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The Fascists are back in Europe-silencing EU Commissioner for views held by the world’s Moral Majority.


In the Daily Mail on Friday October the 29th, 2004 an article by Stephen Glover on the silencing of Rocco Buttiglione a traditional Catholic for his beliefs, which are held by countless millions around the world, illustrates the classic intolerance of the naive politically correct majority in the European Parliament.


The view is further strengthened by the unusual advocacy in defence of Rocco Buttiglione of our Peter Mandelson –the EU Trade Commissioner.







Rocco Buttiglione, an Italian politician, has been denied the post of European Justice Minister in Brussels.  Behind these bland words lies a terrific scandal whose outcome bodes ill for the 400 million citizens of the EU.


What has Mr Buttiglione done? He is a devout Roman Catholic and a friend of the Pope.  As a politician he is a moderate conservative.  He happens also to be a professor of moral philosophy.  The Italian Government as Italy’s Commissioner in Brussels nominated him.


His mistake was to tell the truth.  Interrogated by a committee of the European Parliament two weeks ago, he expressed views on homosexuality and the role of women, which reflect mainstream Catholic thought and Catholic teaching. These views have been described by the great liberal organ the Financial Times as ‘Objectionable’.


How so?  On the subject of homosexuality this is what Mr Buttiglione said:


I may think of homosexuality as a sin, but it has no effect unless I say it is a crime.  The State has no right to stick its nose in this area…The rights of homosexuals should be defended on the same basis as the rights of all other European citizens.  But I don’t accept that homosexuals are a category deserving of special protection’.




This does not sound particularly extreme to me.  Nor do his views on gay marriage, which he thinks is a matter that each EU member state should work out as it thinks best.


His views on women, which have drawn equal censure from many members of the European Parliament, are certainly conservative, but hardly offensive.  He told the European Parliament committee that traditional marriage allows women to have children while having the protection of a man’.  He explained that,’ we have to have policies that allow [women] to become mothers and develop their talents’.


Mr Buttiglione’s opinions on homosexuality and the role of women have been attacked by a coalition of Communists, Socialists, Greens (and to their discredit) so-called Liberals. Yet they would have been shared by nearly every political persuasion 50 years ago.


What Mr Buttiglione believes is what the Pope teaches today and what hundreds of millions of Roman Catholics in Europe and throughout the world also profess.  I would guess that many Anglicans and non-believers in this country would find themselves in a least partial agreement with his sentiments.


Yet Mr Buttiglione has been portrayed by the European Parliament as a bigot and an extremist, and his appointment as a Commissioner has been vetoed.  Many British labour and Liberal MEP’s have painted him a dangerous character who cannot be allowed to hold office in Brussels.


In a futile attempt to appease his critics he has apologised.’ Words so emotionally charged as sin should perhaps not be introduced into the political debate.’ He said. ‘I did not intend in any way to offend the feelings of anybody and , in particular, of women and homosexuals.’  This handsome apology made no difference.


The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, even offered to remove civil liberties-which include gay and lesbian rights and sex discrimination-from Mr Buttiglione’s portfolio.  The Zealots who want his scalp would not shift their ground.  Mr Barroso caved in , and Mr Buttiglione will either be assigned another job or, much more likely sent back to Rome.


Whether you share his views or not, this is as nasty an example of intellectual fascism as one is likely to find.  Mr Buttiglione is no fanatic.  His beliefs are in the tradition of Christian thought.  They also happen to be shared, though in much more extreme form, by most Muslim leaders.  But if he were a Muslim, I very much doubt that he would have been treated as he has been.

Click for Part 2