Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula
Director of HLI's Rome Office
Click Here for a Short Biography
|HLI's Rome Office
By Monsignor Barreiro and Joseph Meaney
Human Life International, after expanding its activities through so many different regions of the world, saw a great benefit in creating an important HLI office in the Eternal City. The main purpose of this initiative was to enhance our collaboration with the Holy Father and the Roman Curia.
Joseph Meaney was sent to open the office in the summer of 1998, and in September 1998 Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula was appointed as the Executive Director. The office was officially inaugurated in November 1998. In an audience with the Holy Father, Blessed John Paul II addressed us in a very supportive way, underlining the great value of our pro-life work. I remember how encouraged we were by his words, which served to confirm that HLI is carrying out the particular mission that the Lord has given to us.
The HLI Rome office was established under the inspiration of Fr. Paul Marx, the founder of HLI, to strengthen the relations of our organization with different Holy See offices that work with life and family issues. We are also glad to be able to assist seminarians, priests, religious and lay persons studying in Rome, particularly in bio-ethics and life and family topics, and to work on pro-life issues in Italy.
Since the foundation of the office, we have requested advice from and provided information to many offices of the Holy See. In particular, we have worked with the Pontifical Council of the Family and the Pontifical Academy for Life. This work has led us to meet some remarkable men of the Church, like Cardinals Alfonso López-Trujillo and Elio Sgreccia as well as many other dedicated and competent officers who for years have been serving the Church. Something that many Catholics do not realize is that thousands of seminarians and young priests from all over the world are sent to pursue their studies in Rome. Many bishops and religious orders send their most promising seminarians and young priests here. These young men will frequently become seminary professors and also diocesan bishops. Thus, we have a tremendous opportunity to help instill in them a deep appreciation of the importance of the life and family teachings of the Church. We encourage clerical students to do their academic work on life and family issues and give them advice on how to organize their academic papers and dissertations on these issues.
A very important factor in this assistance is the use of our specialized library, which contains more than 5,500 volumes and many academic magazines. We started the HLI library to fill a real need of the students at Pontifical Universities, which Msgr. Barreiro himself experienced when he was working toward his doctorate here. Thanks to our frequent contact with students in the HLI library, we can have a long-lasting influence on their pro-life development. We also reach seminarians and young priests in Rome and throughout Italy with our Seminarians for Life International newsletter, which we publish and distribute in Italian with the special help of a wonderful benefactor from Dallas.
HLI Rome Office library.
We also contribute to the many pro-life needs in Italy. Some educational campaigns we have joined were crowned with success, like the effort to block the passage of a law creating civil unions. This law was intended as a first step towards the approval of same-sex unions. We were also active in the defense of the right to life of Eluana Englaro, a woman who suffered the same fate as Terri Schiavo in the U.S. Since Eluana’s death, we have kept up conferences and activities to help prevent the legalization of euthanasia in Italy.
Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro-Carambula, who since September of 1998 has directed the HLI Rome Office, was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in the late 1940s from a family of Spanish and French extraction. After obtaining a doctorate in Law from the University of Uruguay, he worked for several years as a diplomat for his country, and was part of the permanent Uruguayan delegation to the United Nations. He was ordained a priest by the great pro-life figure of Cardinal John O’Connor on Nov. 14, 1987. From the beginning of his priestly ministry, Msgr. Barreiro has been involved in Pro life and Traditional Latin Mass apostolates. He received his doctoral degree in Systematic Theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome and has published hundreds of articles on theological and life issues, and also on historical subjects in popular and scholarly publications. He was appointed a Chaplain of His Holiness on March 26, 2004.