Catholic Culture 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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