A public school in northern Spain must remove crucifixes from its walls, a Spanish judge ordered recently.
A parent and a local secular association requested the removal of the crucifixes from Macias Picavea School in 2005. Judge Alejandro Valentin of the city of Valladolid agreed, saying, “The presence of these symbols in areas ...where minors are being educated can promote the idea that the state is closer” to Roman Catholicism than other faiths.
Under the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, Roman Catholicism was Spain’s official religion. Franco died in 1975, and the country’s 1978 constitution mandates a commitment to a “secular and neutral” state but also requires the government to “take into account the religious beliefs of Spanish society and maintain the appropriate relations of cooperation, with the Catholic Church and other denominations.”
The recent ruling marks the first time a Spanish court has ordered crucifixes removed from a public school.