Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cardinale Vallini on the crucifix in Italian classrooms

"The sentence of the European Court of human rights demonstrates that it does not respect the history, the culture, and the experience of the Italian people."

-- Cardinal Vallini, cardinal vicar of Rome

Today's edition of Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops, published an article by Claudio Tanturri quoting the above comments of Cardinal Vallini in response to the decision by the European Court of Human Rights that crucifixes in classrooms impinge on an individual's right to freedom of religion.

In the Avvenire article, Cardinal Vallini is quoted, "the presence of the crucifix has never served as an obstacle for others to exercise their own rights. And also the laity of the State has interpreted this in respect to religious liberty. There is no contradiction (contra-position)."

The Italian bishops' conference issued a statement, expressing they are "much perplexed" by the decision of the Court at Strasbourg, speaking of the decision as expressing a vision which is "partial and ideological". The decision is "myopic and wrong, received in the Vatican with stupor and regret."

Protest this bald promotion of atheism and fear on the part of the European Union by wearing the crucifix. When in Europe, and anywhere, wear the crucifix, sign of faith and salvation, sign of God's Love Incarnate in Jesus Christ, sign of hope for the world!

By inviting schools to remove the crucifix from classrooms in Italy, the European Union in effect prohibits the free public display of the sign of Christ's saving act of divine love which is the most powerful call to respect the religious freedom and dignity of every human being, Christian or not. Protest this insanity and clear promotion of the denial of God in the world.

Wear the crucifix frequently, daily if possible. A crucifix pin may be difficult to find, as it was for me here in Rome. Instead, use an extra rosary: drop the beads in your shirt pocket, draping the crucifix end of the rosary over the top of the pocket and safety-pin to hold in place. If you are wearing a suit coat, drop the rosary beads in the outside breast pocket of your coat, push the crucifix through the boutonniere hole of your lapel, and fix the crucifix in place with a safety pin.


Brian Westley said...

By inviting schools to remove the crucifix from classrooms in Italy, the European Union in effect prohibits the free public display of the sign of Christ's saving act of divine salvific love.

Wow, a priest who has no idea what genuine religious freedom means. Color me surprised. Not.

Contrary to your statement above, individuals are still free in Italy to display religious symbols. The government, however, has been told to stop pushing a particular religion on schoolchildren, because THEY have religious rights too, which includes NOT having the government preach to them.

MCITL said...


Your disagreement is understandable due to the fact I failed to mention that the primary argument on the Italian side of this discussion is NOT solely, or even only, the religious significance of the crucifix but the deep cultural roots to which this symbol reaches and which it expresses for the Italian people outside of the issue of faith.

Neither you, nor I, nor the EU, have the right to dictate to the Italian people how they express their culture, perhaps the richest in Europe and a treasure not to be disposed of lightly.

Thanks for your comment!

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