In a day full of symbolism glorifying ancient Rome and the papacy, the most blatant symbols were reserved for the ceremony in the Orazi e Curiazi.
The grainy black and white photographs of the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957 show a table along one wall. But for the signing of the EU Constitution on the 29 October 2004, the whole axis of the ceremony within the room had been changed so that every statesman signed on a table draped with the EU flag while towering above him was a colossal statue of Innocent X (see picture).
Meanwhile the dignitaries were serenaded by lapsed Donegal Romanist, Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, known as Enya. She is Pope John Paul II’s personal favourite and has sung for him in the Vatican.
Pope Innocent X
Every one of the 25 signatories to the EU Constitution was so positioned that the official archive photograph shows the huge hand of Innocent X reaching out paternally above him. Innocent takes up three quarters of the picture with the statesmen relegated to a little strip across the bottom. Innocent milked the papacy to provide a huge personal and family fortune including a Palace on the Piazza Navonna. In his old age he had a lover, Donna Olympia, who in turn extracted immense wealth with her charms.
The gaze of the statesmen signing the document was directed to the opposite end of the room where a huge fresco of the Rape of the Sabine Women by the Romans was displayed. Here a colossal marble of Urban VIII waved as condescendingly as Innocent X at the other end. Urban indecently assaulted the papacy and much of Rome to carry off even greater wealth than Innocent X.
Mr Blair declined the subsequent banquet and went home early, presumably unused to the full blast of raw Romanism.
A political farce
This signing of the new EU constitution on Rome’s Capitoline Hill on 29th October, was a political farce. At least 11 of the 25 states, including Britain, were committed to retrospective referenda. What is more, many people were incensed that the Constitution omitted any reference to Europe’s Roman Catholic foundations.
On top of this came the comments of the Pope’s friend, Rocco Buttiglione, the Italian nominee for justice and home affairs commissioner. He threw the EU into institutional crisis by condemning homosexuality and denigrating single mothers and has now been rejected.
The Buttiglione affair has provoked whispers of an EU led anti-Roman Catholic conspiracy. The Book of Revelation shows the harlot riding upon the decayed western Roman Empire, now divided into 10 kingdoms, so the further the community stretches, the more of this sort of thing we may expect to see.
A much needed history lesson
The Italians therefore used the Capitoline Hill setting for a much needed history lesson. Heads of State were taken to see where the triumphant Roman Emperors returned to worship the Goddess Juno Moneta, who presided over Rome’s mint. The hill was shut to traffic while staunch Romanist Franco Zeffirelli, a multimillionaire film director turned politician, choreographed spectacular TV coverage. Rome’s fashion designer, Valentino Garavani, also a multi millionaire, designed the lavish uniforms for the stewards and the 25 glamorous interpreter “guides”.
Millions of euros were lavished on the ceremony. Unlike the 30,000 fresh flowers specially flown in from Holland, the 3.5 million euros spent on refurbishing ‘Rome’s heart’, will be of permanent benefit to Rome. Rome’s heart consists of Michelangelo’s Piazza del Campidoglio and Palazzo dei Conservatori, and its Sala degli Orazi e Curiazi (where the original Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957). Although key decisions have been taken at other venues such as Maastricht, all original and signed copies of EU treaties are kept in Rome.
The heads of state had their group photograph taken outside the Conservatori which had been especially Latinised for the occasion with the banner Europae Rei Publicae Status wrapped around the 12 stars. The central portico of the Conservatori contains the huge, pagan, female statue of Rome sitting topped with an inscription glorifying Pope Clement XI. He brought the statue and much else to magnify Rome on the Capitoline in the eighteenth century. Clement’s contribution also included a colossal head and arm of Emperor Constantine 1 who oversaw the transition from Rome Pagan to Rome Christian.
Roman conquest of Britain
The rest of the huge relics at which the dignitaries gazed bore inscriptions recording the subjection of the nations to Rome. One wonders whether Tony Blair’s “guide” showed him the AD 51 fragment of arch celebrating the conquest of Britain by Claudius.