracy a wonderful thing? When the demos speaks, they are crushed with the divine kratos. And quite why the Roman Catholic Church is prepared to advance the EU’s cause – when Rocco Buttiglione’s orthodox Catholicism was deemed antithetical to its ‘secular Enlightenment values’ – is truly a mystery.


Blogger Demetrius said...

Isn't there something somewhere about money changers and temples? Or am I mistaken yet again? With all these commercial banks failing, when will the first benches (or banco in Italian) be set up in the Cathedrals?

13 May 2009 at 08:32  
Blogger Gnostic said...

It's hopefully the responsibility of Ireland to continue telling Pöttering and the EU to get stuffed.

Give us a referendum because we'd like to tell Pöttering and EU to get stuffed too.

13 May 2009 at 09:26  
Blogger ukipwebmaster said...

The Fourth is with us!

13 May 2009 at 11:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone needed evidence of the low level of democratic development in Europe, they need not look to Russia for the EU wins hands down. The manner by which opposition to the Lisbon treaty has been brutalised, battered, ridiculed and subverted, is without precedent in the history of WEstern constitution-building. Even if Lisbon is adopted, the EU's grand scheme will still stink because of the process.

This latest bit over religion is laughable, if it were not also tragic. When John Paul II urged mention of God, the EU's fuhrers refused even to consider it: European history, after all, only begins with the Enlightenment's irreligious, often anti-religious thinkers. And, after all, we must never offend Muslims who have contributed so much to European identity. (The conquest of Constantinople, the slaving expeditions by the Barbary pirates, the Ottoman wars, and now the jihadists.)

So, I am not at all surprised by what is happening with Ireland. But every time I read about his doings and sayings, I have to wonder why is a person like Pottering in such a position to offer deals and make threats? Do his colleagues not recognise the thug that is the man? And Barroso, well, what can one say about someone who occupying a position of such prominence has absolutely no impact?

Yet more evidence of Europe's decline. I just never thought the downward slope was so steep.

13 May 2009 at 12:22  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Well they certainly took their time, but we all knew that they would break their word & their own rules, " If One member state does not ratify the Lisbon treaty, then it is finished" followed by " We'll have to make the Irish see sense & sign". May The Lord give strength to the ordinary Irish people to resist this Judas offer & may He give us a government that keeps its promises & manifestos to give our people a referendum to leave this unelected rabble of thieves & vagabonds for good!.

13 May 2009 at 12:26  
Blogger Microcosm said...

This slippery slope has a ruddy great big tree at the bottom, as the whole charade becomes all the more deperate, its good to see all the charlatans of both church and state in it up to their crooked little necks.

Trying but failing to appeal to the masses, in an attempt to hold on to their last vestige of credibility.

There truly is a God.

13 May 2009 at 13:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Normally this picture is minus the popes in the background telling Saint Tony to signaway the UK

13 May 2009 at 16:44  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

"If anyone needed evidence of the low level of democratic development in Europe, they need not look to Russia for the EU wins hands down."

May have a point there.

13 May 2009 at 16:56  
Anonymous Kay said...

The EU is power, money, and greed...Anyone who believes the EU works for the good of the people is sorely deluded. I hope the Irish stick to their guns, however, the EU will change this, change that, (and the changes will be nothing but waffle), but they'll do the job to get the Irish to sign eventually.

13 May 2009 at 17:01  
Anonymous not a machine said...

My opposition to european integration is fairly new (5 or so years) , watching the Lisbon shinnagins only hardend my resolve that it should be put to the UK electorate properly.

It is easy to see how 5th columists and international business would prefer an integrated EU , and it has been extreme arrogance to force this through without asking the people if they want such a change.

your grace points out the hypocracy of a superstate not posing a problem to christianity , well so long as it does what the state says . That is a major shift in its own right , but then we come come back to the rule of logic in Dawkins thinking , which aids it .

No one would like to go back of the theocracies of the medieval ages , but that doesnt mean that governments should not work to Christian beliefs or principals.

However in the end there is no reason for us not to govern ourselves , we can do it better, we can do it cheaper , why should we end up feeling strangers to our heritage and seperate from our story , for the sake of cuppocinos in newly constructed piazza , that is similar to every other piazza across europe !!

we are being asked not to love our country , and that in the 80s would have been considered subversive communist propoganda

13 May 2009 at 17:21  
Anonymous len said...

One of the founding fathers of the EU ( Jean Monnet) a devout Roman Catholic was alleged to have said
"Europe`s nations should be guided towards the super-state without their people understanding what is happening.This can be accomplished by successive steps each disguised as having an economic purpose, but will eventually and inevitably lead to a federation" (and of quote)
Catholicism seems to be keen to be the religion united to the EU I wonder how many many golden calves will have to acknowledged in the process?

13 May 2009 at 18:56  
OpenID jamestheless said...

Your Grace,

I have often pondered on the similarities between the EU and the medieval Roman church.

The fanatical devotion to Brussels of "Club Med" and the Irish (at least whle the largesse was flowing), the wariness of the Scandinavians, the French thinking they have a special set of rules that only apply to them - and of course the English constantly complaining about having to pay too much.

