Cardinal Kasper (see previous post) has been pontificating
again. This time on Turkey’s suitability for EU membership. The reason? A Catholic priest has been attacked, and he is third to be ‘harassed’ by ‘Muslim fundamentalists’ in the past 6 months. It is strange that Cardinal Casper has never denounced the UK as being unsuitable for EU membership on the grounds that Catholic priests in Northern Ireland have been harassed
by ‘Protestant fundamentalists’ for decades, and with a frequency that renders consideration of a brief 6-month period utterly insignificant. Could it be that his concern is more about the perpetuation of the EU as Christendom, into which an Islamic Turkey simply does not fit? If so, he has simply become the mouthpiece of the diplomatically-muted Pope, who in his former guise as Cardinal Ratzinger, vigorously opposed
Turkish accession to the EU.
But the Cardinal’s solution to the problem is immensely illuminating. He demands for Turkey what Rome is trying to deny the rest of the EU. He says, ‘What is still missing (in Turkey) is a secular state capable of assuring religious freedom.’ The Pope’s constant refrain
on the European stage has been to aggressively combat secular ideology, and replace it with true Catholic values. The Cardinal is effectively admitting that a Catholic state is no more capable of defending religious liberties than a Muslim one, and that the most trustworthy guardian of religious liberty is benign secularism. So what is Rome's problem with a secular EU?