Sunday, November 15, 2009

Greek Orthodox solidarity in face of crucifix ban

The Turks were a good incentive for talks of reunion at the Council of Lyon in 1276 and at Ferrara-Florence in 1438. Now we together face both Islam and Secularism at the same time. Examples like this are further encouragements for those of us who are optomistic about an end to the Great Schism.

The Greek Orthodox Church is urging Christians across Europe to oppose a ban on crucifixes in classrooms in Italy. The ban came as a result of a November 3 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in France that the presence of crucifixes violated a child's right to freedom of religion. The European Court of Human Rights found that the compulsory display of crucifixes violated parents' rights to educate their children as they saw fit and restricted the right of children to believe or not to believe. Immediately after the ruling, Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said the crucifix was a fundamental sign of the importance of religious values in Italian history and culture and was a symbol of unity and welcoming for all of humanity — not one of exclusion.

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