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Mussolini did not introduce crucifixes in Italian classrooms

Barrister Neil Addison has brought our attention to an interesting detail in the discussion of the European Court of Human Rights ruling banning crucifixes from Italian classrooms.

He points out that many commentators and journalists have said that crucifxes in classrooms were legally introduced with the Lateran Treaties — agreements made between the Holy See and the Kingdom of Italy during Benito Mussolini’s Fascist regime.

The Guardian news story, for example, read: “Classroom crucifixes were made compulsory by two laws in the 1920s when Italy was a fascist state.”

Mr Addison said that he found, after reading an unofficial translation of the ECHR judgement,  that the “requirement was first made law in Piedmont Sardinia in 1860 and extended to the whole of Italy in 1861 following the unification of Italy which is 22 years before Mussolini was born”.

He said: ” Italian Classrooms have been displaying crucifixes for 148 years and the requirement existed during the period 1861 – 1929 when the Papacy did not even recognise the legitimacy of the Italian State.”

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Written by annaarco

November 19, 2009 at 5:26 pm

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