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Orthodox Chief Chides EU Over Constitution

June 21, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

ATHENS — The leader of the Greek Orthodox Church criticized the European Union for omitting mention of God or Europe's Christian heritage in its draft constitution.

"The peoples of Europe, in their majority, believe in God ... but those who govern are expelling Christianity from the constitution of the European Union," Archbishop Christodoulos said in a sermon.

"This is a distortion of history.... No one has the right to erase Christianity," he said. "Europe will fail and be divided if they continue this way."

Christodoulos' remarks followed criticism and appeals from the Vatican to include a reference to Europe's predominant religion in the constitution.

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