Thursday, November 19, 2009

No Crucifix?

“The Vatican denounced a ruling by the European court of human rights that said the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools violates religious and education freedoms.” By Alessandra Rizzo, Associated Press Writer

Does this break your heart like it breaks mine? How does the crucifix which freed me from my sin, violate religious and educational freedom?

Here in America, the crucifix and prayer in public schools has long been done away with and is a tremendous loss to people of all faith backgrounds. When my children study history and/or world cultures in school, they learn about all faiths, not only Christian but Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu as well. Having knowledge of all faiths can only help to increase our understanding of and love for one another. Shutting the door on a faith and its religious symbols only serves to increase fear, misunderstanding and hatred.

When my children were in a public grade school I was always saddened when I would take them to our parish classrooms for religious studies, for it was in those rooms where I would see the beautiful crucifix and statue of our Blessed Mother. It hurt to realize that my children were denied the comfort of the precious symbols of our faith in the school that they attended each day.

What I resolved to do was to make sure my children were well educated in their faith, not simply by sending them to Christian Formation classes at our parish, but mainly by teaching them the tenets of our Catholic traditions at home and encouraging them to live their faith each day no matter where they happened to be. If the Christian symbol of the Crucifix could not be displayed in their public school classrooms, then the symbol of the Resurrected Christ would be carried in their hearts each day and shared with a non-believing world through their daily words and actions. Like the old hymn states: “They will know we are Christians by our love.”

Each day when I would walk my children to public school, I would trace the sign of the cross on their foreheads before they walked into the school as a physical reminder to them that Christ lives in them and they are to show His love to others. Then they would each trace the cross on my forehead as well so that I would also carry Christ with me no matter where I went. Today, my children who attend Catholic school, begin their day with Holy Mass and the reception of the Eucharist so that Jesus is truly alive in their hearts and can readily be shared with others through their actions each day.

I realize that this is only the tip of the iceberg, for beyond living our faith as individuals and sharing our personal love of Christ with others, we can display our faith in so many ways. Why not consider wearing a crucifix necklace every day as an outward sign of your faith? Crucifix bumper stickers for the car and statues in our yards could be a great way to display our faith. My young friend John, in England, who is editor of "A Vocation to Be a Priest" has purchased small crucifixes to leave on buses and trains. If the European government is going to rule against the crucifix in schools, he plans to bring the crucifix with him wherever he goes so that the whole world will know that wherever we are, Christ is there too. With his loving words, actions and personal witness, John plans to keep the crucifix visible not only in the schools, but in every public place in Europe.

For more on this topic, I encourage you to visit Gabriella’s Blog. You may also feel moved to email the Committee of Ministers to protest their verdict at: This is a worldwide concern, not simply a European concern. Please add your voice and your prayers to address this disgraceful situation.


  1. God bless you Anne!

    Thanks for your prayers! You're family is very present in mine each day as well!
    When I first read about this decision on the news a few weeks ago, I was very sad. I had the opportunity of talking to my italian professor about this and she was very sad and angry. The Italian government is extremely against this decision.
    How can someone take away one's faith? The symbol of everything we believe in is the crucifix.
    John's idea is a wonderful! I just might use his idea and leave a crucifix on Chicago's trains and buses.

    the apostolic charism of the religious order I will be entering is to "be ardent witnesses to the Power of Love and to the Splendor of the Treasures of the Church, to form hearts for 'a new Civilization of Love and Life.'"
    Let's unite our hearts in prayer for the change of this situation and ask for Mary's intercession, the one who was a true and faithful witness of the the Power of Love.

    May the love of Jesus fill your heart and may he shower you and your family with abundant graces.

  2. Wonderful post Anne. I had read Gabriella's Blog earlier today and was also saddened to hear this news.
    I have always worn a crucifix around my neck and a rosary bracelet on my wrist, but, I think that I will pick up some crucifixes to leave in public places too! Great idea!

  3. "Why not consider wearing a crucifix necklace every day as an outward sign of your faith?"

    In Britain an employee lost her job for doing just that.

    I feel that in the UK Christianity is in retreat. Sadly, the Church (all denominations) is not doing enough to respond to this.

