Date :Saturday, December 11th, 2021 | Time : 06:36 |ID: 240500 | Print

EU scraps the phrase ‘holiday period’ after claims of cancelling Europe’s Christian roots

SHAFAQNA- The European Commission on Tuesday retracted internal communication guidelines that had proposed substituting the “Christmas period” with “holiday period” after an outcry by conservatives and the Vatican, which termed the document an attempt to “cancel” Europe’s Christian roots.

Eurocrats published the rule months ago as part of a guide to “inclusive communication,” details of which were leaked, sparking a furious backlash. The European Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, said the draft document had been intended to highlight European diversity and showcase the “inclusive nature of the European Commission.” But in a statement, she said it didn’t meet Commission standards and failed to achieve its stated purpose.

“The guidelines clearly need more work,” she said, adding that a revised document would take into account concerns that had been raised, Euronews reported. Politicians from Italy – where the story first emerged – accused the EU of waging a war on ‘common sense’, while the Vatican accused Brussels of trying to ‘cancel’ Europe’s Christian roots, Whatsnew2day  mentioned. Italian conservatives had voiced outrage about the document, claiming among other things that it was “cancelling Christmas.”

The Vatican called the language an attempt to “cancel” Europe’s Christian roots, according the Associated Press. Even the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, intervened with an unusually sharp critique in a video on the Vatican News portal. Parolin lauded efforts to eradicate discrimination in the bloc but said initiatives can’t involve the “cancellation of our roots, the Christian dimension of our Europe, especially with regard to Christian festivals.

“Of course, we know that Europe owes its existence and its identity to many influences, but we certainly cannot forget that one of the main influences, if not the main one, was Christianity itself,” he said. Antonio Tajani of Italy’s centre-right Forza Italia party and the president of the constitutional affairs commission of the European Parliament hailed the retraction of the guidelines.

“Viva Natale!” (“Long live Christmas!”), Tajani tweeted. “Long live a Europe of common sense.” A 2015 Pew Research Center study found that in 2010, 74.5 percent of Europeans were Christian. This number is expected to decline by about 100 million people to 65.2 percent by 2050 , according to Newsweek.

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