Church slams ruling on classroom crucifix

The Church of Greece yesterday criticized a European Court of Human Rights ruling that the presence of crucifixes in classrooms is a breach of human rights after hearing a case brought by a mother from Italy. «It is not only minorities that have rights, the majority has them as well,» said the head of the Greek Church, Archbishop Ieronymos, adding that the matter would be discussed by the Holy Synod if necessary. «Youngsters will soon not have any symbols to inspire and protect them,» said Bishop Nikolaos of Fthiotida. Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki said he hopes Greek officials will appeal any decision that could lead to the removal of religious icons from classrooms. The court found that the right of parents to educate their children according to their own beliefs, and children's right to freedom of religion, were breached by the presence of a crucifix in classrooms.