By Hilary White
KILLALA, Co Mayo, Ireland, August 26, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The EU’s insistence on its aggressively secularist and anti-life and anti-family agenda has undermined public confidence among the predominantly Christian countries of Europe, says the leading prelate of the Catholic Church of Ireland. Seán Cardinal Brady, head of the ancient archdiocese of Armagh, told listeners that the “prevailing culture and social agenda” of secularism within the EU is alien to “the Christian memory and heritage of the vast majority of member states”.
Pro-life and pro-family advocates have long complained that the European Union, together with the United Nations, are among the most determined promoters of legal abortion, divorce, contraception, pansexualism and “gay marriage” and are actively working, in the name of liberal “tolerance” to suppress Christian voices in public life.
“Successive decisions which have undermined the family based on marriage, the right to life from the moment of conception to natural death, the sacredness of the Sabbath, the right of Christian institutions to maintain and promote their ethos, including schools – these and other decisions have made it more difficult for committed Christians to maintain their instinctive commitment to the European project,” he said.
Cardinal Brady gave the Bishop Stock address at the Humbert Summer School in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral on Sunday. In his address, he also called Ireland’s media to task for its habitual anti-Christian stance.
“The claims and influence of secularism and relativism have gone largely unchallenged in Irish culture and media. It could be argued that they enjoy an uncritical acceptance which would never be afforded to religious faith.”
“As the recent referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland suggests, at least some of those who were previously enthusiastic about the founding aims of the EU, both social and economic, are now expressing unease,” he said. The Irish referendum was taken amid fears that ratification of the renewed European Union constitution, renamed the Lisbon Treaty, would force member states to accept legal abortion.
Cardinal Brady noted that Christians in Europe are “being denied the right to intervene in public debates or at least having their contribution dismissed as an attempt to protect unjustified privileges, such as, for example, the right to employ people who support the ethos of a Christian institution”.
This is not the first time Cardinal Brady has spoken on the theme of the EU’s anti-Christian positions. While in Rome in April this year, he said that public scepticism is growing over the EU because “a secular, relativist and utilitarian approach dominates ethical considerations”. He cited the efforts being made by the EU and in many EU-dominated states to promote homosexuality, and particularly “gay marriage”.
Cardinal Brady called for the EU to develop the concept of a “Europe of values”. “People of religious faith who may be natural enthusiasts of the concept of a European Union, increasingly approach European developments with scepticism,” he said.
“They have an expectation that a secular, relativist and utilitarian approach dominates ethical considerations,” he said, adding that the right to maintain a distinctively Christian moral ethos in religious institutions was constantly under threat.
“The nature of marriage, the family or the origin and end of life have to be constantly defended against a dominant centralising and standardising tendency.”