COMECE laments ‘One of Us’ veto

Bishops call on Christians not to be discouraged

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has voiced regret at the EU Commission’s May 28 veto of the ‘One of Us’ petition against funding for destructive embryonic research.

Last week, The Irish Catholic reported on the angry response to the move from Ireland’s Pro Life Campaign, which described the dismissal of a collective call from nearly 2 million people from across 20 EU Member States – under the European Citizens Initiative – as “undemocratic”. Now, in a statement on the issue, COMECE has added its own disappointment and said the move undermined the initiative itself.

In addition to the ‘One of Us’ petition drawing attention to the “substantive issue” of the destruction of human embryos, COMECE said, “the ‘One of Us’ initiative, which gathered the signatures of more than 1.7 million European citizens, represented a significant exercise in participatory democracy. COMECE regrets the decision of the EU Commission not to act on its demands… The Commission’s decision could lead to a weakening of this specific instrument – the European Citizens initiative- foreseen by the Lisbon Treaty and designed to bridge the gap between legislators and the citizens they represent.”

However, in a rallying call for pro-life campaigners across Europe, the bishops added: “The European Commission’s decision should not discourage Christians and all civil society from continuing to promote the principles underlying this initiative and its policy proposals, in future, at EU level as well as on national level.”