Il ritmo giuridico delle processioni religiose. Riflessioni critiche a margine di una recente e ancipite sentenza in materia di turbatio sacrorum (Cass. pen., III, 2242/2022)

Article 405 of Italian Criminal Code penalizes the volunteer disruption or prevention of religious services, ceremonies or practices performed by a religious minister in a place of worship or in a public open place open to the public. The Italian Supreme Court of Cassation, with an innovative ruling, qualified as a criminal offence interruption of a traditional religious procession with a sacred statue made in front of the house of an important mafia boss to pay homage to him. Both the arguments provided by the Court and the interpretation of principles involved in them deserve a careful examination with specific regard to their possible implications with respect to the exercise of religious freedom. The scope of the decision at stake, if not attentively bounded from a semantic point of view, runs the risk of paving the way to an illegitimate broadening of the category of crimes against the religious sentiment. The primary purpose of this essay is to align the security requirements undergirding the decision by the Cassation with religion and the related rites as ‘ethno-social habits and ortopraxes.’

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