Saturday, November 21, 2009

The crucifix in state schools

I don`t like the determination of secularists to see that all outward signs of religion are removed from public life: Christians are citizens too and also have rights. However I do struggle with the recent furore in Italy over the order to remove the crucifix from the classrooms in state schools. After all these are state schools. No-one is saying (yet) that they must be removed in Catholic schools. Actually in my experience Catholics are quite good at removing them themselves. They often seem to remove statues etc from Catholic establishments and replace them mostly with houseplants. I know of one where that happened almost twenty years ago.
However I thought Dignitatis Humanae, at Vatican II, called for the abolition of the Catholic church as the state religion in those places where this was the case. If Catholicism was the state religion of Italy then I could see some point in protesting about state schools having to remove crucifixes. Maybe I have misunderstood.
The Italians are fighting back. I`m glad to see it and hope they win but do we need to think about Dignitatis Humanae again?
Of course from a purely secular point of view if the majority of Italians want to have crucifixes in state schools and the EU really does believe in subsidiarity then I don`t see why their wishes should be defied by the EU in this way.


1569 Rising said...

The "Order" to remove the crucifix from Italian schools is not, of course, binding on the Italan Government, they can ignore the judgement if they wish, since the order is not an EU Directive, but a judgement from the European Court of Human Rights, set up by the Council of Europe, rather than the EU. The Council of Europe includes more states than the EU, and states can, if they wish, withdraw form the Court of Human Rights. I know, it would be messy, and in our case it woulod take an Act of Parliament, but withdrawal from the Court of Human Rights would not affect in any way, a state's relationship to the EU.

I somehow cannot see Burlesconi rolling over and saying "yes sir" to the Court. Especially since the lady who brought the case had already exhausted all the legal processes in Italy. Also, she is a Finnish citizen living in Italy,a point which has not gone unnoticed in Italy.

Will the same thing apply in Italian court rooms where the crucifix takes pride of place behind the judge's seat, and in banks, post offices, cafes, bars, shops etc in Austria? What about the wayside shrines in Belgium and France, and Bavaria is awash with more crucifixes than Dawkins/Fry could shake a stick at.

I sometimes feel that we are the only EU country taking any notice of this Human Rights Court rubbish - time we withdrew Are you listening, Dave?

Discreet Observer said...

I received this information from a friend in Germany. It seems that only the British lie down and roll over to Euro diktats (from whichever source). He said:

"We in Germany have been disobedient for years and disregarded a similar decree by the Bavarian and German courts: the crucifixes remained in the classrooms, and as far as I know only if a majority of parents or pupils are opposed, the decree will hold. To my knowledge not one crucifix has been removed. Even the Nazis did not succeed in doing this. And in many courtrooms - it depends on the state - this christian symbol is found above the judges' bench. But of course these "European" moves against the Church and all which made Europe Europe are alarming. It is our task to oppose them."

Em said...

They take the crucifixes and wayside shrines away over my dead body....

Christmas Fanatic said...

All this is of course connected with the denial of Christmas. "Winter Wishes" it said on a greetings card I saw yesterday. GRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!
"Holiday figure" it said on a box containing a stand-up head-nodding Santa. GRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fred said...

I thought Berlasconi was spelt with the second letter an "e". Is 1569 Rising making a clever pun out of "burlesque"?

1569 Rising said...


I no speaka da Taliano very well, nor do i spella Italiano very clever either.

I wish I had intended the pun, very good, Fred!