Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Avveneur / Italian Bishops: True secularism, doesn't bar crucifixes from public classrooms!

(Catholic Watchdog South Africa; c.f. Avvenneur (Catholic; Italian Bishops' Paper; Italian) 03 / 11 | November / 2009 ; 03 / 11 | November / 2009 )

According to the Italian Bishops (Italian Episcopal Conference: IEC), quoted in their official paper Avveneur, the decision to bar crucifixes from spanish classrooms, made by the European Court for Human Rights, in Strasbourg, seems ideological in nature. According to the paper, the decision neglected what they claim to be the great significance of the crucifix, which they say is not only a symbol which is religious, but one which is cultural.

The Italian Episcopal Conference further notes their belief that the decision: "does not take into account that, in reality, the Italian experience of the Crucified exposure in public places is consistent with the recognition of the principles of Catholicism as 'part of the historical heritage of the Italian people' reaffirmed by the Concordat of 1984".
(Loose translation by Google)
(Avvenneur (Catholic; Italian Bishops' Paper; Italian) 03 / 11 | November / 2009)

The Italian Bishops claim to fear that the decision will forcibly separate the Italian National Identity, from its alleged cultural and spiritual mix. The Bishops, in their statement: claim that the form of secularism being promoted is that which is hostile to all forms of political and cultural religion, and to any religious symbol in public institutions.

The case was brought by a secular woman, who did not want her children to learn with crucifixes on the walls of the classroom, allegedly believing that the children would be influenced away from their secular upbringing. The decision, has sparked outrage among many in largely Catholic Italy.

Avveneur further quotes Monsignor Vincenzo Pagalia, of the IEC's Committee for Interreligious Dialogue, saying:

"Bishop Paglia, IEC responsible for Interreligious Dialogue, rejected the argument that the crucifix in classrooms represents an imposition. "I do not think - he said -. It is a reminder of what happens to humans when justice is not respected, and which shows a value of generosity that we all need faith in any apartment." "In this sense - he concluded - there is also a dimension of cultural and educational weight that it is irresponsible really want to delete."" (loose translation by Google, only acronym altered)

Avvenneur (Catholic; Italian Bishops' Paper; Italian) 03 / 11 | November / 2009 )

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