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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Debate: ESTC v.President, Vatican Life Expert, Professor Thiel to Eurofora: Fraternity+BioEthics

CoE Debate: ESTC v.President, Vatican Life Expert, Professor Thiel to Eurofora: Fraternity+BioEthics

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 30 August 2017
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*Strasbourg/Council of Europe/Angelo Marcopolo/- Speaking to "Eurofora" just after having Chaired an International Conference opened by CoE's deputy Secretary General, (the experienced Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni), Vatican's Pontifical Academy for LIfe new member, University Professor on BioEthics and European Society of Catholic Theologians' vice-President, Marie-Jo Thiel, explained Why "Fraternity" became a so Topical Issue that it was at the Focus of Unexpectedly "Hot" Debates in a 4 Days-Long Conference which started in the CoE with Speeches from ECHR and CoE Social Charter Senior Officers (See Infra), while also Highighting Current Problems on BioEthics and Genetics :

 

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 - There are several Important, Hard and Topical Issues in Nowadays Society, that Theologians too have to address and discuss with scientists, politicians and others. 


 - But, according to the Bible's First Chapter on "Genesis", the 1st Question that God Asked to Cain, was : - "What have you done of your Brother ?", Professor Thiel stressed, in substance.


  She was Replying to an "Eurofora"s Question on the reasons for which "Fraternity", alias "Brotherhood", (or "Adelfosini" in Greek) had been chosen as the Heading of this exceptional 2017 International Conference of Theologians and other University Experts on Human and Moral Sciences, debating at the CoE with an ECHR Judge and CoE's Social Charter's deputy Director, (See Infra).


 - Thiel had Evoked, Earlier Today at the CoE a Pope Francis' explicit Reference to the Value of "Fraternity", made particularly on they 30rd of May 2017, and "Eurofora" remembers that, already, in a landmark Speech to EU Parliament durng his Visist to European Institutions in Strasbourg back on 2014, He had already stressed that "Truth" is "Vital" for "a Society .. truly Free, Human, and Fraternal".


 - And even if, perhaps,"Fraternity" might not have been exactly, in History, a "Founder" Principle on Human Rights' Values, (as, f.ex., "Human Dignity", and/or "Solidarity", etc), nevertheless, it is, at least, a "Founding" Principle, (i.e. able to help complete the foundations also of new, positive developments on Values nowadays), reminded to "Eurofora" Voluntaristically Professor Thiel, pointing to a Dialogue that she had Earlier Today at the University of Strasbourg with Young Candidates to Doctoral PhD Thesis on that matter.


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+ Moreover, even if "Human Dignity" is widely considered as the Basic Moral Foundation of All Human Rights, (a Credo among Christian theorists, but also in EU's Fundamental Rights' book), which can be Distinguished in 3 Main Categories : (A) those stemming from the idea of "Liberty", (B) those related to "Equality", (f.ex. Socio-Economic Rights, etc), and (C) those concerning mostly "Solidarity" or "Fraternity", etc, (alias : "3rd Generation" Rights), however, the Latter is a Different Concept, able to Advance well Beyond, observed, in Conclusion of all Debates, ECHR's Euro-Judge from Portugal, Paulo Pinto Albuquerque.

 

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Resuming Different Opinions which were expressed during relevant Debates at the CoE by Participants from various European and Other Countries, and several Scientific Horizons, ECHR's EuroJudge, who has also a Long Experience as University Professor in Law at Lisbon, Shanghai (China), and Illinois (USA), as well as former Expert of CoE's Anti-Corruption Watchdog "GRECO", (etc), Agreed that "Solidarity" may refer to a kind of "Help" given by "Privileged" Groups/Entities to "Vulnerable" People, (i.e. with a Sense of "Verticality" : i.e. a State vis a vis Poor/Disadvantaged Citizens, etc), while, on the Contrary, "Fraternity" or "Brotherhood" referred more to something ("Horizontal", i.e. as a Common Interest, etc), that many Persons have all Together, between them, as one Group of People or Community, as Members of the same Society, (f.ex. Right to a Healthy Environment, Cultural identity Rights, including of Religious Communities, etc), based on the idea of a Collective Dimension of Rights, which ask for a "Positive" Action from State actors, (f.ex. concerning all "Humanity" or "Humankind", as "Eurofora" points Infra, on the occasion of BioEthics and Genetics).


