Wednesday

28th Jul 2021

Buttiglione: 'Out with the Christian, in with the Freemason'

The Italian minister of European affairs Rocco Buttiglione has once more made it to the headlines.

This time it was for claiming that the Italian EU Commissioner, Franco Frattini, is a Freemason.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"Out with the Christian, in with the Freemason," Mr Buttiglione was quoted saying by Italian News Agency AGI at a debate in Milan.

Mr Buttiglione's words come after he was forced to step down as European Commission nominee following his comments on gays and marriage - which caused a furore.

A committed Christian, he complained that he was subject to an "inquisition" by MEPs for his views.

When Mr Buttiglione congratulated Mr Frattini on his nomination as EU Justice Commissioner he also mentioned the issue.

"I hope his hearings go well and that nobody asks him if he is a Freemason. If they do they will only be repeating the same injustice that was done to me," Mr Buttiglione said, according to the Times.

Declaration of interestes

Commenting on the parliamentary hearings that cost him his job, the Europe minister said:

"What happened was very serious, because they told me that since I am a believer, I cannot be a European commissioner. We have to act so that a day does not come in which people will hear that they cannot be professors or school teachers because they are Catholic," said Mr Buttiglione, according to AGI.

Mario Borghezio, a Northern League MEP and a member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, said to the Times he hoped Signor Frattini was "independent of the occult powers which control Europe".

Mr Frattini will attend hearings at European Parliament committees on Monday and Tuesday next week (15-16 November) in Strasbourg.

Worldwide

Freemasonry is a worldwide organisation with an estimated 5 million members - and one of the oldest secular fraternities in the world.

According to some interpretations, Roman Catholics are forbidden to become Freemasons by their church.

Freemasonry has been a highly sensitive issue particularly in Italy, where a secret and illegal right-wing Masonic lodge known as P2 — Propaganda Due — was investigated in the wake of a financial scandal in the 1970s.

EU hits vaccination target, as Delta variant now dominates

The European Union has vaccinated 70 percent of its adult population with one shot. "The EU has kept its word and delivered," said EU Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen. However, only 57 percent of adult Europeans are fully-vaccinated.

Opinion

Brexit: what is the 'Lugano Convention' and does it matter?

After Brexit, the UK ceased to be a member of the Lugano Convention, an international treaty which governs cross-border civil and commercial legal disputes. In May, the European Commission published an opinion calling for the UK's re-application to be rejected.

Column

Does democracy need troublemakers?

Comedians, businessmen and other outsiders – think of Edward Snowden, Slawi Trifonow (the TV star who won the Bulgarian elections recently), or Donald Trump – try to disrupt power, pretending to expose political elites. Why is this happening?

Opinion

Separating migrant families at EU borders must stop

Hundreds of documented cases of pushbacks of migrants and asylum seekers tell the story of a European Union whose member states seem to resort to increasingly degrading and inhuman practices in the management of its external borders.

Feature

'Prison island' birthplace of EU reborn as think-tank venue

Santo Stefano is being revived through a €70m refurbishment project to turn it into a high-level European think-tank, academy and open-air museum aimed at boosting the European integration project by training 'enlightened' EU youth, scholars and politicians.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. EU hits vaccination target, as Delta variant now dominates
  2. European arms 'displaced over a million people', research finds
  3. Brexit: what is the 'Lugano Convention' and does it matter?
  4. US maintains summer travel ban on EU tourists
  5. Does democracy need troublemakers?
  6. Separating migrant families at EU borders must stop
  7. Germany mulls restrictions for unvaccinated as cases soar
  8. 'Prison island' birthplace of EU reborn as think-tank venue

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us