Court Bans Crucifixes in Italian Classrooms

Government plans to appeal European decision
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2009 3:32 PM CST
Pope Benedict XVI holds a crucifix as he celebrates the Holy Passion of the Lord Mass in St. Peter Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, April 10, 2009.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
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(Newser) – A European court has ruled that the presence of crucifixes in Italian classrooms violates religious freedom. In a decision denounced by Italian politicians, the court said the compulsory display of the crucifix prevents parents from raising kids with the religion of their choice and restricts the "right of children to believe or not to believe," the BBC reports. The government plans to appeal, and the Vatican said it would examine the ruling before issuing a statement.