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European court allows crucifix in public schools

Catholic World News - March 18, 2011

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the display of a crucifix in a public-school classroom is not a violation of human rights.

The March 18 decision by the Strasbourg court overturns a previous decision by a lower panel, which had ruled in November 2009 that the crucifix display violated the rights of an atheist student in Italy. The Italian government had appealed that decision to the full court.

The Vatican warmly welcomed the European court's decision. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, said that the court realized "that the exhibition of the crucifix is not indoctrination but the expression of the cultural and religious identity of countries of a Christian tradition."

The decision of the European Court, reached by a 15-2 vote, applies not only to Italy but to all the member-nations of the European Union.

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  • Posted by: Cornelius - Mar. 20, 2011 7:57 AM ET USA

    But I wonder what the court's actual reasoning was. Did they reason that the crucifix is merely a cultural symbol, with no religious meaning whatsoever, the way U.S. courts reasoned that "In God We Trust" was just a patriotic sentiment with no religious content, contrary to its obvious meaning? If so, then Europeans are scarcely better off than they were before.

  • Posted by: parochus - Mar. 18, 2011 11:15 PM ET USA

    Wow. I just can't get this one. Somebody's deceased Mom is praying for them.

  • Posted by: stpetric - Mar. 18, 2011 7:59 PM ET USA

    Sanity prevails! There's hope for Europe yet!

  • Posted by: Steve214 - Mar. 18, 2011 6:38 PM ET USA

    How kind of them. I wonder what other freedoms that they will condescend to permit Europeans to retain.

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