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Vatican welcome European court ruling on crucifix display

March 21, 2011

The Vatican has welcomed the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights upholding the display of a crucifix in Italian schools.

The decision recognizes “that the culture and rights of man should not be placed in contradiction with the religious foundations of European civilization, to which Christianity has made an essential contribution,” said Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office.

The Vatican spokesman added that the court had shown deference to the principle of subsidiarity by saying that each country in Europe should be able to recognize “the value of religious symbols within its cultural history and national identity.” Father Lombardi observed that this contrasted with the claims made by some secularists, who, while claiming to uphold religious freedom, in practice show “a paradoxical tendency to limit or indeed even to deny this freedom, with the result of excluding every expression of it from public spaces.”


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