Europe: Bishops reticent about Turkey’s entry, in the name of human rights

Source: FSSPX News


The bishops representing the countries of the European Community gathered for a plenary meeting in Brussels on November 18 and 19. They appeared to be reticent about the eventual inclusion of Turkey, not for religious reasons, but that “Fundamental Rights had not been entirely respected.”

 According to them, “the question of knowing if Turkey can initiate negotiations with a view to eventual membership of the European Union, is not one of a religious nature, but a political one.” They expressed their reticence over negotiations with Turkey, not for religious reasons, but because “Fundamental rights, including religious freedom, are not entirely respected in this State.” The bishops called on Turkey to “respect fundamental human rights, for example, the equal status of women, freedom of expression and association and religious liberty.”

 Moreover, the bishops representing the European countries regretted “the controversy which surrounded the nomination and the personal opinions of Rocco Buttiglione, and the political impasse which ensued.” Some members of the European Parliament “have displayed intolerance of the personal beliefs of the Commissioner rather than concentrating on his capacity to honor the political role entrusted to him,” complained the bishops. They are demanding that “freedom of religion and religious expression, granted by the constitutional Treaty be entirely respected and ensured in all of the European institutions in the enlarged Union”.

 The bishops stressed the importance of maintaining good relations between the United States of America and the European Union. According to them, such cooperation would be particularly valuable “with regard to the fight against terrorism, the strengthening of (the) political and commercial economy and solidarity with developing countries as well as with the less developed countries.”

 The bishops, while welcoming the signing of the constitutional Treaty of the European Union, found it again “regrettable that not a single reference was made to Christianity in the final version of the preamble of this text.” They also recognized that economic reform was necessary, “in order to safeguard the European social model, which is in danger in the face of globalization and the population decline.” They added: “The role of the family is particularly important for the European social model, given its unique role in helping society.” (sic)