STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday that Italian schools should remove crucifixes from classroom walls, saying their presence could disturb children who were not Christians.
The decision is likely to provoke a controversy in Italy, which is deeply attached to its Roman Catholic roots.
The case was brought by an Italian national, Soile Lautsi, who complained that her children had to attend a public school in northern Italy which had crucifixes in every room.
The practice of hanging crucifixes in Italian public schools goes back to an elaborate negotiation between Benito Mussolini and the Pope back in 1929. By this Lateran Treaty, Vatican City recognized the legal existence of the Italian state and the Italian government recognized Roman Catholicism as the official religion of Italy. From that point on, crucifixes have been commonly seen in all manner of public buildings in Italy.
Catholic countries have already had problems with the EU. Several years ago some of its leaders tried to force Poland to legalize abortion–but they did not succeed. I expect that there will be further battles, since most countries in Europe are no longer Christian, and Catholicism is something they are beginning to increasongly to oppose when it comes to legal matters.
All very ‘Little world of Don Camillo’ (wonderfully amusing and humane stories of the rivalry between village’s priest and its communist mayor).
As I’ve pointed out on another thread on this subject, Corriere della Sera (Italy’s largest newspaper) has an online poll which, not totally unsurprisingly, shows a virtual dead heat (at the moment) on whether the Court’s decision that the presence is an infringement of religious liberty is correct.
By Thaddeus M. BaklinskiSTRASBOURG/ROME, November 3, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The European Court of Human Rights ruled today that displaying crucifixes in Italian classrooms violates parents’ rights to secular education for their children.The Strasbourg court found that, "The compulsory…
It does seem you are right that abortion was legal before this in Poland, in quite restircted cases (and earlier on before this had more legal favor in Poland when Poland was under communism). No doubt you are right too about the court not being a part of the EU. In that case I was wrong due to ignorance on my part.
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is an international judicial body established under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) of 1950 to monitor respect of human rights by states. The European Convention on Human Rights, or formally named Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, is a convention adopted by the Council of Europe. All 47 member states of the Council of Europe are parties to the Convention. Applications against Contracting Parties for human rights violations can be brought before the Court by other states, other parties or individuals.
It is the role of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to supervise the execution of Court judgments. This body cannot force states to comply, and the ultimate sanction for non-compliance is expulsion from the Council of Europe.
A list of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe is here Italy has been a member since 1949.