By Gudrun Schultz

STRASBOURG, January 20, 2006 ( – The secretary-general of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences said the EU has overstepped its role in urging all states to stamp out “homophobia” and enshrine homosexual ‘rights’ through legislation, in an interview on Radio Vatican.

The EU’s adoption of the resolution showed “an aversion for certain values of our tradition, notably religious values,” said Aldo Giordano.

“It should be clear that certain subjects, especially those relating to the family, are not within the direct competence of the European Union but are the recognized competence of nations. Such resolutions risk de-legitimizing the European Parliament.”

The resolution, which was passed on Wednesday by a majority of 468 to 149, has been sharply criticized by concerned groups, including the pro-family organization Euro-Fam. In particular, Euro-Fam said in a newsletter, members are alarmed by the resolution’s condemnation of “hate speech” against homosexuals, without offering any definition of the term.

“It is important to note that quoting biblical passages dealing with homosexuality have led to imprisonment and to legal actions in the past on the basis of so-called homophobia,” Euro-Fam’s statement said. “It is disturbing that the resolution does not clearly re-affirm the freedom of religion…for those who wish to refer to the Bible.”

Writing in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano last November, Msgr. Tony Anatrella, a French Jesuit who is a consultant to the Pontifical Council on the Family, stated that the term “homophobia” is nothing more than “a slogan of intimidation” to silence critics.

Euro-Fam has additionally expressed concern over the dubious manner in which the EU resolution was presented for approval. The document was not made available to Members of European Parliaments before the imposed deadline to submit amendments, and the text was only accessible in their languages on the official website of the European Parliament on the eve of the vote.

For previous coverage:
  EU Passes Resolution Banning “Homophobia” 468 –149