ROME, August 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The vice-president of the Italian Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies has called on Christian politicians to “make sacrifices” and value their conscience more than their position.

In an interview with Catholic News Agency published last Thursday, Professor Rocco Buttiglione, a member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said that Christian people must enter politics to play an active role forming “the future of the land.”

“I think the great reservoir of values today is in the Christian people and we must tell them, you must make politics, you must enter into politics, you must make with your hands the future of the land,” said the politician and academic.

As previously reported by LifeSiteNews, Buttiglione became the focus of controversy in 2004 after critics blocked his appointment to the European Union Commission for his statements that homosexual acts are morally wrong.

Buttiglione said that democracy collapsed in ancient Greece after 171 years because of “moral relativism” and “corruption,”  and that Western democracies “run the danger of dying” because politicians today do not put their conscience higher than their political career. Today’s relativism, he said, is the intellectual descendant of the ancient Greek sophists.

“I think that we very often forget that democracy is a very delicate creature,” he stated.

Buttiglione said that people do not often want to hear the truth. It must, however, not remain alienated from politics. “We must bring truth to politics again,” he said.

Buttiglione’s comments follow last month’s debate over “anti-homophobia” legislation in the Italian Parliament. Along with the Union of the Center Party, of which Buttiglione is a member, the Northern League of Italy’s governing coalition and the majority of members from Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s The People of Freedom (PDL) Party successfully opposed the bill. 

Italy’s Democratic Party, the Future and Freedom for Italy Party, the Italy of Values Party, and one PDL member supported the measure. Eighteen PDL parliamentarians abstained from voting.