The president of the EU bishops' commission COMECE, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, criticizes the proposed ban in Iceland on the circumcision of boys. The bill is "a dangerous attack on religious freedom," he stressed.
Marx, in a statement published in Brussels on Tuesday evening, also called on the EU institutions to prevent this "threat to fundamental rights". The bill submitted by members of parliament from five different political parties provides for a prison sentence of up to six years for anyone who inflicts physical harm or other damage to a child's health by "the total or partial removal of sexual organs".
"Protecting the health of children is a legitimate goal of any society," Marx continued. But in this case, the concerns would be "instrumentalized without any scientific basis to stigmatize certain religious communities". This is "very worrying," the cardinal said, while expressing solidarity with representatives of the Jewish and Islamic communities.
He continued: "COMECE regards any attack on the fundamental right of religious freedom as unacceptable. The criminalization of circumcision is a very serious measure that raises deep concerns."Although Iceland is not part of the EU, it has privileged relations with the community of states, which includes respect for some principles and obligations.