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Crucifix mandatory says Padua mayor

Public buildings and schools to display city-donated symbol

(ANSA) - Padua, June 25 - The mayor of the northern city of Padua declared Wednesday that all public buildings must display a Catholic crucifix.
    "Now every office and every school will get a nice mandatory crucifix donated by the city. Hands off the crucifixes or you will be in trouble", Mayor Massimo Bitonci, who is from the anti-immigrant Northern League party, wrote on his Facebook page.
    He also posted a picture of himself at a 2009 sit-in while distributing free crucifixes in the nearby town of Abano Terme, where a public school had one removed upon request by a student's family.
    While its 1948 Constitution says Italy is a secular State and that all religions are equal before the law, the government never explicitly abrogated decrees making crucifixes mandatory dating from the preceding Fascist regime.
    As a result many hospitals, courts and schools still display the Catholic symbol.


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