The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Court rules Italy must remove crucifixes from classrooms

posted by jmcgee

_46661157_cross.jpg
One of Europe’s most Catholic countries will show a little less of that, at least in its public schoolrooms:

Europe’s court of human rights ruled Tuesday the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools violates religious and education freedoms under the continent’s rights convention.

The ruling, which could force a Europe-wide review of the use of religious symbols in government-run schools, rejected arguments by Italy’s government that the crucifix was a national symbol of culture, history and identity, tolerance and secularism.
A seven-judge panel sided with a complaint filed by Soile Lautsi, a parent of two children, who claimed public schools in her northern Italian town eight years ago refused to remove the Roman Catholic symbols from classrooms.
The ruling awarded euro5,000 ($7,390) in damages to Lautsi, which the Italian government will pay her. The court, however, did not order Italian authorities to remove the crucifixes and the ruling can still be appealed to the European Court of Human Rights’ Grand Chamber of 17 judges.
Lautsi says the crucifix violates the secular principles the public schools are supposed to uphold and the right to offer her children a secular education. Crucifixes are very common in Italian public schools.
“The presence of the crucifix … could easily be interpreted by pupils of all ages as a religious sign and they would feel that they were being educated in a school environment bearing the stamp of a given religion,” the court said in a statement on the case, adding the presence of such symbols could be “disturbing for pupils who practiced other religions or were atheists.” 


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Your Name

posted November 3, 2009 at 2:17 pm


I support Soile Lautsi.



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NBW

posted November 3, 2009 at 3:33 pm


Is Lautsi a vampire that she is so afraid of the crucifix? If atheists are allowed to sue and receive money because the presence of the crucifix is disturbing to them why can’t we religious folk sue when we are constantly bombarded by images that are offensive to us?



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Your Name

posted November 3, 2009 at 3:59 pm


Soile Lautsi is not afraid of the crucifix , she wishes to protect her children from being indoctrinated. I believe we should respect that. Religious choice is a precious freedom, and something which should be separate from the school environment.
I would like to think that a school environment is a place where children are treated with equal respect and care regardless of their parents religous feelings.
We should not be afraid of this. People do not chose to follow God because there was a crucifix on the wall at their school. If that is the only reason they follow the word, then is that true faith?



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kenneth

posted November 3, 2009 at 6:11 pm


They should have added a few million in punitive damages for insulting the court and the people’s intelligence. The cross is just an everyday symbol of national pride? That’s what we have flags for.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted November 3, 2009 at 6:43 pm


Human culture abhors a vacuum–especially a religious vacuum. All that narrow-minded secularist cases like this accomplish is to pave the way for the Islamization of Europe.



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Britt

posted November 3, 2009 at 6:48 pm


Someone – meaning Deacon John – has been reading Geertz. :) And if not, should!



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Charles Cosimano

posted November 3, 2009 at 7:46 pm


This is a case that would only happen in Italy. Just think what would happen if anyone tried to put up a crucifix in a US classroom.



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Your Name

posted November 3, 2009 at 10:39 pm


If all human rights were respected other religions could put their religious symbols on the wall also, but the cross would not be taken down.



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My Name

posted November 4, 2009 at 10:22 am


“If all human rights were respected other religions could put their religious symbols on the wall also, but the cross would not be taken down.”
Really? Well I believe in the tooth fairy – is it OK if I put a picture of Tinkerbell on the wall too?
How about we REMOVE religious symbols from the schools and let that be a personal matter that people keep in their homes and churches.
By the way, I find it enormously entertaining that my comments are always removed simply because I am not agreeing with your Status quo. I am not being rude or abusive, I simply think differently – yet I am always censored!
I do not understand why.



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Your Name

posted November 4, 2009 at 10:23 am


“If all human rights were respected other religions could put their religious symbols on the wall also, but the cross would not be taken down.”
Really? Well I believe in the tooth fairy – is it OK if I put a picture of Tinkerbell on the wall too?
How about we REMOVE religious symbols from the schools and let that be a personal matter that people keep in their homes and churches.
By the way, I find it enormously entertaining that my comments are always removed simply because I am not agreeing with your Status quo. I am not being rude or abusive, I simply think differently – yet I am always censored!
I do not understand why.



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted November 4, 2009 at 10:48 am


Your name…
As a rule, I don’t remove comments unless they are racist, sexist or otherwise hateful. But reading older comments sometimes requires clicking the “read all comments” link at the bottom. I’m sure if you do that, you’ll find what you’re looking for…
Blessings,
Dcn. G.



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Kathy

posted November 5, 2009 at 6:10 am


If this is a practice of religious freedom what happens to the freedom of the Catholic religion? It seems we are being told and forced to hide our faith..this is not religious freedom. The rights of people are their right to ignore what they don’t believe in but it should not be their right to stop other from showing their faith. If the children feel a connection to the catholic faith by just seeing a crucifix then maybe their own religon isn’t strong and their need to cling to the catholic faith is a calling.



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Piero

posted November 7, 2009 at 5:02 pm


Italians like to hang everything they love or hate. Mussolini also has been hanged.



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