Anna Arco's Diary

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Archive for November 2009

Could the Italian ruling mean no nativity plays in Britain this year?

Barrister Neil Addison has written extensively about the European Court of Human Rights ruling on the crucifix over on his blog. He believes that the ruling may have implications for Britain.

Read the rest of this entry »


Written by annaarco

November 5, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Who was asked to defend the Church against Hitchens and Fry?

7912990Catholics in this country continue to be troubled by the intensity and forcefulness of the anger directed towards the Church at the Intelligence Squared debate “The Catholic Church is a force for Good” held at Methodist Central Hall in Westminster some weeks ago. The debate was disastrous for the Catholic side, despite valiant efforts from both the MP Ann Widdecombe and Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria.

One question I keep hearing from Catholics who were there was: “Could they find no one else to defend the Church?” Read the rest of this entry »

Leaving only empty Halloween pumpkins behind

5296520As the reaction to the European Court of Human Rights ruling about crucifixes in state school classrooms yesterday continues to roll out, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s Secretary of State said the ruling was leaving Europe behind with nothing more left of its Christian patrimony  than empty Halloween pumpkins.

He said: “I say unfortunately Europe of the third millenium allows us only to keep the pumpkins left over from recent revelry before November 1st while taking more valuable symbols away from us.”

The Halloween custom of lighting Jack-o-Lanterns has spread across Europe as has the custom of wearing costumes, while the following two days, All Saints and All Souls are fading in public consciousness.

Italians, except for those on the far left, have rallied to defend the patrimony and the tradition which keeps crucifixes in classrooms. From the Vaticanista Andrea Tornielli, who writes that Europe has voted for Barabas by denying its Christian roots, to the leader of the main left-wing opposition party Pierluigi Bersani, Italians have defied the ruling. They say that it represents the tradition, culture and history of Italy. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

November 4, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Italian outcry over European crucifix ban…

The Canadian National Post writes that the Italian Government has sworn to fight the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling banning crucifixes from classrooms. For the most part, the Italian reaction has been furious.

Rocco Buttiglione, an Italian Catholic politician called it an abhorrent ruling and said:
“It must be rejected with firmness. Italy has its culture, its traditions and its history. Those who come among us must understand and accept this culture and this history,”

Written by annaarco

November 3, 2009 at 7:48 pm

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European court rules against crucifixes in classrooms

6649716The French newspaper Le Monde reports that the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that crucifixes in Italian classrooms violated the rights of parents to bring up their children according to their own beliefs, therefore infringing on their religious liberty.

The Italian government defended the crucifixes saying that their presence in classrooms was natural, as it was not only a religious symbol but also a symbol of the Italian state.

Strasbourg’s judges said that the a cross or crucifix can easily be interpreted by pupils of all ages a religious sign and can be disturbing for students of other religious convictions or atheists. The court unanimously ruled that this violated article 2 of protocol 1 (right to instruction) as well as article 9 of the convention (freedom of though, conscience and religion) and allocated 5,000 euros to the claimants for moral damages.

Written by annaarco

November 3, 2009 at 1:42 pm

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Priest stages own funeral to get people to Mass

7542242Desperate times, they say, lead to desperate measures. One Italian priest in the earthquake shattered Abruzzo region advertised his own death and funeral on placards in order to get people to come Mass again.

According to reports in the Italian press Fr Giovanni Gatto, the parish priest of Tempera told said: “I wanted to shake people awake. The Catholic community should hold together until the Church destroyed by the earthquake is restored.”

After the earthquake ever fewer people came to Mass so Fr Gatto took to these drastic new measures. ” I wanted grab the community’s attention and warn them of the danger that the community is falling to pieces after the earthquake.”

It is unclear whether his innovative methods have born any fruit. The report was in the Oberoesterreichische Nachrichten.

Written by annaarco

November 3, 2009 at 12:32 pm

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Is Cormac Murphy-O’Connor the most powerful priest in England and Wales?

If the long-drawn deliberations over Archbishop Vincent Nichols’s appointment to Westminster are anything to go by, then Rome struggles for reliable information about the on-the-ground situation in Albion. With Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor at the table and the Nuncio Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz by his side, the bishops will have someone present as they deliberate to advise them. As a member of the Congregation for Bishops, the cardinal will also have a veto on names put forward on any terna. Even if he reaches Roman retirement age in three years time, he will be able to influence a great number of decisions which will directly affect the appointments made to England and Wales.

Next year Bishop Edwin Regan of Wrexham diocese faces retirement while in 2011, Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood, Hallam’s Bishop John Rawsthorne, Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth and Shrewsbury’s Bishop Brian Noble are all due to step down. In 2012 and 2013 Plymouth’s bishop Christopher Budd and Salford’s Terrence Brain respectively retire.