At any case, the "Essence of Human Rights", even "Civic - Political Rights", "canNot be Guaranteed, withOut Any Guarantee of (key) Social and Cultural Rights  : F.ex. it has No Sense to speak about he Right to Democratic and Fair "Elections", "If" there is Not Any Guarantee, if it's Ruled Out, any Social Right to, at least, an Elementary "Dignified Living", the EuroJudge pointed out. In this regard, the ECHR's case-law inspires itself from UNO's Historic 1949 "Universal Declaration on Human Rights", according also to the "Theological Foundations" of the "Christian Traditions of Europe", he concluded, widely Applauded.


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+ AnOther Topical Issue, concerning "Hot" Stakes in BioEthics :  that of controversial "Genetic Manipulations on Human Embryos", was Raised, afterwards, by a 2nd "Eurofora"s Question to Professor Thiel, pointing, more particularly, to her New Task as Member of Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Life, where she has Recently been appointed by Pope Francis, on June 2017, for a Period of 5 Years, (2017-2022).


- Thiel, (who holds an Initial Experience in pure Medical Science with a 1st PhD Thesis on real, technical Medical Issues, Before studying Theology and presenting there a 2nd PhD Thesis, by an Interesting Coincidence, related also to a Question about "a Status for Human Embryo"), reacted, at First, by Warning that this has become, particularly Nowadays, a "Difficult" Issue :


- In this regard, she pointed at the "current Hopes" of several Medical Researchers to "Advance in Discoveries of efficient ways to "Heal" People from certain Serious Illnesses.


- But Thiel Acknowledged also the Fact that, as "Eurofora" observed, Despite Many Years of Similar Claims by a lot of Controversial Technocrats, and Nonobstant the Long and substantial Spending of Millions and Millions $, nevethertheless, No Cure had been discovered at all, for any illness, by Genetic Manipulations, during the Last Decades... (On the Contrary, Cancer was Spreading as Never before in the History of Humankind, and Other "Strange" illnesses had Emerge : such as "AID" - SIDA-, or "Black Sheep" for Mamal Animals, once found as a result of emanations from a Virus Research Labo in Scotland ; "SARS" reportedly spread from another Labo around Hong Kong ; New, "Mutant" Flu Virus Epidemics attacking Animals from 2004-2005 and Humans on 2009-2010, reportedly Started around a California Research Facility near the Mexican Border, etc)...


- Nevertheless, she estimated that, apparently, Discoveries of New Drugs against some Traditional illnesses might be Now "within Reach", eventualy Ready to be Discovered, particularly through a Recently popularized Technic of controversial Manipulations on Human Genome, called "CRISPR/Cas9", (which, notoriously, is a "Genome Editing Technology ...that allows Permanent Modification of Genes within organisms", including on Humans, according f.ex. to "Wikipedia", a.o.).

 

However, Fears for Dangerous permanent Genetic Alterations on Human beings, able to provoke f.ex. a Genetic "Appart-Heid", Artificially Fabricate Different "Races" or "Categories" of Humans, with "Eugenistic" "Selection", etc.,(Against which, World-Famous Writers as Aldus Huxley, Yevgeny Zamyatin and HG.Wells, etc., already Warned as Early as since the 1920-1930ies !), and/or be Abused as vectors of "Bio-Weapons" in "Bio-Warfare" or "Bio-Terrorism", (i.e. by Provoking various types of "New" or "Classic" illness, Deformations, etc), have already Started to Stimulate various kinds of Reactions, even among specialized Scientists, some of whom asked, at least, for a Global "Moratorium", others for a "Ban", some pushing to Distinguish between Genetic Modifications on "an Individual Person" or also to Next Generations' "Germ-Line" - absolutely Prohibited by CoE's PanEuropean "Oviedo" Convention on BioEthics (1998), etc.

