Crucifix rulings highlight religious dimension of culture, remarks expert

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A canon lawyer recently commented on rulings in Europe and Peru that upheld the presence of crucifixes in public places.

Dr. Gonzalo Flores explained to CNA that the presence of religious symbols in public places underscores how the religious dimension of man generates culture, history and national identity.

His comments came in reference to two recent rulings. The first was a March 23 decision by the European Human Rights Court which upheld the presence of crucifixes in public schools. The second recalled a March 22 decision by Peru's highest court which said the Bible and crucifixes in public places do not affect the secular nature of the state or individual religious freedom.

“Despite the thousands of miles that separate America from Europe, there is a clear awareness of the outlook of religious people. That spiritual dimension impacts the culture and makes its mark on the identity of society,” Flores explained.

“When we are talking about religious symbols as is the case with the crucifix, we are talking about man himself.”

“Religious symbols express a vision of man himself and of culture,” Flores continued. “Therefore, what these court rulings mean is that the human right to have religious symbols that reflect a cultural identity in public places is being respected.”

The  court rulings “are ultimately about the same vision of man, the same vision of his rights and the same vision that is part of the culture than surrounds man himself,” he stated.

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