Le sacré et le profane dans la Constitution européenne

L'inclusion éventuelle d'une référence explicite à l'héritage chrétien de l'Europe dans le préambule du projet de Constitution pour l'UE suscite une controverse. Silvio Ferrari, un spécialiste reconnu des relations entre l'Eglise et l'Etat, examine cette question.

Les églises européennes sont peut-être vides, mais la religion est au centre de polémiques ; aujourd'hui, il s'agit de sa place dans la Constitution européenne. Des voix s'élèvent pour demander qu'elle fasse explicitement référence à l'héritage chrétien de l'Europe, tandis que d'autres veulent que l'Europe affirme sa laïcité. Quel rôle le sacré et le profane doivent-ils jouer dans la Loi fondamentale de l'Union européenne ?

Personne ne s'étonnera que la priorité soit donnée à la liberté religieuse. Les citoyens européens ont le droit de pratiquer la religion de leur choix, d'en changer ou de ne pas en avoir. C'est le principe de la liberté de conscience qui est ainsi affirmé, le droit de chacun de faire son choix en la matière, sans que la loi ne puisse lui dicter une conduite. Catholique, protestant ou orthodoxe, croyant ou athée, les droits civils et politiques doivent être les mêmes pour chacun, quels que soient ses choix en matière de religion ou de conscience.

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