Lisbon Treaty gives Vatican ‘arm-twisting status’
At least that is the NSS summary of the COMECE press release.
It is a curious concern, considering the arm-twisting activities and the ‘privileges’ being claimed by the EU’s rabidly-secular forces and its archdruids of godlessness.
The press release says: “The Treaty introduces into EU primary law an Article of notable importance for the Churches. By means of Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, the EU recognises the identity and specific contribution of Churches and engages on this basis an ‘open, transparent and regular’ dialogue with them. Thanks to this Article, Churches and religious communities will be able to strengthen their Dialogue with the European Commission, Council and Parliament and so contribute more efficiently to reflecting on European policy. Inspired by Catholic social teaching and strengthened by their background experience, Churches will be enabled to pursue a critical and constructive Dialogue with EU decision makers on the policies put forward by the EU...”
The NSS observes: ‘COMECE tries to soften the threatening tone of the press release by talking about “promotion of dignity” and “solidarity with the weakest” and “intercultural dialogue”. There is no mention yet of restricting abortion rights or attacking the human rights of homosexuals – although inevitably these will be the real targets in the EU of COMECE and its reactionary religious allies.’
It is curious, is it not, that ‘abortion rights’ and ‘the rights of homosexuals’ are the primary concerns of the secularists. For very many Christians – not to mention Jews and Muslims – these represent (or indeed constitute) murder and perversion, and yet the secularists seek to eradicate even the articulation of this mere opinion from the public sphere; to deny the religious conscience an expression in political debate.
How is it that they cannot see the blindness of their own fanatical extremism and the hypocrisy of their own immutable creed? Secularism was never conceived as an anti-Christian philosophy: it did not originally deny that light and truth can be found in Christian history, expression and thought. But it has become blind to its own heritage and ignorant of its own definition. What was supposed to be an alternative worldview based on independent thought and the scientific method has become as intolerant as any religion which seeks to advance and impose its fundamental tenets upon others, irrespective of their conscience and will. And by so doing, it fails its own test of legitimacy.
The COMECE press release exhorts Christians to engage in political discourse because they understand that by failing to do so, the void will be filled by a fundamentalist secularism with a deference for no religion but Islam. They say: “COMECE calls on Churches and Christians all over Europe to seize this dialogue opportunity, based on their expertise and their humanity, to make a contribution to the European project. COMECE, together with its ecumenical partners from CEC (Conference of European Churches), will make soon specific proposals to the European Commission, Parliament and Council on how to develop this dialogue into regular institutional practice.”
Keith Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the National Secular Society, said: “This is probably the most sinister document I have read for some time; the soothing words about care for the poorest and concern for the environment are just window dressing. It gives clear warning that the Catholic Church intends to insinuate the Vatican’s hard-line Catholic doctrine right to the heart of Europe, despite the fact that even among Catholics, only a small minority subscribe to it. Women, gay people and the non-religious should be very worried by this, especially given the appointment of a reportedly zealous new Catholic President.”
Mr Porteous Wood’s comment is the most sinister Cranmer has read for some time; the soothing words about human rights and concern for equality are just window dressing. It gives clear warning that the National Secular Society intends to insinuate a hard-line secular doctrine right at the heart of Europe, despite the fact that among the population of the EU, only 18 per cent are reported to subscribe to varying degrees of atheism and agnosticism. The majority Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jedi should be very worried by this, especially given the rise of Mr Porteous Wood as the self-appointed guardian of anti-Christian ‘neutrality’ and undoubtedly zealous advocate of the rights of man.