ROME, OCT. 30, 2002 ( The Commission of Bishops' Conferences of the European Community is welcoming proposals by the European People's Party to mention religion in a future EU Constitution.

Bishop Josef Homeyer, president of COMECE, signaled approval of the proposals in written correspondence to Wilfried Martens, president of the European People's Party.

At a recent congress in Portugal, the EPP adopted a document entitled "A Constitution for a Strong Europe." Bishop Homeyer welcomed the inclusion in the document of the following points:

-- "Europe should transform into practical action its moral duty of solidarity with poorer countries;

-- "The Union respects the spiritual traditions and cultural, linguistic and legal diversities of its member states;

-- "The Preamble to the Constitution must recall what Europe owes to its religious heritage."

Bishop Homeyer also expressed the hope that it would be possible to formulate a reference to God in the European Constitution that would be acceptable to believers and nonbelievers alike.

COMECE is a commission of the Catholic bishops' conferences of the EU member states. The bishops' conferences of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland are associate members.


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