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Trespassers on the Holy Mountain--The EU's rights watchdogs launch an assault on Mt. Athos

John Couretas

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"Inasmuch as one is prominent in power, just as much one ought to be prominent in virtue." -- Photius, Letter to Michael, Prince of Bulgaria.

There must be an unwritten law which holds that, as programs for universal government and world courts advance, the exercise of religious morality in public life becomes increasingly hopeless.

Case in point: The European Parliament has issued a new report on "fundamental rights," which demands an end to the centuries-old ban on the entry of women to Mt. Athos, the ancient monastic community in northern Greece. The EU report, released by French EU Deputy Fode Sylla, also called on Greece to lift criminal penalties for women caught entering the monastic zone. The EU report said the restriction is a violation of the international conventions on gender equality, non-discrimination and the "free movement of persons."

No one is calling for the establishment of Christianity as the official religion of Europe, just an acknowledgement of self-evident historical facts. But the omission of Christianity in the earlier draft EU constitution, and the assault on Mt. Athos, is telling.

Simply put, the Church, its truths and traditions, represents a stumbling block to the EU's growing ambitions for power. Against Judeo-Christian morality stands the EU's doctrine of fundamental rights -- a lengthy laundry list of Euro-socialist pieties, covering everything from terrorism (solved by building a "genuinely multipolar world") to legalized euthanasia ("an extremely delicate subject"). How will the EU superstate of the future exercise power in a way that is informed by its culture's moral truths and traditions? EU statecrafters won't have to; they will simply draw up more lists of rights and grievances.

In effect, the EU is censoring history to make it more pliable for its own ideological ends. On the matter of the draft constitution, Archbishop Christodoulos warned that events of the 20th Century showed how an ideology allied with a powerful elite could lead to tragedy: "The peoples of Europe have suffered greatly at the hands of small but powerful groups that have wished to fit history and our will to their hands."

Read the entire article on the Acton Institute website.



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