Tomorrow's signing in Rome of the European Constitution is a source of hope around the world, but also of disconcertment. From our vantage point at AsiaNews, we have put together some of the voices coming out of the Holy Land, Iraq, India, and China. All ask that Europe become more involved in their nations. An involvement that must not be just economic or for the sake of appearances, but at the levels of culture, inter-religious dialogue, as well as human rights advocacy, for the purpose of building peace and facilitating coexistence.
But how will Europe find the vitality and creative energy for such a task? We believe that the signing of the Constitution will take place in a maimed body that will have a hard time getting anywhere.
Why? Because today's Europe, that preaches its tolerance and openness to dialogue and input, has shown itself to be profoundly intolerant towards a minister who was appointed to the European Commission. For what reason? Because he is Catholic and his ideas on marriage and homosexuality do not coincide with the "political correctness" that is so much in vogue these days. Minister Rocco Buttiglione's clarifications on the difference between personal "Morality" and obedience to the "Laws" of the European Union were made in vain. For all intents and purposes, he has been outcast for his "Catholic morality".
The manipulative and deceitful media campaign conducted against Minister Buttiglione was just the latest in a series of incidents. The European Union's intolerance toward the Christian vision has been expressed in many other ways: birth control campaigns in Asia, Africa and South America involving Northern European politicians who propound abortion, contraception and lessons against John Paul II, singling him out as the "enemy" of the peoples in question; attempts at labelling as "anti-feminist racism" Cardinal Ratzinger's document on the collaboration between men and women; the censuring of the monks of Mount Athos because they do not allow women to visit their monastery; the proposal to outlaw veils worn by nuns in Germany, the iconoclastic and pacifist fury of Zapatero in Spain.
All such attitudes of intolerance and delusions of limitless power are but the latest results in a plan to rip Europe from its Christian roots. And since, in point of fact, Christianity also provided Europe with a synthesis of values deriving from Judaism and Greco-Roman culture, this attempt to suffocate these roots amounts to simply wiping out Europe's history and identity.
Without reference to the spiritual roots of the continent, the much-touted peace of Europe risks facing a chasm of conflict. First of all, between member states who see the European Union not as a forum for participating in an ideal, but as a market from which to draw advantage and supremacy. The upholding of human rights can only crumble in the grips of so much inherent conflict: mother pitted against child, fetus or embryo; male pitted against female; ecology pitted against the human person.
To all this, the European Union simply replies with the intolerance of its formal democracy, which is just another face of philosophic relativism and economic fundamentalism.A Europe thus maimed cannot encounter other peoples and cultures: it can at the most barter in arms, industries, technology, low-cost manpower, all the while exporting its emptiness. Meanwhile, its economic violence, so intolerant to the religions of its past, is destined to create slaves for none other than a new divinity: the euro.