Constitution: Msgr. Homeyer (COMECE) writes to V.G.D’Estaing” “

“Satisfaction” for the reference to Europe’s religious heritage in the Preamble to the constitutional Treaty, but also “amazement” at the absence of a specific reference to Christianity in the list of significant elements in the evolution of European civilisation. These were the sentiments expressed by the president of the Commission of Episcopates of the European Community, Msgr. Josef Homeyer, in a letter sent on 5 June to the president of the European Convention, Valery Giscard D’Estaing. “The work you are doing”, writes Homeyer to D’Estaing, “is on a vast scale, and it was with great interest that we examined the draft of the preamble to the Constitution”. However, observes the COMECE president, “please allow me to express my amazement at the absence, in the Preamble, of a reference to the contribution of Christianity. Without in any way condemning other contributions, no other religion or philosophical school has impregnated Europe so much as Christianity”. And Homeyer goes on to add: “Allow me also to renew the proposal that a reference to God be made. Recalling the limits of human power and our responsibility before God, humanity and the creation, would mean demonstrating unequivocally that public power is not absolute. The Union would thus recognise that those of its citizens who wish to do so – be they Christians, Jews or Muslims – may freely invoke the Almighty”. The letter concludes by saying that, “at the same time, such recognition would be a guarantee of individual human freedom, and could promote many citizens to identify with European values and with the adoption of the future Constitution”.

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