CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
Italy fights for crucifixes in classrooms
The CNN Belief Blog reports: “Italy will fight against a European court ruling that crucifixes in classrooms violate students’ right to freedom of religion.
The European Court of Human Rights found unanimously last November that the display of a particular religious symbol – such as the Christian cross – in a classroom restricted the right of parents to educate their children in conformity with their convictions, and the right of children to believe or not to believe.
But the court agreed in January to hear Italy’s appeal. Ten other European governments, dozens of European lawmakers and half a dozen non-governmental organizations have also gotten involved in the appeal…
The court does not have the power to force Italy to take down the representations of Jesus on the cross, but if its ruling stands and Italy does not comply, the door would be open for others to sue on the same grounds, court spokesman Stefano Piedimonte told CNN.
Leading Catholic figures expressed astonishment and anger at the ruling last year. The Italian Conference of Bishops called it cause for bitterness and many perplexities.
It does not take into account the fact that in Italy the display of the crucifix in public places is in line with the recognition of the principles of the Catholicism as ‘part of the historical patrimony of the Italian people,’ as stated in the Vatican/Italy agreement of 1984, the bishops said in a written statement.
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re told the leading Italian daily La Repubblica he could not understand it, and that no one with common sense could have expected it…” (See Philippians 3:18; I Corinthians 1:18; Galatians 5:12, 14; and Colossians 1:20. There is only one way – the Cross.)