Cardinal backs wearing of cross ‘to show you value role of Jesus’

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Christians should wear a cross on their clothes every day as “a symbol of their beliefs”, according to the head of the Catholic church in Scotland.

In his Easter Sunday homily, Cardinal Keith O’Brien will call on Christians to make the cross “more prominent in their lives”.

Speaking at Edinburgh’s St Mary’s Cathedral tomorrow, he will tell them to “wear proudly a symbol of the cross of Christ on their garments each and every day of their lives”.

He will say: “I know that many of you do wear such a cross of Christ, not in any ostentatious way, not in a way that might harm you at your work or recreation, but a simple indication that you value the role of Jesus Christ in the history of the world, that you are trying to live by Christ’s standards in your own daily life.”

Two women who say they were discriminated against when their employers barred them from wearing the symbol are fighting to get their cases heard at the European Court of Human Rights.

Nadia Eweida, 59, of Twickenham, south west London, was suspended by British Airways for breaching BA’s uniform code in 2006. Shirley Chaplin, 56, from Exeter, was barred from working on wards by Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust after refusing to hide the cross she wore on a necklace chain.

Tomorrow, Cardinal O’Brien will quote Pope Benedict XVI, who said Christians “need to be free to act in accordance with their own principles”.

He will say: “I hope that increasing numbers of Christians adopt the practice of wearing a cross in a simple and discreet way as a symbol of their beliefs.”