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Why the Desperately Unpopular EU Wants to Host Pope Francis (Exclusive Interview with Benjamin Harnwell)

Public Domain / Mazur/

Diane Montagna - published on 11/25/14

I don’t know anybody who thinks the EU would ever veto a Muslim EU Commission candidate because they were "too Muslim."  And yet, few blink when it happens to a Catholic. 

What would you most like the Holy Father to say?

I know precisely what I would like to hear the Holy Father say: exactly the same speech, word for word, that he delivered to the Humanum Conference last week (the International Inter-religious Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman).  There is no social policy facing the EU as important as the decline of the traditional family.

The Pope’s speech achieved near universal, worldwide acclaim.  It would be nice if the legislators of the European Parliament, people who really need to hear it, could be likewise enlightened.

What harmful proposed EU legislation should Catholics be aware of?

Just briefly, one piece currently on the agenda, that people should be aware of, is the so-called "Equal Treatment" directive — which is really just the LGBT lobby’s wish-list for a draft charter.  There is a huge possibility, that if passed in its present form, it will become a licence for grave harassment of Christians  on an institutional level, backed by law.  A development that would contain within it sinister overtones that bode very badly indeed for the future.

The UK is seeing a growing rejection of the EU in its current form. What possibilities and likelihood is there of reform, especially in the area of subsidiarity?

Any power structure  such as the EU  seeks to do the absolute minimum it needs to do in terms of subsidiarity, in order to maintain maximum control and yet still survive. 

The real variable here is the absolute opposite of what people normally think.  In a democracy, it’s not really the constitution, but the expectations and demands of the electorate, that regulates the accumulation of power by government.  If people demand genuine subsidiarity, and demonstrate resolutely at the ballot box that they are not going to be fobbed off with anything less, they will get it.

I can’t predict the outcome of the UK’s renegotiations  but the comforting thought is that however it ends, the decision will lie with the British people: and that’s exactly how it should be.

The European Centre for Law and Justice recently reported that the Council of Europe is refusing to oppose neonatal infanticides. How do you believe the Pope can most effectively address this?

The ECLJ is a truly excellent NGO, run by the legendary Grégor Puppinck.  I was very impressed by this piece of research.  I think the Holy Father can most effectively oppose neonatal infanticide in the same way that he might oppose any systematic murder of people based on an arbitrary characteristic — which in this case is merely the person’s (young) age  by unhesitatingly and unceasingly drawing attention to it.

Perhaps the Holy Father can read out, during the intercessions of his daily Mass, the deaths of all the children who have been barbarically killed in the last 24 hours, and the hospital where the child was executed, entrusting the souls to the mercy of God.  People across the world could telephone in on a special hotline with the sorrowful details.  Though the infant might have been neglected and hated by the world in its little short life, it will be forever remembered by the God who Himself was rejected and despised by men.

How unspeakably sad that in so-called "civilized" societies we now routinely kill children whose time in the open air is so short, they are not even given a name before they are tossed away  literally  with the rubbish.  This seems to me like a crime tailor-made to arouse the just outrage of the Pope who made famous the critique of the “throwaway culture.”

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Pope Francis
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