As the European Union works to forumulate a human rights charter, Pope John Paul II has cautioned leaders that "human rights cannot become pretensions against human nature itself."
    His comment came during a meeting with the presidents of the parliaments of the European Union who met with him Saturday in Rome.
    They were participating with Nicole Fontaine, president of the European Parliament, in a conference to debate their role in the process of the European Community's reform.
    John Paul II acknowledged that the initiative to write a European Charter of Fundamental Rights is a "difficult task," undertaken "in a spirit of openness and attention to the suggestions of various groups and individuals."
    "In adopting a new charter," the Holy Father said, "no matter what shape it may take in the future, the Union must not forget that Europe is the cradle of the notions of person and freedom, and that these notions emerged because the seed of Christianity was planted deep in Europe's soil. In the Church's thought, the person is inseparable from the human society in which he or she develops."
    Zenit (available soon)
26 Sep 00

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