Skip to Content

Matteo Salvini. Wikipedia

Italian Minister defends school crucifixes after media declares ‘open war’

Italian Education Minister Marco Bussetti told a meeting of 180 teachers and school leaders from across the country: “For me, the crucifix is a symbol of our history, our culture, our traditions.”

Published: December 5, 2018, 8:37 am

    Rome

    Speaking at the Federation of Catholic Schools’ annual congress in Rome on Thursday, the Italian Minister of Education — an independent — said he could not understand why some school administrators view the display of Christian culture in classrooms as problematic.

    The crucifix and nativity cribs are central to Italian life and therefore it “is right that they are displayed in the classroom”, the Italian Education Ministry said, after it some schools were blocked Christmas displays “out of respect for other cultures”.

    Italian media have been reporting an “open war” over the issue of nativity scenes in the classroom.

    When a school in Terni recently canceled its traditional nativity recitation “as a sign of respect” for other cultures, it was described as “idiocy” by Interior Minister and Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini.

    “It is not just about religion, but about history, roots, culture,” he commented on the story in a Facebook post, adding: “I will not give up — Long live our traditions, and may they spread!”

    Local Lega representative Valeria Alessandrini, noted: “Only by respecting [our own traditions] … can we make others understand everyone is free to practice their own faiths but that it is also required they respect the history and culture of the country in which they live.

    “I hope that children and young people at the school [which cancelled its nativity event] will be allowed to share with their peers and their parents the most beautiful, intense and meaningful moments of Christmas.”

    In 2011, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that crucifixes were acceptable in school classrooms, describing them as an “essentially passive symbol”.

    The judgment, handed down in Strasbourg, found that while the crucifix was “above all a religious symbol” there was no evidence that its display on classroom walls might have an influence on children.

    The ruling reverses their earlier, unanimous decision from 2009 in favour of a Finnish-born mother whohad complained that state schools in the Italian town of Abano Terme, where she lives, refused to remove Roman Catholic symbols from classrooms.

    Soile Lautsi argued that the crucifix violated secular principles in state schools.

    Salvini’s Lega party presented a bill in the Italian Parliament in July to make it easier to display crucifixes in public buildings in Italy.

    The bill entitled “Dispositions concerning the display of the crucifix in schools and in offices of public administration” proposed crucifixes be visible in schools, universities, prisons, public offices, consulates, embassies, and ports.

    The proposal even includes a fine for non-compliance.

    A similar decision concerning crucifixes was taken in Bavaria when Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder announced in April that all public buildings would have to display a crucifix. Söder’s office said at the time that the goal was “to express the historical and cultural character of Bavaria”.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    • Jerome Brown

      It us not so much tradition which is lovely, but the impressing on young minds of a belief system, which they are taught us real, which cannot be proved to be real.

      • Dawn4332

        Like evolution, its an opinion, so I suggest no more evolution pictures, Darwin was a 19yr old child and saw some animals he had never seen before….assumptions are not “absolute science”, discovery of fossils are not and can not be absolutely aged. So spare us your fortitude and know for a fact God Created All the Universe and Heavens.
        The End
        You are Welcome
        Dawn

    Europe

    Official files a complaint against anti-Macron comments on Facebook

    The prefect of the Drôme, a department in southeast France wants to file a complaint against a Facebook user, who had denounced an "apartheid" speech by Emmanuel Macron on Facebook. Macron had spoken of his desire for a "society of vigilance".

    Influential economist predicts the end of fossil energy by 2028

    Jeremy Rifkin believes the fossil fuel civilization will collapse by 2028, and he has proposed a bold economic plan to counter that.

    German journalist says climate protests are for the privileged only

    The journalist Dirk Maxeiner has accused the "Fridays for the Future" movement of having no sense of the everyday problems of a large part of society.

    Salvini plans massive anti-government rally in Rome

    RomeThe anti-immigration League party leader Matteo Salvini said on Thursday that Saturday's massive anti-government rally would be open to all including the CasaPound party.

    Dutch MPs demand investigation into Ukraine’s role in MH17 crash

    The HagueUkraine will cooperate in an investigation that should answer why Ukrainian airspace was not closed during the downing of flight MH17 on July 17, 2014. Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said he received this commitment from Ukrainian President Zelenski.

    An elected RN official challenges a veiled woman

    Julien Odoul, a member of Marine Le Pen's National Rally (RN) and other elected RN officials created a controversy by asking a woman accompanying the class of her son to remove her veil at a plenary meeting of the Regional Council of Burgundy-Franche-Comté, on Friday, October 11.

    Nobel highlights male scientific achievements

    This week, as every year, the Nobel Prize winners were announced. The winners in the categories physics, chemistry and medicine are, as in many years before, exclusively male.

    Marine Le Pen: ‘The State is criminally absent’

    ParisDuring a recent press conference, Marine Le Pen, the leader of National Rally in France, addressed the deadly jihadist attack on the central Police Prefecture in Paris, as well as the effect that mass Islamic immigration is having on public order in France.

    Several French police stations targeted by Islamist chants

    ParisSeveral law enforcement establishments in the Paris region were targeted by Islamist chants in the wake of the Paris knife attacker's rampage at police headquarters. A complaint has been filed.

    Malta Pact on migrant redistribution a flop as landings increase

    RomeItaly's former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini noted the increase in migrants landings and said the new leftist coalition's open port policy should be blamed for recent deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Go to archive