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Saturday, August 19, 2017
Date Posted:

The Churches do a deal with the EU

Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley

Protestants tend to follow political developments in the EU pretty carefully. However, the same Protestants seem much less interested in the EUs religious moves.

There are two EU religious bodies to watch. They have unwieldy names and confusing acronyms (CEC and COMECE) but we would be foolish to let that deter us. Both are of course ecumenical, and involved in inter faith projects, and thoroughly unscriptural.

First there is the Conference of European Churches, (CEC). This is a non-Roman Catholic body but it could not by any stretch of the imagination be called Protestant. Nevertheless it describes itself as a fellowship of 126 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 43 associated organisations. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.

The other body is the Roman Catholic Commission of the Bishops Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) which has a permanent secretariat in Brussels. COMECE exists to monitor the political process of the European Union and to inform and raise awareness within the Roman Catholic Church of the development of EU policy and legislation.

CEC and COMECE collude. Among other things, they have produced the famous Charta Oecumenica, a document launched in 2001 setting guidelines for ecumenical co-operation in Europe.

As readers will know, a Convention on the Future of Europe, has been set up under the leadership of the former French President Valery Giscard dEstaing to propose new structures for the EU. It has drawn up a draft Constitution in the form a treaty between the EU states. The draft seems almost certain to be approved. This will signal the end of the UKs traditional liberties including our legal system and any relics of sovereignty. It is predicted that it will make a referendum on the Euro unnecessary.

The Convention has studiedly avoided any reference to religion in the Constitution.

Both CEC and COMECE has pestered the Convention to change its mind and we gather that they have now succeeded.

Rudiger Noll, Associate General Secretary of CEC, says, European churches have from the very beginning supported the idea of drawing up a European Constitutional Treaty. He goes on to tell us that the new religion Article in the Constitution, is intended to secure the place churches and religious groups enjoy in individual Member states i.e. Rome, the Orthodox and others can keep their privileges in their countries. Noll continues, The article also stipulates that the EU should maintain regular dialogue with Churches and Religious Communities. The churches expectation is that this will lead to co-operation and partnership with the European institutions. The churches can offer fundamental direction to the process of unity and can play an important role in helping to integrate future member states. (emphases ours)

These two ecumenical bodies, CEC and COMECE, both strongly advocate political and religious integration in the EU. They say openly that they want to be the link between the Commission and the people. They want to be regarded by the EU Commission as the official representatives of the churches. This will be to the great disadvantage of Bible Christians who they certainly do not represent. In return the CEC and COMECE offer to promote the EUs policies among the people, which explains among other things why Anglican Bishops push Regionalisation so energetically.

We should know about these developments without being unduly alarmed.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world John 16:33

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