THE HAGUE, June 4, 2003 (- – Vatican criticisms of the draft version of a new European constitution have received strong support from a noted French Orthodox theologian.  Olivier Clement, perhaps the leading Orthodox intellectual in western Europe, said that the absence of any recognition for Christianity in the preamble to the draft constitution was a “sensational” omission, which “flies in the face of the historical evidence.” The Vatican has sharply criticized the preamble—which refers to the important factors that have built a common European culture—for failing to acknowledge the historical role of Christianity.  In an interview with the Italian Catholic daily, Avvenire, Clement said that the draft document is both “incomplete” and “harmful” because of this omission. He argued that Christianity has played “an essential role” in the development of Europe’s culture. That role continues today, he said, “in the defense of the dignity of the human person.”