ROME, FEB. 8, 2006 (Zenit.org).- A new "Treaty between the Republic of Slovakia and the Holy See on the Right to Exercise Conscientious Objection" reaffirms the universal right to life and to human dignity.
Thus states the concordat project between the Holy See and Slovakia, expected to be signed next week, according to the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation.
This agreement would protect the right of all to exercise conscientious objection in relation to universal values, the group said.
Thus a Catholic doctor would have the right to refuse to participate in objectionable practices such as abortions, assisted procreation, experimentation with human embryos, euthanasia and sterilization.
The treaty has met with opposition in Europe. In the face of a campaign of pro-abortion groups, such as Catholics for Free Choice, the European Union's network of experts on fundamental rights published a notice Dec. 15 on the "right of religious conscientious objection in concordats."
According to the European report, the concordat project between Slovakia and the Holy See, by recognizing the right of conscientious objection, would have a negative impact on what it called "fundamental rights," including abortion, homosexual marriage and euthanasia.
Therefore, the European network has stated that it is opposed to conscientious objection.
Bruno Nascimbene, a law professor at the University of Milan and a member of this network, who is not a Catholic, deplored the European notice, considering it "unjust" and "preposterous."
"On one hand, he said that all the associations which have been heard promote abortion, and on the other, he pointed out that many member countries of the Union have already signed concordats with other Churches in which conscience clauses are included," the Lejeune Foundation reported. "For him the question of separation between church and state is not part of the competencies of the European Union."
Indeed. The European Union's opposition to this now looks rather backward compared to the support around the continent for free speech.
But then of course, if one wishes to not perform an abortion due to belief, that's just backward superstition, whereas defending free speech is enlightened.