November 06, 2009 11:10
The European Court of Human Rights' ban on crucifixes in classrooms in Italy has been met by a strong negative reaction. Many Italians were shocked and saddened by the decision, and they continue to voice their outrage.
The ban made the front page of most Italian newspapers. Large crowds of people, ranging from cab drivers to pilgrims of different nationalities, gathered at the square of the Vatican to voice their opinions on the decision.
The ruling by the Strasbourg court was reached after considering the fact that crucifixes in classrooms could disturb non-Christian children.
Father Federico Lombardi said that the crucifix is a sign of the offering of God's love and unity and acceptance for all, and that it is sad that some consider it a sign of division, exclusion or limitation of freedom.
Some feel that the crucifix debate may be a pretext for political conflicts that have little to do with religion.
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