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Doolan calls on Archbishop to celebrate European religious diversity

18 January, 2007

Following Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s address to the National Forum on Europe held today in Dublin Castle on the European Catholic Bishops View of a Changing Europe, Sinn Féin's Dublin Spokesperson on Europe Cllr. Daithí Doolan has today called on the Catholic Church to act as bridge builders between faiths throughout the 27 member states.

Speaking from Dublin Castle, Cllr. Doolan said, “I welcome today’s address by the Archbishop. I believe the Catholic Church has a pivotal role to play in extending the hand of friendship and solidarity between the 27 EU member states. Too much emphasis is being put on security and foreign policy by the current EU power brokers. Much of the negative propaganda supporting such policy making has been directed at the European Muslim community.”

Cllr. Doolan continued, “if we are to truly achieve a Europe of Equals there must be no hierarchy of religions. I call on the Archbishop Martin and his colleagues in the Catholic Church to formally request that no mention of Christianity or God be included in any revisions to the EU Constitution or indeed the Berlin Declaration that is to be made in March of this year by the Parliament to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. We should choose instead to celebrate our religious diversity, rather than pit one against the other.”

Cllr. Doolan concluded, “mutual respect and understanding for all religions must be the cornerstone of any intervention by the Catholic Church into European affairs. With the 3 primary bodies of the European Union now being led by the political centre right it would be disappointing if the Catholic Church fail to show the necessary leadership on this important issue.”

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