A Catholic MEP has slammed European Bishops for being part of an EU “fan club”. Steven Woolfe MEP reminded the Bishops of Aquinas’s teaching that patriotism is a virtue after a Bishops’ Commission released a report denouncing nationalist parties.
The Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions (COMECE) released a statement last week in which they said it was a “matter of serious concern” that “elections at regional, national and European level have shown a new rise of parties advocating the supremacy of narrow national interests over universal human values, international commitments and obligations”, the Catholic Herald has reported.
Their statement accompanied a report, titled “The Nationalism of Exclusion”, which stated “Often racist or xenophobic, they inevitably bring to mind the belligerent and ultranationalist politics which preceded both world wars. By suggesting the nation, nationality and their underlying founding myths are an appropriate response to our contemporary challenges, those parties and their advocates refer to a paradigm of exclusion that will make matters worse.
“The Christian vision of universal justice and peace does not allow for any kind of chauvinism – it calls for solidarity and respect for all.”
The criticisms were seen as an attack on the UK Independence Party, amongst others, which last year topped the European Election polls in the UK. But Woolfe, a Ukip MEP for the north west of England hit back, saying: “COMECE is a federalist fan club based in Brussels which endorses every EU treaty and power. It has done nothing over many years to stand up for Christian beliefs and values. Instead it acts as a cheerleader for the secularising EU.
“Ukip is rising in the polls among churchgoers because it has defended religious freedom, the institution of marriage, and our Judeo-Christian culture as the basis for a shared civic space. I am a Catholic and I stand for faith, family, flag and fairness.
“My fellow Catholics can see what Ukip stands for, and vote accordingly. St Thomas Aquinas teaches that patriotism, i.e. love of your country and its people, is a Christian virtue. Perhaps COMECE needs to study up a bit.”