The European Court of Human Rights allows crucifixes in state-school classrooms!

Press Release
Thursday 31 March 2011
popularity : 1%

On March 18, 2011, the « Grand chamber », an appeal jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, referred to by Berlusconi’s government, has ruled in favour of the Italian State which wants to continue to impose the presence of crucifixes in Italian state-school classrooms. This case is known as the “Lautsi Case” after the name of the Italian mother who had brought proceedings in the Italian administrative court.

All were leagued against her: the Roman Catholic Church, but also, notably, the (Socialist) government of Greece, the (Communist) government of Cyprus, Putin and Medvedev’s Russian Federation…. and Monaco, all of them wishing to defend the “Christian roots” of Europe. A few secular supporters were at the Lautsi family’s side in this case so that this European Court of Justice in charge of Human Rights may rule in defence of secularism at last, as a previous ruling had let it hope for the plaintiffs. However, there is no article in the European Convention of Human Rights to guarantee secularism and the clerical governments have won. And so has the Vatican.

Because, beyond the Lautsi case, the ECtHR has settled its doctrine and jurisprudence, as the Holy See approves, claims victory and hails the scope of the ruling: “It is thus acknowledged, at an authoritative and international juridical level, that the culture and rights of man should not be placed in contradiction with the religious foundations of European civilization, to which Christianity has made an essential contribution.”

Subsidiarity, national identity in a country of Christian tradition

But this ruling was made in a spirit of “reconquest” and the press release of the Holy See continues: “The Court also recognises, in conformity with the principle of subsidiarity, that a margin of appreciation should be granted to every country concerning the value of religious symbols in their own cultural history and national identity.”

The text of the Vatican pressroom also highlights the Court’s ruling on the exhibition of a crucifix which is not “indoctrination but the expression of the cultural and religious identity of countries of a Christian tradition", which means the creation of a new juridical category designed to be opposed to all demands for secularism.

At the same time, it highlights the real content of “religious fact lessons in schools”.

Thus, a jurisdiction of Vatican Europe confirms that the Free Thinkers of 1869, gathered at Naples at the first international Free Thinkers’ congress were quite right to adopt a declaration of principles that notably stated against clerical Rome: “The signatories…proclaim the free reason before religious authority; the independence of Man before the despotism of the Church and the State…the necessary abolition of any established Church. They affirm the necessity of education without any religious interference.”

Those principles are still a topical question at a time when the Free Thinkers of 2011 are preparing another international congress that will take place at Oslo on August 10, 2011.

For the separation of Religions and the State in every country!

Against Vatican Europe!


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