Pope Urges Christian Heritage in EU Constitution

( [email protected] ) Jul 03, 2003 04:03 AM EDT

Pope John Paul II urged EU policymakers not to lose Europe's Chrisitian roots in the bloc's historic first constitution on the day before Roman Catholic Italy takes over the EU's rotating presidency, Reuters reportered on 28.

The draft constitution of the European Union earlier this month didn't mention Christianity which Christian Democrat parties criticized about.

Pope urged "I wish to appeal those drawig up the future European constitution treaty, so that it will include a reference to the religious and especially the Christian heritage of Europe."

Italy, along with Roman Catholic Spain, Portugal and Poland has insisted Christianity to be refered in the constitution.

The pope reiterated on 28 June his respect for the institutions and emphasized the need for Europe to come to terms with its Christian heritage.

"Europe, as you stand at the beginning of the new millennium, open the doors to Christ. Be yourself. Rediscover your origins. Relive your roots," he said.

Even though Europe has its deep heritage of Christianity, nowadays only a few minority of Europeans go to church regularly. Especially less than 10 percent of the population attend church regularly on Protestant countries.

Opponents to the reference to Christianity say that Muslim countries in Europe would offend. They insisted that the certain faith should not play part in a constitution.