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3 Dec, 2021 15:20

Vatican lashes out at EU in ‘Christmas’ row

Vatican lashes out at EU in ‘Christmas’ row

A now-revoked EU document proposing to substitute the word ‘Christmas’ with ‘holiday’, and to avoid mentioning certain Christian names for the sake of inclusivity, has been slammed by the Vatican as out of touch with reality.

The controversial paper containing internal guidelines for the European Commission has faced a huge backlash, including from the Vatican. The proposal does “not [know] how to respect even the rightful differences,” the secretary of state from the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church said in an interview. The tendency “to homologate everything” poses “a risk of destroying the person,” he warned.

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Cardinal Pietro Parolin acknowledged that it’s right to try to “erase all discrimination,” but he criticized the suggested way of achieving that goal. The document promoted “the cancelation of our roots” and demonstrated “forgetfulness of what is a reality,” he said.

We must rediscover the capacity to integrate all these realities without ignoring them, without fighting them, without eliminating and marginalizing them.

The draft, aimed at illustrating “the diversity of European culture,” according to EU Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli, contained a number of inclusivity provisions. Namely, it recommended that the expression “Christmas period” be replaced with “festive period,” and advised against using names such as Mary and John as examples in publications.

This week, the draft was retracted as being “not a mature document,” with Dalli saying it will be reworked and promising her commission will revisit the issue with an updated version.