Thursday, November 5, 2009

European court: No crucifixes in Italian schools

Crucifixes should be removed from classrooms in Italy, the European Court of Human Rights rules yesterday, sparking uproar in the largely Catholic country.Vatican officials were said to be "furious" at the judgment which also ordered the Italian government to pay 5,000 damages to Soile Lautsi, an atheist, who had brought the complaint on behalf of her children.

The court ruled having a crucifix in a classroom was a "violation of the right to parents to educate children as to their own wishes and a violation of liberty of religion of pupils."

Italy immediately said that it would appeal against the ruling – which will be enforced in three months. Education minister Mariastella Gelmini said having a cross in the classroom was "a symbol of our tradition".

All Italian classrooms were ordered to have crucifixes under a law introduced by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in 1924, which, despite several challenges, has stood since. (Read more)

"This is a bid to erase our Christian roots. 
They are trying to create a Europe 
without identity and tradition."
  Alessandra Mussolini,
                                                                   granddaughter of Mussolini