 

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>>> Pope Francis, in a landmark Speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg on 2014 (See "Eurofora"s NewsReport from the spot, then : ...), had Denounced the "Dismay" with which "we see Technical ...Questions Dominating Political Debate, to the Detriment of genuine Concern for Human Beings", where "Men and Women Risk being Reduced to mere Cogs in a Machine". And he Warned MEPs aainst "the Great Mistake made <<when Technology is Allowed to Take Over>>", as he stressed, making a Timely Reference to his Predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict's unforgettable Text "Caritas in Veritate", published as an Encyclic on 29/6/2009 :


 - "A particularly Crucial Battleground in Today's cultural struggle between the Supremacy of Technology, and Human Moral Responsibility is the field of BioEthics", had clearly Denounced Benedict then. "In this most delicate and Critical area", "Scientific Discoveries ...and the possibilities of Technological intervention seem so Advanced as to Force a choice",  "Faced with ...Dramatic Questions" : "Today" it "has become a Radically Anthropological Question, in the sense that it concerns not just how Life is conceived, but also how it is Manipulated, as Bio-Technology places it increasingly under man's control. In Vitro Fertilization, Embryo Research, the possibility of manufacturing Clones and human Hybrids: all this is now Emerging" . "Here we see the clearest expression of Technology's Supremacy". "We must Not Underestimate the Disturbing Scenarios that Threaten our Future, or the Powerful New Instruments that the “culture of Death” has at its disposal". "...We may well have to add in the Future — indeed it is Already Surrepticiously present — the systematic Eugenic Programming of Births", Benedict had Warned. "These Scenarios ... Deny Human Dignity" and show  "Indifference ...towards what is, and is not, Human", with "the Risk ...of a Conscience that can No longer Distinguish what is Human", he had Denounced.

 

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Curiously, Benedict had his Right Hand Broken, by an UnPrecedented "Fall" on July 2009, shortly After Speaking about that Text with former US President Barack Hussein Obama, who had just taken a Controversial Decision to Authorize Federal Funding of Genetic Manipulations on Human Embryo on March 2009, (Cancelling a "Ban" decided, previously, by his precedessor, former US President GWBush on Mid-August 2001, i.e. at the Eve of 9/11 UnPrecedented Massive Deadly Terrorist Attacks on New York and Washington DC, which Killed about 3.000 innocent People and Provoked a Radical Change in Worldwide Politics). And only 1 Month Later, at the End of that Summer 2009, Benedict also Faced then, even ... a 2nd Brutal Attack against his Broken Right Hand, when an allegedly "Mentaly Deranged" Person from Switzerland astonishingly crossed all Security Barriers totally Unhindered and Fell on Him, Throwing the Pope Down to the Floor ! Miraculously, he was Saved, but anOther Old Religious Dignitary, who stood at his Side, had his Leg Broken by that Violent Attack, and underwent a Chirurgical Operation, being closed in a Hospital for more than a Month... Just a Few Months Later, from 2010, a Systematic Massive Media-Campaign Accusing and Slandering the Catholic Church for alleged crimes reportedly committed by some individual Priests a Long Time Ago in the Past : Even 20 or 40 Years in the Past (sic !), suddenly broke out and Persisted as Never Before. On 2012 started Alarming Rumours about various alleged Attempts or "Plots" to Brutaly Eliminate Benedict himself, and at the Beginning of 2013 he notoriously Surprized all the World by Resigning, (a move Never made Before by a Pope, except only once, in very Exceptional circumstances, More than 6 Centuries ago !).


Almost Similarly, mutatis-mutandis, new Pope Francis, Immediately after making a Highly Symbolic and Mediatic Visit to the "Cemetery of UnBorn Childs" (i.e. Human Embryos), on August 2014, learned, on his Flight back to Rome, that his closest Nephew's Family had just been Brutaly Decimated, at his Home-Country of Argentina, when a Heavy Lorry suddenly Fell on his Car, Crashing and Killing his Wife and Children and Wounding him Seriously. By another Coincidence, that Deadly Lorry transported Seeds from a Region where USA's Controversial "MONSANTO" Multinational Company exerted Pressure to Impose an UnPopular "Geneticaly Modified" Crop Against which, the Local Population was Fighting a Hard Struggle, Denouncing serious Dangers on Human Health, including even on Pregnant Womens' Embryos, etc.


All these Facts might, eventually, be a Series of mere Coincidences. It's also True that Pope Francis had already made in Rome a Crystal-clear reference to the Moral need to Protect Human Life from the Inception, up to Natural Death, (i.e. including Human Embryos), in Harmony with his Personal choice to refer to Saint Francis of Assisi, well known also for his Love of Nature and Protection even of Animals, nowadays Notoriously affected by gross Genetic Manipulations, (f.ex. in Latin America, Saudi Arabia, as Horses, etc). But he did Not face Any known Problem, then. However, the above-mentioned Facts, are also Undeniable and Strange, deserving to be Noted, Instead of being Hidden.

