Times of London: "Pope Rejects Invitation by ‘Apostate’ Strasbourg"
(Hat tip: Christopher Blosser via email)
From The Times of London:
The Pope has rejected an invitation to address the European Parliament, amid Vatican alarm at what is seen as a drift towards militant secularism.My Comments:
A letter from the Vatican said that he was declining the request to speak to MEPs owing to other commitments and his age, The Times has learnt. The rejection came soon after the Pope agreed to spend his 81st birthday visiting President Bush and as his tour of Australia was ending...
The Vatican has favoured the White House as a reward for Mr Bush’s acclamation of faith in God and help for antiabortion causes.
The breakdown in confidence between the Pope and the European Parliament is a sensitive area and observers close to the dispute are unwilling to be identified publicly. One spoke of the church hierarchy’s “great disillusionment” with the European project. Its founding fathers, Konrad Adenauer and Robert Schuman, were deeply Catholic. However, a well-informed observer said that the EU “has become more and more secularist”.
... Mr Bush is regarded by the Vatican as far more sympathetic to its priorities than Europe. When he withdrew $34 million from the UN family planning programme in 2002, claiming that some money went to abortions, the European Union made up the shortfall.
First Ireland, and now the Pope. Morning's Minion will be deeply saddened.