Pope Sees Crucifix as Symbol of "Civilization of Love"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 29, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II said the image of Christ on the cross is a source of consolation, and he invited believers to be builders of the “civilization of love.”

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The Pope’s words today were in response to the debate in Italy over a judge’s decision last Saturday to order the removal of a crucifix from a school, at the request of a Muslim fundamentalist party militant.

Addressing pilgrims at the general audience, the Holy Father urged them to be “builders of the civilization of love, of which the cross of Christ is an eloquent symbol, source of light, of consolation, and hope for the men of all times.”

Today’s Italian edition of L’Osservatore Romano published testimonies opposing the juridical order to remove the crucifix from public school classrooms in a town in the Aquila region, in central Italy. The testimonies were headlined: “We Will Not Let Them Take the Cross Away from Us.”

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