 

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=> As far as Human Rights are concerned, ECHR's EuroJudge Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque's previously mentioned reference to a New, "3rd Generation" Category of Rights, and particularly those who Protect Collective Interests and Values, which are Shared by Many and Belong to Groups of People, entire Communities, Nations, Countries or whole Societies, (Comp. Supra), could, Obviously, find here a Fertile Ground for possible Development in the foreseable Future, since they concern, now, the whole Humanity, given that eventual Genetic Manipulations as those evoked above, can Affect all Humankind.  


Thus, "Fraternity" could become also a BioEthical idea !...

 

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(../..)

 

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("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version might be published asap). 

 

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 sarko_merkel_mieux

The official presentation of a "Program" respecting People's choices voted in the June 7, 2009 EU Elections, to be debated in EU Council and EU Parliament during its 1st Session on July in Strasbourg, is the No 1 Priority, according to Democratic principles, for the Franco-German axis, said the main winners at the ballot box, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel.

They stressed  that the New EU Commission's President must have a "Program" in favor of an EU which "protects" its Citizens, regulates financial markets and aims at a "Political" Europe" : a wording they have used as incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

They also declared ready for a "political" endorsment of "Mr. Barroso's candidacy" in June's EU Council, considering that an official decision would have to be made after EU Parliament's debates and votes, possibly from next month (July), with the legally necessary final acceptance shortly after Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, hoped for September or October.


- "A Program, and Mr. Barroso" : This resumes, in substance, the anouncements made by Sarkozy and Merkel, on the question of current EU Commission's President, Barroso's declared wish to succeed to himself for a second mandate, to be extended during the following 5 years.

 In their 1st meeting after EU Elections, they observed that "the Franco-German axis counted in European Elections' campaign... But, we both keep a realistic view : We saw the number of those who abstained, and we must absolutely give them an answer. We also see the disilusionment of an important number of Europeans vis a vis Europe, and we are aware of the responsibilities we have".

sarko

 - The "Duty" of the new EU Commission's President, after June 7, 2009 EU Elections' result, "is to act for a Europe which protects the Europeans, to commit himself into working for a better Regulation of Financial transactions, ... and to have a Political will for Europe", underlined Sarkozy.

Therefore, "we have asked M. Barroso... to clarify, to officialy present the intentions he has", he anounced.

- "We want to speak also about the Programme", explained Merkel.

- "It's important that for the next EU Parliament's mandate (2009-2014) we take the right Decisions for Europe.  Obviously on Persons, but mainly Decisions on Issues", she stressed.

- "It's not simply a question of a Person, it's also a question of a Programme". We are "really asking Mr. Barroso to commit himself on a Program, and on Principles, on Values", Sarkozy added.

EU President-in-office, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, accepted the Franco-German stance :

- "Barroso must present his Programme. The Czech Presidency agrees with that", Fischer reportedly said later, after meeting Sarkozy.

But Press reports from Brussels claimed that Barroso had preferred to be officially appointed by EU Council since June, (i.e. next week), "because this was implied by the current Treaty of Nice, according to him", and considered any delay until the possible ratification of the new, Lisbon Treaty on September/October, as "undemocratic".

- "At any case, independently of what Germany and France ask, it's also EU Parliament's wish". "We shall propose Mr Barroso's candidacy... But even in the framework of Nice Treaty, EU Parliament has to be associated in this Decision", the French President observed.

If this is correctly done, then "we support Mr. Barroso's candidature", and "if the (EU) Parliament agrees, we might ratify this decision since July", (i.e. next month), they both said.

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- "France and Germany support Baroso's candidacy, But we want to speak also on the Program. We believe that this Program should be established in close cooperation with EU Parliament, and that's why we have followed an appropriate way", said Merkel.  - If EU Parliament wants, this election can take place on July,  but this must be done in full agreement.

- "We shall support Mr. Barroso's candidacy, without doubt", said Sarkozy. "But we have asked from Mr. Barroso, as I told him yesterday, to put into detail.. his intentions, at the eve of his 2nd mandate, if the situation avails itself.


