Interview with His Highness Duke Paul-Wladimir of Oldenburg, president of the Pro-Europa Christiana Federation – Full Transcript
Could you tell us a little bit about the organization you are in charge of, and what work you do?
The Pro-Europa Christiana Federation was set up in 2002 and it consists of 10 different European Associations, we work in 10 different countries, and with the Lisbon Treaty we decided to go to Brussels to have a bureau there and to close to the institutions, close to the parliament, work with those in the parliament who share our Christian Catholic values, and see the necessity of working in the society so that the Christian roots and culture of Europe will be preserved.
We see today that there are a huge amount of laws and directives coming out of the institutions which are against this, which is why we are there. In fact we are a Catholic lobby.
Specifically Catholic? Not ecumenical?
We are based on the teachings of the church but we are open to any other group who joins us, for example in the anti-abortion campaigns we work well with the Evangelicals, they are very combative and we like that, we have no problems working with them.
What we try to do is work in coalitions in Brussels. In Washington this is absolutely normal, to have coalitions of different kinds of groups which identify one enemy to fight. In America it is very clear, its socialism. Our enemy is a current in the institutions which wants to influence policy in an anti-Christian way, that is what we are trying to combat.
What measures in particular are you referring to?
When you look at family policy, for example. When you look at the treaties, Maastricht and now Lisbon treaty, family policy is still a national issue. So countries can decide on these questions independently of Brussels.
But through the back door, by directives that at first sight have nothing to do with family policy they try to influence this. For example homosexual marriage is recognized in Spain but not in Poland. They try to, through the back door, set up directives in the field of labour, for example, and say that one has to recognize the statute of that family, which is not a family, because it is recognized in Spain and so it has to be recognized in Poland. That is the way the go around the independence of the states in these issues.
Is there an organization behind these efforts, or is it a social trend?
You can see that the European institutions are biased on this point. They make development aid to African countries dependant on social policies. If they have a policy against homosexual marriage they want to cut the aid. This is the commission and 80% of the parliament think like that, so that’s one thing.
On the other hand you have the societies and the societies don’t get it any more that they have to defend these principles that Pope Benedict called the non-negotiable values. The right to life from conception to natural end, marriage is between one man and one woman and the right of parents to educate their children according to their faith. Constantly these basic principles are affected and hurt by these policies. The problem is that our societies forget about these principles, which means that the policies can go on without any resistance.
Are there any Portuguese associations involved?
Yes. Our Portuguese association is called Acção Família.
We set up a network of information so that then we can report back to the countries so that they can make campaigns to mobilize people to wake up and see that there is a danger coming from Europe that is atheistic, laicist and that wants to get rid of all Christian policies. Its shocking to hear it like this, but if you see Brussels its exactly like that.
Two recent victories recently from the European Court of Human Rights. Forbidding patents for techniques that destroy embryos and the case of crucifixes in classrooms in Italy. Is this a reversal of the trend?
We’ve been discussing this for a while now. For me it is even miraculous that these decisions came around. The decision on the embryos was fought by Greenpeace, which in most cases is not on our side. But the reaction of the Commission was helplessness. The commissioner was asked about this by the parliament and just answered that he didn’t know what to say.
But I don’t trust these developments. We have to be very vigilant and continue to unveil these currents in the parliament which take us in the wrong direction. It’s true that these were victories, but I’m not that optimistic.
Do you think that Christianity in Europe could become a small creative group, like Pope Benedict has said might be the case, or might Christianity flourish like before?
The trend looks very pessimistic, in the masses, what we see is a revival, especially amongst the youth, so there is hope. I see a generation growing, around 20, 25, and they start to see that something is very deeply wrong. It’s a very small group, we have them in pro-life movement in Brussels, they organized the right to life march for the second time this year.
There is a counter current coming up. But on the other hand you get the impression that society polarizes and that the majority goes in the wrong direction. Just yesterday we had a conference on Christianophobia in Brussels and Alexander del Valle, a prominent speaker from France pointed out that we have a serious problem. Christianofobia is coming from different currents, one is certainly Islam but the other is from our politicians, and they are not defeated yet, and Islam is rising.
We need an entire removal of these modern ideas of hedonism, modernism. We need a deep change of soul within the society and I don’t know how that could happen in a few years. Our Lady of Fatima said that there would be a great chastisement if the World does not convert, and the world has not converted until now. I fear that something like that might have to happen for people to wake up.
Could this financial crisis be that situation?
I’m not a prophet, but there are signs that this crisis is so substantial that there might be something… it’s a start, people are seeing that this affects them entirely. Especially in Portugal you see how you are sinking, there are signs that something might be coming up. What it is, I don’t know, that is for Our Lady to decide.