By: V4 Agency
Italy’s Supreme Court is hearing the case of a teacher who filed a complaint with authorities, arguing that the public display of the crucifix in classrooms equates to negative discrimination against non-believers. The teacher’s claim was rejected, but he appealed against the ruling.
The Supreme Court will convene on 6 July to decide on the appeal submitted by the teacher, who hails from the Umbria region..
Professor Filippo Vari, who teaches constitutional law at the University of Rome, told the Il Giornale newspaper that professors linked to the circles of atheists, agnostics and racionalists have begun „tearing down the crucifixes from the walls, against the will of the institutions’ leaders.”
Professor Vari says if the Supreme Court was to corroborate that the public display of crosses in the classrooms breeds discrimination against non-believers, something the country’s anti-discrimination laws specifically forbid, then the ruling would trigger a domino effect.
”The Supreme Court ruling will be preceded by a public on the usage or display of religious symbols in schools, courthouses or any public space, as well as its causes and aims. It is unthinkable that the final word in such issues should come from a judge, however meaningful his words may be.„
Debates regarding the display of the crucifix have been ongoing for a decade in Italy. Some consider it to be the symbol of freedom, while others believe that displaying a cross in the public buildings of a secular state is unacceptable. A month ago, ahead of the appeal, Father Federico Lombardi also weighed in on the issue, describing the cross as ”an indispensable religious symbol of building a fraternal society.„