Loading
Italians demand crucifixes remain in schools

.- Leaders from across the political spectrum, religious leaders and even some Muslims have joined together in a rare consensus to demand the crucifixes not be removed from Italy's public schools, despite a controversial court ruling on the issue.

The debate on the presence of crucifixes in public school classrooms erupted last week when Adel Smith, president of the political party Muslim Coalition of Italy, brought a lawsuit against the Antonio Silveri public elementary school in Ofena, alleging the continued presence of a crucifix in the school violated the religious  freedom of his two children.

After last Thursday's ruling by Judge Mario Montanaro ordering the crucifix to be removed, the public outcry was so intense the country's leaders were forced to comment on the ruling. 

The Minister of Justice, Roberto Castelli, has ordered an investigation into the ruling in order to determine "if regulations were not respected or if current laws were ignored," since there are current laws on the books and past rulings by the Constitutional Court permitting the presence of crucifies in public classrooms.

Italy's president, Azeglio Ciampi, said that "the crucifix in schools has always been considered not only a distinctive sign of a particular religious creed, but above all a symbol of the values that are at the foundation of our identity." 

Vice President Gianfranco Fini said the judge's decision not only violates the law and Italian tradition, "it offers arguments to those who deny the possibility of peaceful coexistence and of respectful integration (of Muslims) into our society."

Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu, declared, "I am offended as a Christian, and as a citizen.  The crucifix is not only a symbol of my religion; it also is the highest expression of 2000 years of civilization that belongs to the Italian people.  This ruling threatens to alter the sincere willingness to dialogue that exists between the  great majority of Churches, communities and religious groups in Italy."

The Education Minister has said he will continue following the legislation of 1923, which still is in force, and which permits the presence of crucifixes in schools and court houses.

Surprisingly almost all political parties in the country have signed a resolution in the Italian Parliament declaring the crucifix to be "the oldest and most powerful symbol of freedom for all, as well as the symbol 'laicity of the State'," and demanding that the government ensure "effective respect" of the law that permits the presence of crucifixes in schools.

The resolution also requests that the government prepare an educational campaign for schools "to explain to all why the crucifix represents our national, European, and Western identity." 

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, President of the Italian Bishops Conference, said the crucifix "expresses the deepest soul of the country and should continue to be a sign of national identity."  At the same time the Secretary General of the Bishops Conference, Bishop Giuseppe Betori, recalled that the ruling " contradicts a state law that no Parliament has ever modified.  The crucifix is not only a religious symbol; it is also an image in which the Italian people recognize the roots of their civilization."


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
16

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Gospel
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Homily
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: