European Union Signs Secular Constitution

European Union leaders signed a constitution in late October\n that contains no mention of Christianity, despite pressure from the Vatican\n to include one.

For more than two years, Pope John Paul II had urged EU member nations to\n include a reference to Europe’s Christian roots in the constitution’s\n preamble. Several members, including France, Belgium and Finland, argued against\n a religious statement, citing the need to maintain separation of church and\n state.

On Oct. 30, the day after the members signed the constitution, the pope told\n a Vatican audience that he had “faith that, even though an explicit reference\n to the Christian roots of the culture is lacking in the European Constitution,\n the eternal values elaborated on the foundation of the Gospel for generations\n of those who preceded us will continue to inspire the efforts of those who\n assume the responsibility of forming the face of our continent.”

The constitution must still be ratified by the European Union’s 25\n member nations.