Italian officials and the Vatican protested a human rights court ruling that said the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools violates religious and educational freedoms.
The Italian Education Ministry said it would appeal Tuesday’s ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The court said, “The compulsory display of a symbol of a given confession in premises used by the public authorities … restricted the right of parents to educate their children in conformity with their convictions.”
The ruling said the presence of a crucifix in classrooms could be «disturbing for pupils who practiced other religions or were atheists, particularly if they belonged to religious minorities».
Crucifixes are routinely hung in Italian classrooms.
The case was brought by a woman near Venice who fought for years in Italian courts to get the crucifixes removed but had her complaints rejected by Italian judicial officials. The court awarded her $7,400 in damages.
Italy’s Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini denounced the ruling, saying:
«The presence of the crucifix in classrooms is not a sign of belief in Catholicism, rather it is a symbol of our tradition».
«No one, and certainly not an ideological European court, will succeed in erasing our identity» she added.
If an appeal is unsuccessful, the ruling will take effeect in three months.
The Vatican, meanwhile, expressed «astonishment and regret» at the ruling. Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said it was “astonishing that a European court should intervene weightily in a matter profoundly linked to the historical, cultural and spiritual identity of the Italian people.
The law of Moses do not permit us to make idols of anything.
You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air.
And since Jesus the Messiah did not change the law, this command from God makes production of crucifixes a grave sin.
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
God of the Bible expresses Him self through His Words. Not through symbols of any kind.
Jesus the Messiah did not permit his disciple to make crucifixes of him. That the Pope demands a dead Messiah hanging in every Catholic homes is blasphemy against the risen Lord. The empty cross and the empty grave is a sign of victory, is the testimony of a our living God.
Only Satan would be more than happy to see a «Jesus» hanging on the Roman Catholic crucifixes forever. That is the victory sign for Lucifer and his angels. A dead Messiah.