    In our church the Knights of St Columba have sponsored little stickers to stick on your Christmas Cards envelopes with the saying: KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS.

    This is because of a trend in Britain to "un-Christianise" Christmas. Some Local Government Authorities have re-named it WinterMass and similar non-sensical names to keep religion out of it.

  4. Victor, wow! It is unfathomable to me that someone would lose their job for openly showing her faith! What about nuns and priests in their religious clothing, how about the Muslims who wear the head covering or the Jews who follow their faith in an Orthodox fashion and dress to show it?

    At work, (and I tried to take a picture of it for this post but I'm not much of a photographer,) my bulletin board and desk are covered with holy cards and religious pictures. I work at a non-profit hospital for a Government run agency. I can't imagine someone telling me I'd have to take my pictures down. I couldn't get through my day without those visual reminders of my faith.

    Before I began daily Mass in the morning, I used to walk over to a nearby church for their noon Mass on my lunch break. One of my co-workers told me that we weren't going to be allowed to leave the hospital grounds on our lunch break. I think she was overreacting to something and I never heard any negative comments about my daily Noon trip to Mass, but I knew that if anyone had ever told me that I wasn't free to leave for Mass on my lunch break, I would have quit my job over it.

    I think I'm going to thank my boss today for all of the religious freedom that she grants to me each day at work. I am blessed.

    I will keep the Christians in the UK in my prayers.

  5. "At work, (and I tried to take a picture of it for this post but I'm not much of a photographer,) my bulletin board and desk are covered with holy cards and religious pictures."

    Try doing that in the UK and see where it gets you.

    A Christian nurse visiting a patient asked her: "Is it allright if I pray for you?"

    The patient said she didn't want to be prayed for. Then she complained to the Medical Authorities and the nurse was suspended from work pending an investigation. Eventually, she was re-instated but she is not to repeat the offence.

    Christianity is often mocked on TV and newspapers etc ... It is more fashionable and trendy to say publicly that you do not believe in God "and all that ..." Celebrities and famous personalities gain extra "points" by declaring their un-belief publicly on TV.

    Role models for our modern youths !!!

  6. Anne,
    I read Gabriella's post and was saddened by this ruling. There is a lot of anti-Catholic sentiment in the world right now. I go to the noontime Mass at my Church, also. In the morning I am getting Michaela ready for school and in the evening I am busy getting supper ready, helping with homework, I am blessed that there is a noontime Mass in my city:)

  7. The NSS (National Secular Society) in the UK decided to run a poster campaign in the UK. Buses mainly in London had a banner attached which read "Probably God doesn't exist". Isn't it pathetic that the best brains in the NSS can only come up with 'probably' - they are not 100% sure!
    As I was awaiting my bus outside Waterloo railway station, I happened to encounter one of these banners. I was shocked and offended, not least because the majority of the world's population express a belief in God. So I have decided to launch a legal case against the NSS and the London bus companies, because my religious sensibilities have been offended. I intend to sue these companies for exactly the same amount as the poor character who found a crucifix offensive in an Italian school.
    Let's see just how biased the legal system is in Europe against Christianity.
    PS - When I win my case I will devote the money to buying more crucifixes and planting them in public places - better still, if it is $15000, I will buy a huge poster of a crucifix and plant it outside the European Court.

  8. Christ and His followers are going to be facing more and more of this type of thing everywhere in the world as time goes on.

    I've often found it amazing how everyone talks about religious freedom for everyone....but Christians.

  9. When the Freemasons of the United States of America launched an assault against Christ and His Church in Mexico, one of the things Mexican men did was wear their crucifixes on the outside of their shirts.

    Picture number 25 at this site shows a Cristero with his crucifix:

    I have, as a descendant of the Cristeros, worn my crucifix on the outside of my shirt also. Here in the United States, I have been cursed at for doing so, but many have asked that I give them my crucifix to wear. I hang it with a black string.

    If crucifixes cannot be hung in public places, I will wear one in public places.

    I get them from: -you may order them blessed by a Benedictine Priest at no extra charge, and a note will say blessed on the plastic bag it is shipped with.

    The CNE 30 black Handmade Crosses from France is my favorite.

    God be with you all.