The obsession with centralisation (misleadingly called "federalism"), imposition of a deadening uniformity of practice, completely indifferent to local traditions and the considerable values they may contain.

The obsession with getting its claws on Bulgaria, even though it was completely unready for such a responsibility. Could this be belated revenge for King Boris opting for Constantinople in the ninth century?

The vast army of clerics, sorry bureaucrats labouring away at "headquarters", dreaming up ever more complex schemes, to be issued as infallible edicts, written in a language that only they can understand.

However, it would be an overstatement to regard the EU as a Catholic plot. Catholics on the Continent - and this includes the politicians - are, in my experience, mostly nominal Catholics. They have all been raised as Catholics and most would admit to believing in God if pushed, although they would never dream of going to a church except for the obvious family events; beneath a veneer of modern wordly sophistication, their instincts, manners and morals are still heavily influenced by Catholicism (in a positive way, I hasten to add - I haven't met any potential Inquistors). Rather similar to English people and Anglicanism a generation ago, if I may say so.

Be that as it may, we are left with an obvious question: who will be the EU's Martin Luther?

13 May 2009 at 20:24  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

We don't need the EU, we didn't need it 100 yrs ago to trade with europe and the world, why do we need all there expensive Beaurocrats nwo, all they do is make our trading more expensive, cut out the middle men.

13 May 2009 at 20:34  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Well posted, James the Less!

The idea of a Neu Luther is fascinating - though of course he'd have to develop iron-clad secrecy about his personal and medical problems...

Pending Luther, how about a new Wyclif?

The alliance of anti-Christ euSSR and RCism always strikes me as paradoxical, though, and I look for the hidden resolution within the contradiction.

It's clearly not that all popes, or all RCs, are Anti-Christ; however, might marxists believe that to force Catholicism on lukewarn Protestants would turn the latter away from Christianity? Would they then expect them to run to the arms of Marx? Or, while the rest of us are busy fighting over the new Reformation, will the marxist army quietly continue the consolidation of its gains? Or...?

13 May 2009 at 22:18  
OpenID jamestheless said...

non mouse,

The new Luther would also need to keep his virulent anti-Semitism under wraps.

While writing that post, I had a mental picture of Dan Hannan - who as far as I know does not suffer from any of the aforementioned problems - standing in front of an EU building in Brussels, brandishing a piece of paper listing his five key bullet points (oh, how far have we fallen!) Then pulling out a hammer and trying to nail his list to a glass-and-steel door while the security guards drag him away...

I think it's more a case of the Franks trying to find another way to dominate Europe. The ideology doesn't matter, so long as it sounds convincing. Roman Catholicism worked astonishingly well for almost a thousand years.

Napoleon tried to keep the game going using secularism, rationalized legal and administrative systems and military conquest, but was defeated by the English (and the Prussians, whose role is often forgotten). Then nation states started popping up like mushrooms, something completely contrary to the Frankish ambitions.

This was a real stumper and it took them over a century before they came up with the EU. Originally this took the form of the European Iron and Steel Community, which consisted of the six modern nations occupying the territory of the old Frankish kingdom - France, the Benelux countries, most of Germany and Northern Italy. They couldn't avoid including Southern Italy as well, which is how the institutionized bribery - sorry, subsidies - and general corruption got into the system.

If the EU does have an ideology, it's a very pragmatic one, reflecting the mainstream of Continental politicians. It follows the social teaching of Pope Leo XIII and his successors, which keeps Continental Catholics and mainstream Socialists on board. It supports the arts and fashionable left-wing causes, which keeps trendy French intellectuals on board. It has a kind of bland, unspoken Enlightenment agnosticism, which avoids antagonising either the hard Left or Continental Catholics.

14 May 2009 at 09:58  
Anonymous not a machine said...

he appears to be comitting it in that outfit your grace

14 May 2009 at 17:24  
Anonymous kein said...

neca eos omnes
deus suos agnoscet

cranmer this comes from the heart
as a merovingian and a carolingian and a plantagenet and a cromwellian back in the day this would not stand.

14 May 2009 at 22:54  
Anonymous Ronnie1001 said...

Note that the EU flag is officially based on the Crown of the Virgin Mary - not one-star-per-state as is the American flag.

More locally, you may wonder why the Millennium Dome was so heavily promoted by Europhiles of all parties?

Consider that it is also built in the image of the Crown of the Virgin Mary with the 12 gold stars implemented as its supports; also that the original exhibition was dominated by a huge woman and child statue within.

15 May 2009 at 16:03  
Anonymous len said...

The anthem of the E U is the 'Ode to Joy' by Beethoven, words by Schiller it mentions a "divine goddess".
This goddess is probably a pagan babylonian goddess Ishtar, also known as Astarte and Ashtoreth, and the Queen of Heaven.
The Virgin Mary a very righteous woman would be absolutely horrified to see herself idolized, prayed to, or regarded on a divine level by millions of grossly misled and deceived people.

17 May 2009 at 00:51  

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