A Vatican Europe?
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Several prominent pathways, including those of Pope John Paul II and senior officials of European and national institutions, amounted recently for inclusion in a future European Union constitution; an explicit reference to the Christian roots of Europe.
The heated debate raised by this petition highlights the challenges of the relationship between Europe and the Church of Rome. Until the Second World War, the Catholic Church remained for many centuries mainly European, before spreading to other parts of the world without losing its grip on the old continent. To demonstrate its commitment, it supported the emerging European Union.
The many pronouncements of Pope Pius XII (1939 - 1958) for a project to integrate the continent can be intriguing, given that the reserve rule was set by the Vatican by Article 24 of the Treaty Lateran. The Catholic Church states its desire to remain outside the "temporal rivalries.
If this is added to the initiatives of many leaders of Catholic parties in order to participate in the displayed European construction, the following question arises: Has the Catholic Church exceeded its spiritual function to influence the political process of the construction of Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War?
This was affirmed by the proponents of the theory of a "Vatican Europe," by which they mean a possible plot by the Holy See to impose a European model similar to a new Holy Roman Empire, with the complicity of Christian Democratic parties in power.
To establish the plausibility of this "conspiracy", one should therefore ask the following question: What is the extent of Catholic influence in the beginning of the European construction, in the period between the end of the Second World War, to the Treaty of Rome?
The influence of the Christian positions (the need for lasting peace and reconciliation efforts) on the emerging European project, even though only through the Christian men who were its originators, is an established fact, as is the enthusiasm it generates in the Holy See. However, it should scale back the influence that was given to the Vatican in the process of negotiating the various agreements that emerged during the 1950's.
Tags: influence of the Vatican; creation of European Union; a Vatican Europe; Catholic Church exceeded its spiritual function; influencing political processes;