Saturday, July 7, 2012

The International Rome Office of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute officially inaugurated

On the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the feast day of Rome, politicians, clergy and NGOs from across the world met in the Eternal City to discuss one of the most important issues of or time, with the rise of militant secularism, how do we affirm the ‘Role of Christians in the Public Square’? This event was followed by a reception to mark the official launch of the international Rome office of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute.

(Source: Dignitatis Humanae Institute)

In 2004, Italian politician Rocco Buttiglione was forced to withdraw his nomination to the European Commission, not because of anything he had ever said but because, as one MEP said, of what, ‘as a Catholic, he may think.’  This event led to the creation of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, an international NGO that strives to defend the Christian voice in the political sphere.  Now, in 2012, with the Institute’s official opening of their International Rome Office, a conference was arranged in cooperation with ECPM to highlight the need for defending and promoting the Christian contribution to public life.

Taking place at the European Parliament’s Office in Rome, issues discussed included the importance of human dignity based on the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Dignity, the experience of Christians in the Public Square, the strategy of developing further parliamentary working groups on human dignity and the link between human dignity and the new evangelisation. Leo van Doesburg, External Affairs Manager ECPM was the moderator for these different modules

A busy audience hall of delegations from over a dozen nations listened to Members of the European Parliament Gay Mitchell,
Anna Záborská and Nirj Deva (President of the International Committee on Human Dignity).  Also participating were the Hungarian Ambassador to the Holy See, His Excellency Gábor Győriványi, US economist Pat Barron and Russian representative to the WCF, Alexey Komov. To concl
ude proceedings, the Founding Patron of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, Vice President of the Italian Parliament Rocco Buttiglione, spoke impassionedly against the selfish individualism pervading modern society, and the necessity for the promotion of Christian values in response.
Following the conference, an evening reception was held to officially launch the International office.  His Eminence Cardinal Burke (member of the Institute’s Advisory Board) opened the festivities with a blessing, and Honorary President of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, His Eminence Cardinal Martino spoke of his delight in seeing the growth of the Institute in such a small length of time.

The two day proceedings concluded with a round-table discussion for the many and various NGOs assembled in Rome for the conference, with specific focus being given to the need for better coordination between Christian institutions. On behalf of the ECPM participated Peeter Vosu actively to the discussions

With a successful inaugural conference and the fifth Parliamentary Working Group On Human Dignity due to be launched in the Italian Parliament, the Dignitatis Humanae Institute is set to continue its rapid expansion promoting human dignity in world where, as the Declaration says, ‘it is the recognition of the dignity of Man that is most lacking in our society, not rights, and that this imbalance must be redressed.’

*A booklet detailing the conference proceedings, complete with speech transcripts and analysis is in development by the Dignitatis Humanae Institute.  For enquiries into co-sponsorship with an accompanying acknowledgement, please get in touch at

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