Wednesday 4 November 2009

Some confusion about crucifixes

In response to Manuela Mesco's Italians reject crucifix ruling:

Dear Manuela Mesco,

I am afraid but I have to side with whatithink's comment, you haven't checked the facts and your article shouldn't have been allowed out before further improvements.

The original Lateran Treaty is from 1929, but they have been revised in 1984, and the current law regarding the relationship between the Republic of Italy and the Catholic Church is from 1985 ("Legge 25 marzo 1985, n. 121"). The crucifix anyway didn't enter in the Italian school due the 1929 Lateran Treaty, but through a simple ministerial memorandum from 1922, which was then confirmed by a proper law in 1924.
You may read further about this in an article (in Italian) of the Avv. Antonino Ciavola (a careful reader will notice that the ministerial memorandum was issued 6 days after Mr. Mussolini was elected PM).

The "European Court" term is used mostly to indicate the Curia, or, as it is mostly known in English, the European Court of Justice (in Italian the "Corte di giustizia delle Comunità europee"), which shouldn't be confused with the European Court of Human Rights (in Italian "Corte Europea dei diritti dell'uomo"). The sentence object of your article was emitted by the latter, which is not an Europe Union institution.

This is only the most recent episode of a saga about the use of the crucifix on public spaces which has been ongoing in Italy since 1985. You should have mentioned some of that, to give a context to your readers. Many Italian courts have ruled that being the Catholic Church not anymore the State religion, the crucifix is not anymore a requirement, . Using "Adel Smith" as a keyword may help you find more about this.

Hope this helps,

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