Church Wants Safeguards for Laws When Poland Joins EU

Asks the Government to Include Appendix in Treaty

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WARSAW, Poland, JAN. 24, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Polish bishops asked the government to ensure that laws protecting life, marriage and families will be honored when the nation joins the European Union.



The prelates asked the center-left government to include an appendix in the treaty of nation's accession to the European Union, which would guarantee the "defense of life from birth until natural death," the protection of marriage as a "union of man and woman," and the safeguarding of the family, as stipulated by the Polish Constitution.

The bishops fear that EU legislation will oblige Poland to alter its national legislation, which includes the prohibition of most abortions.

To ensure that Polish legislation is protected, and that the wave of acceptance of homosexual unions does not spread to Poland, the bishops wish to imitate the examples of Ireland and Malta, whose accession treaties have similar appendixes.

The Polish government, which has just over a week left to finish writing the accession treaty, told the bishops that the European Union leaves all legislation relating to morality and culture to the sovereign discretion of member countries. The government also promised to study the case.

But European Community sources in Brussels said that the inclusion of an appendix to Poland's treaty of accession is no longer possible as talks for accession concluded in December.

Ecclesial authorities have supported Poland's integration in the European Union. But they have always insisted on defending their Christian identity within Europe, a continent they say is tainted by secularism and "cultural relativism."