.- A leader of Libertas, a new European Union political party dedicated to âindividual freedom, democracy, and a culture embracing lifeâ says the party has now been formally recognized despite âthe best efforts by Brussels.â
Ganley made the comments over the weekend at a conferenceâs panel discussion in County Roscommon, Ireland. The conference was organized by the John Paul II Society in Ireland and co-hosted by the pro-life group Human Life International.
Libertas founder Declan Ganley said the party is now recognized in all 27 EU countries, the Irish Times reports. The recognition of Ganleyâs new party was delayed after a member of the Estonian national parliament was erroneously reported to have denied signing papers asking for recognition of the party.
Libertas, Latin for âFreedom,â has been the motto of the Christian Democratic parties in Europe. The Libertas Partyâs website describes the party as âa pan-European political movement dedicated to creating a new, democratic, accountable and open European Union.â
Stating the belief that Europe has âlimitless potential,â the party calls for European cooperation in translating shared values into an âambitious vision.â
âEurope does not work together at this time,â the Libertas Party web site charges. âIt is divided into an elite holding all the power, and the rest, who are critical, but powerless. We want to transform that widespread criticism, harness the power that motivates it and change Europe.â
âLibertas stands for individual freedom, democracy, and a culture embracing life. We stand for tolerance and for the belief that every citizen has rights and limitless potential.â
At the conference, Ganley assured conference delegates of his opposition to abortion and same-sex âmarriage.â In earlier opening remarks he had quoted from Pope Benedict XVIâs encyclicals Deus Caritas Est and Spe Salvi.
According to the Irish Times, he reflected on Irelandâs history, saying âour faith and our rights are strong today because we have suffered the yoke of oppression . . . we grew stronger and we grew free.â
He asked whether âhe have lost somethingâ and noted the address of the Pope immediately prior to his election in April 2005. He noted that then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had criticized a âdictatorship of moral relativismâ¦ in a world where faith in God is seen as a threat.â
Ganley also criticized a media âobsessed with breaking down the domestic churchâ¦ and the family,â saying âthe essence of our faith is that all life is sacred.â
âYes we must, we must take risks for the truth,â he said.
In a question-and-answer period, Ganley argued that where the European Court of Justice was concerned, any guarantees given by the EU on social and ethical issues âwere not worth the paper they are written on.â
âThe laws of the union have primacy over the laws of any member state . . . If there is a conflict, union law rules,â he explained.
Warning that one should ânever become a Eurosceptic,â he said the EU was âa lesson learned from the bloodfest suffered on this continent for hundreds of yearsâ deserving of support.
For the EU to succeed, he reportedly said, âits legitimacy and its vitality has to come from you.â
Speaking to the audience, he discussed the Irish rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, saying: âthe Brussels elite holds you in contempt . . . telling you to vote again. They told the French, the Dutch, and now you, to vote again . . . taking us for absolute fools, uninformed idiots.â
He characterized the rejection of the union-strengthening Lisbon Treaty as âthe most pro-European statement.â
âWe want Europe to be strong, but it is also going to be accountable,â Ganley said.
According to the Irish Times, at the same discussion Irish Senator RÃ³nÃ¡n Mullen said he would be voting No in the next Lisbon Treaty referendum if there were no guarantees that Ireland would retain its independence on âcertain sensitive social and ethical issues.
Archbishop of Denver Charles J. Chaput also spoke at the conference, discussing the problems Catholics face in the modern world and encouraging them to be âvigorous and unembarrassed about our Catholic presence in society.â