Washington D.C., Dec 6, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Rocco Buttiglione, Italy's Minister for European Affairs and the nominee to the European Commission who was vociferously rejected by the EU for his Catholic views on marriage and sexuality, has been awarded the "Faith and Freedom" Award by the Michigan-based Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.
Rev. Robert A. Sirico, President of the Acton Institute lauds Buttiglione, who was accused of intolerance and bigotry in EU parliament confirmaton hearings, as a person who has stood up for his beliefs and in favor of religious freedom, and stated that “he was the target of a malicious and profoundly unfair campaign that increasingly resembles the assault on religious liberty in America."
"Buttiglione was borked because he articulated genuine answers to questions about his personal beliefs even though those beliefs would have no role in his work. There is a critical difference between a healthy separation of church and state and a radical secularism that denies all public manifestation of religion," he said.
Ten days ago, the tension between radical secularism and the separation of church and state became ever more apparent as a coalition of more than one million people from all over Europe signed a petition to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and fellow EU leaders calling for changes to the preamble of the European Constitution.