    France and Germany "don't want to take an Official Legal Decision by writting" during "the next (EU) Council" (on June 18-19), declared Sarkozy.  Because they prefer, at this stage, only "a Political decision" on June, "so that we (EU Council) can work together with EU Parliament", which starts to meet only Next Month, since July in Srasbourg, "leaving a Legal decision by writting for later".

    - "If the Conditions are fuillfiled in EU Parliament, we (EU Council) are ready to give the agreement and make it offficial", said Merkel

    - "But, now we are working in the base of Nice Treaty. If tommorow we want to work in the spirit of Lisbon Treaty, we have to find a proper way", she added.

    - "Of course it's Legally complicated, because we are going to make a Political proposal to the forthcoming Council, for an EU Commission's President, on the basis of Nice Treaty : So, we (EU Council) will not appoint the Commissioners. Only the President.  If EU Parliament agrees, it could endorse this position on July", explained Sarkozy.

    But, on Autumn, "if Ireland ratifies Lisbon Treaty, there will be, at any case, a 2nd Decision, to appoint the Commission's President, this time on the basis of Lisbon treaty, and then, we, the EU Member States, would have to appoint (also) the EU Commissioners", he added.

    As for the precise Timing :  - "Everything is suspended until the Irish vote... Now, we must all make everything possible to help Ireland to say "Yes"" to Lisbon Treaty... The Irish Referendum, ..will take place either on September or on October. It's a Question which depends on the Irish. And,  then, we shall have the Choice of the Candidates for the permanent Institutions of Europe".

    However, "if Ireland says No, we, French and Germans, have to assume our responsibilities, and we'll do so", he concluded.

    But British and Swedish governments were reportedly eager to have a final EU Council decision on Barroso since this month, on June's European Council. While the other EU Member Countries are divided, several of them preferring to wait until EU Parliament pronounces itself, on July, and/or until Lisbon Treaty might be ratified by Ireland at the beginning of the Autumn. Barroso's current mandate ends on November.

    There are also various, contradictory and/or unpredictable reactions inside EU Parliament vis a vis Barroso's wish to continue a 2nd mandate, because many MEPs are openly or secretly opposed, reluctant, or hesitating.

    In the biggest EU Countries, as France and Germany, EU Citizens voted on June 2009 EU Elections for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe which cares for its Citizens, with an Identity, Values and Borders, declared incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid, by mainstream, pro-European Governing Parties. Similar choices were also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries.

    On the contrary, whenever, in other Countries, Governing and other mainstream Parties didn't make these choices or eluded them, EU Citizens massively voted for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to to promise anti-bureacratic change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU, (f.ex. in the UK, Netherlands, etc).

    It's seems to be an Open Question whether Sarkozy and Merkel's conditions will be really accepted by Barroso, who was appointed on 2004 in a different political context, (with Socialist Prime Ministers in Germany, France, etc), had rejected in the Past the idea of EU becoming "equal to the USA" as "ridiculous", and pushed for Turkey's contoversial EU bid, trying to "soften" or contain the changes desired by the People who voted for Merkel and Sarkozy with another policy vis a vis Turkey on 2005 in Germany and on 2007 in France, as they did all over Europe on 2009.

    In addition to many EPP Governments, it's 3 remaining Socialist Prime Ministers : Gordon Brown in the UK, Zapatero in Spain, and Socrates in Prortugal, who support Barroso, as well as Liberal Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But their Parties lost the June 2009 EU Elections.

    Questioned whether there was still "Time" for "other" possible "Candidates", Sarkozy and Merkel did not deny, nor made any comment on that, but simply said that "it's not for us to make publicity for any candidates. We anounced our choice ("A Program, and Mr. Barroso"). But we respect any other candidate".

    Among various other names cited are former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, former UNO's Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson of Ireland, Italian former EU Commission's vice-President Monti, etc. Meanwhile, Luxembourg's PM Juncker, (who had been unanimously accepted by EU Council for EU Commission's Presidency on 2004, but refused), announced his intention to resign from "EuroGroup"'s Chair. Thus, he might be available for another Top EU job.

    As "EuroFora"'s "opinion" said (See publication dated 9/6/09) : - "If the current candidates (i.e. Barroso, etc) to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, then, it's OK".

"Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People."

    Because, "in Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs,...should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies".
        

***

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