from afp: The Vatican on Friday welcomed as "historic" a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that said displaying crucifixes in schools in Italy did not breach the rights of non-Catholics. "It is an important and historic ruling," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a statement, adding that the decision "has been welcomed with satisfaction by the Holy See." The European Court of Human Rights ruled earlier that displaying crucifixes in schools in Italy did not breach the rights of non-Catholic families, overturning a previous decision. Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini also welcomed the ruling on behalf of the government in Rome, saying: "Today Europe's popular sentiment won out." The Strasbourg-based court initially ruled in November 2009 that displaying crucifixes in schools across Italy breached the rights of non-Catholics, drawing howls of anger from Church and political leaders in the staunchly Roman Catholic country.