Lo secular y lo sagrado en la Constitución de Europa

Una controversia relativa al proyecto de constitución para la Unión Europea es la de si se debe incluir o no una referencia explícita en su preámbulo al patrimonio histórico-cultural cristiano de Europa. Silvio Ferrari, conocido estudioso de las relaciones Iglesia-Estado, analiza esas cuestiones.

Las iglesias de Europa pueden estar vacías, pero la religión sigue propiciando un debate acalorado, esta vez sobre el lugar que le corresponde en la Constitución de Europa. Hay quienes piden que en la Constitución figure una referencia explícita al patrimonio histórico-cultural cristiana de Europa. Otros quieren que Europa afirme su carácter secular. ¿Qué papel deben desempeñar lo secular y lo sagrado en la ley fundamental de la Unión Europea?

Como era de esperar, se concede prelación a la libertad religiosa. Todos los ciudadanos europeos tienen derecho a practicar la religión que prefieran, a adoptar otra religión o a no practicar religión alguna. Subyace a ese principio la posición primordial de la conciencia individual, que entraña el derecho de todas las personas a adoptar las decisiones que consideren oportunas sobre los asuntos religiosos, sin que esas opciones tengan consecuencias legales negativas. Se deben conceder los mismos derechos civiles y políticos a todos los ciudadanos, ya sean creyentes o ateos, independientemente de su opción religiosa o de conciencia, ya sea católica, protestante u ortodoxa.

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