Tuesday, March 24, 2015

In Italy, Lawsuit Raises Challenge To Prayer In Schools

New York Times reported yesterday that the continuing controversy over church-state relations in Italy is reflected in a recent lawsuit challenging the decision of a school board in Bologna to allow priests to offer an Easter blessing at three elementary schools.  Previously, a local court had held that an Easter prayer in a classroom during school hours was unconstitutional.  But the current plan is for voluntary prayer on school grounds shortly after the closing bell.  An Italian constitutional law expert commented:
In Italy, it is different. We do not have religion in the state, but we have tradition and relationships that link the Italian Republic with the Catholic Church.
A hearing on the challenge is not scheduled until later this week, and the blessing has already been recited at two of the schools. Prayer scheduled at one school for next Saturday has been canceled.