17 September 2008

The three "C"s of Italy


Crucifix

Italy has written into their Constitution the separation of Church and State, something this peninsula has struggled with for millennia. There are regular reports about how Italians don’t attend church and the Italian media is plastered with various scandals and naked women.

With this background I found it interesting that the majority of businesses and offices we have been to have crucifixes hanging prominently on their walls. I mean private and government offices, it is the exception not to see a crucifix.

I asked a friend about this who admits the last time he was in church was on his wedding day why he has a crucifix in his business and he was surprised by the question. “Why wouldn’t he, everyone does, don’t they do that in America?” My language skills are not sufficient to explain the activities of the ACLU.

Crucifixes are as much a part of the Italian way of life as is caffé and calcio.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bryan,

If no one is going to church, who's paying for the upkeep on all those cathedrals?

Martin

Steve said...

I was surprised to see crucifixes in the public school classrooms too. They also had religion class which seemed more of a comparative theology than a Catholic Catechism. Parents could opt out of the religion class for their children. It seemed the local parishes provided the Sacramental preparation and Catholic instruction.

Bryan said...

Martin, Solid stone structures don't need as much upkeep at a stick frame, plus these are also points of civic pride. There are still a lot of churches that we have seen that need major repairs.

Steve, The crucifix, unfortunately, is just seen as a part of the landscape - it may have lost some of the true significance.

Anonymous said...

HELLO BRYAN, WE HAVE SURVIVED THE BERRY HARVEST, THE STORMY WINDS OF IKE DID TEAR UP THE SHED SO WE HAVE TO BUY ANOTHER. I AM THANKFUL TO HAVE MY GRANDMOTHERS CRUCIFIX, SHE TOO LOST A CHILD AND EVERYDAY I LOOK AT IT AND SAY A SILENT PRAYER. I USE TO FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE AROUND CROSSES,SO SAD, BUT NOW I LIKE TO SEE THEM REMINDS ME OF "WHO IS IN CHARGE" WE HOPE TO GET TO LOURDES SOME DAY. OUR KIND FAMILY DR. COLLECTS CROSSES AND WHEN HE IS DONE WITH US HE ALWAYS SAYS "GOD BLESS YOU" HE IS A GENTLE SOUL.

GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS ALSO,

TINA AND GLEN

Gil said...

I think that the crucifixes add a bit of warmth to a room.