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Pope says Christian Heritage Fundamental to EU's Future


Pope John Paul is hailing the European Union's newly-signed constitution, while urging Europe to remember its Christian roots.

In his weekly appearance at St. Peter's Square in Rome, the pope described Friday's signing of the EU constitution as a significant moment in the creation of a new Europe.

But the pope added that Europe's Christian heritage remains a fundamental part of the Union's future.

The Vatican had pushed unsuccessfully for a reference to Europe's Christian tradition in the constitution.

On Saturday, Italy's candidate for the European Union's top executive body, Rocco Buttiglione - a conservative Catholic - stepped down from consideration following controversial remarks that included his description of homosexuality as a sin.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.