In an interview published by the Italian newspaper Avvenire, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna lamented the omission of any reference to Christianity in the new European constitution, saying, “Europe cannot be understood if the Christian roots of its culture and traditions are severed.”
According to the cardinal, “The recognition of the Christian roots of the continent is a truth so evident that it should not be that difficult to acknowledge.”
“Why do tourists come here from all over the world? Are not the monasteries and cathedrals their favorite places to visit? The stubborn opposition to the recognition of Christianity is fostered by certain trends of Western secularism,” the cardinal said.
It needs to clear, he added, “that the Church has no interest in politics or power in referring to the Christian roots of the continent.”
“And I would like to add a final observation: it was important that the Christian roots be mentioned in the Preamble, but it is even more important that the text of the Constitution be anchored in values inspired by Christianity. Fundamental principles are at risk, such as the dignity of the human person and human rights, including social rights,” he said.
Cardinal Shonborn also recalled that “the fathers of this project, De Gasperi, Schumann, Adenauer, were committed Catholics. The European Union seeks to provide peace and well being, which are very positive objectives from the point of view of the Christian faith.”
“Moreover, the Union is an instrument to begin new ways of living together for the peoples of Europe, which has been poisoned by the ideologies of the last two centuries,” he warned.
Lastly, Cardinal Schonborn added, “Because of its history, its economic power and its spiritual tradition, Europe cannot hide itself in isolation. It has obligations, which flow from those values which are fundamentally evangelical and essential to its identity. Therefore Europe should fight for the right to life, health and education.”