The Pope John Paul II on Sunday repeated his call on the European Union (EU) to remember it’s Christian roots and to show respect for all views – including traditional and conservative ones.
"To take into account the Christian roots of the European continent means to avail oneself of a spiritual patrimony that remains fundamental for future developments of the Union," the pope told gatherers at St. Peter’s square.
John Paul’s weekly address was made only one day after Rocco Buttiglione, a devout Catholic philosopher-turned-politician and close friend of the pope, withdrew from the incoming EU Commission after his views on homosexuality sparked a firestorm of criticism from liberals.
Buttiglione became the first nominee to be rejected by an EU parliamentary committee, following his remarks against the sin of homosexuality. Buttiglione also stood up for traditional marriage, saying that marriage allowed women to have children.
Buttiglione, who stepped down on Saturday, called himself an innocent victim and explained his belief that being anti-Christian had become the only acceptable prejudice in Europe.
"I sparked a battle, that has only just started and will continue," he told Italian daily La Repubblica. "Europe is scared of itself, of opening a discussion about what it really is ... Instead it swings between two states which cannot identify it: its economy and political correctness."
Meanwhile, John Paul repeated his call to uphold Christian values within the new 25-bloc institution.
Said John Paul: "I hope that in the years to come Christians will continue to bring to all circles of European institutions the gospel message that is the guarantee of peace and collaboration between all citizens in the shared pursuit of common good.”