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Czech bishops denounce European court’s crucifix ruling

Catholic World News - January 08, 2010

Quoting a statute from which the European Court of Human Rights derives its authority, the bishops of the Czech Republic have condemned a recent court decision that ruled against the presence of the crucifix in an Italian classroom.

The court is associated with the Council of Europe, and the statute states that the Council’s aim is to foster “greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realizing the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress.”

The bishops made clear that the crucifix is part of this heritage. “Christianity, traditionally proclaiming timeless rights and freedoms of every man, is a constant part of the ideals and principles that create a common patrimony of European states,” they said in a January 5 statement. “The cross, as a basic Christian attribute, is at the same time a symbol of the common European heritage … The Czech bishops’ conference rejects these efforts to drive out traditional manifestations of the Christian culture from the social life and substitute them by atheistic attitudes.”

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  • Posted by: niall - Jan. 08, 2010 7:23 PM ET USA

    This ruling is facing strong opposition right across Europe-only a few weeks ago the youth section of one of Ireland's biggest political parties stated that they were strongly opposed to the ruling which could force the removal of crucifixes from Irish classrooms.All of our bishops need to find their voices again and strongly oppose such rulings,which are,ironically,causing more and more disunity among Europeans.

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