An Italian mom’s wish for her kids to have a secular education provided the catalyst for a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights to bar crucifixes from being displayed in Italy’s classrooms. Needless to say, the court’s decision didn’t sit well with the Vatican, or with an Italian politician who argued that the presence of crosses in classrooms was emblematic of the country’s culture, above and beyond the religious significance of a crucifix. —KA
Mrs Lautsi complained to the European court that her children had to attend a public school in northern Italy that had crucifixes in every room.
She was awarded 5,000 euros ($7,400; £4,500) in damages.
Vatican spokesman the Rev Federico Lombardi said the European court had no right intervening in such a profoundly Italian matter, the Associated Press reported.
“It seems as if the court wanted to ignore the role of Christianity in forming Europe’s identity, which was and remains essential.”