Italian Anti-Crucifix Judge Loses Office

ROME (AP) - An official of the watchdog body for Italy's judiciary says a judge who refused to hear cases because there are crucifixes in the nation's courtrooms has been effectively barred from continuing in his job.

For years, Judge Luigi Tosti has insisted religious symbols have no place in courtrooms.

Nicola Mancino, vice president of the self-governing The Superior Council of Magistrates, told state TV Friday that Tosti has been taken of the professional rolls of Italian magistrates, essentially removing him from office.

Mancino says it's not up to the watchdog body to decide on the merits of Tosti's opposition to courtroom crucifixes. But Mancino said magistrates removed Tosti from office because he even refused to hear cases in a courtroom where the crucifix had been expressly removed to meet his objections.

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