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The pendulum always swings too far. The European Court recently ruled that crucifixes must be taken off the walls of Italian classrooms. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state, in a reference to Halloween, complained about “a Europe of the third millennium that leaves us only with pumpkins.”
Italian towns and villages run by the government’s party are up in arms. The mayor of Sanremo placed a 2-metre crucifix in the mayoralty. The regional council of Trapani bought 72 of them. In Busto Arsizio flags are flying at half mast. The Bellini theatre of Catania has placed a huge one on the stage. Nightclubs in Valle d’Aosta are attaching them to the walls. “We will never take them down,” vows the Trieste mayor.