The
definitive Irish vote that wasn’t, the one last year on the Lisbon
Treaty that didn’t turn out the way the European elits wanted, was
forced again yesterday. Because of painful economic times, verbal
promises that Ireland would maintain its sovereignty (it won’t) and a
powerful campaign by the ‘yes to Lisbon’ forces…..the Irish seem to have agreed to it this time ’round.

“Anti-treaty groups were conceding defeat. “I’d like to congratulate
the Taoiseach, who ran an absolutely masterful campaign,” said Declan
Ganley, the leader of “no” group Libertas, referring to Ireland’s prime
minister. “They know how to overturn a result that doesn’t suit them.”

So what will this mean for the future of Europe? Depends…

Maybe it will be enacted by the remaining holdouts, maybe not.

“In any case, the story of the Lisbon Treaty is far from over. Now
that Ireland has agreed to it, Poland is almost certainly set to follow
suit. But in the Czech Republic, the pact is being reviewed by the
country’s constitutional court, and the president, Vaclav Klaus, is not
a supporter.

If he is determined to block the treaty, Mr. Klaus could try to
delay until Britain holds its next national election, which by law must
be called sometime before next June. David Cameron, the Conservative
leader, who is widely expected to be the next prime minister, has vowed
that if the treaty has not yet been enacted when he comes into power,
he will put it to a referendum.

Given the British public’s deep skepticism toward Europe, that vote would most likely end in the treaty’s defeat.

Should the treaty fail, the European Commission has warned, “there is no Plan B.”

As Europe re-shapes itself with new definitions of power and
structure….and little reference to its own history….Pope Benedict keeps
reaching out to its leaders and citizens with strong and clear advice.

From his book “Europe”, under the section ‘What is Europe?’,
sub-section ‘3. The universalization of European culture and its
crises’…

“I see here a paradoxical coincidence: with the triumph of the
post-European technological-secular world, with the globalization of
its way of life and its manner of thinking, one gets the impression
everywhere…that the very world of European values-the things upon which
Europe bases its identity, its culture and its faith-has arrived at the
end and has actually already left the scene; that now tht hour has come
for the value systems of other worlds…

“Europe, precisely in this hour of its greatest success, seems to have become hollowed out…”

It’s up to those who have the power to write its future to map it out from the reference point of where it began, and to recall its Christian roots.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....