Christmas Cancelled In Europe?


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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent

BRUSSELS (Worthy News) – Christians across the began celebrating Christmas after the EU’s executive sought to cancel it as a feast with Christian roots.

An internal document by the European Commission, the EU’s executive, advised officials to use inclusive language such as “holiday season” rather than Christmas.

The memo also urged them to avoid terms such as “man-made” and advised substituting the “Christmas period” with “holiday period.”

The European Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, said she wanted to highlight European diversity and the “inclusive nature of the European Commission.”

The Commission made clear it seeks to reach out to migrants with and other religious backgrounds.

Separately it wants to embrace LGBTQ+ activists who, in some cases, target churches or Biblical-based sermons.

In Dalli’s memo, officials were advised to avoid gender-specific pronouns and gendered words or phrases such as “chairman,” “ladies and gentleman,” or “man-made.”

INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE?

Additionally, staff was encouraged to ask people their pronouns and be careful using terms such as “gay” and “lesbians” as a noun. “Transgender, bi, or intersex are not nouns.” … “Say, trans people, gay person, etc., or refer to the person explicitly,” the advisory suggested.

But in a Christmas statement, Dalli said her document didn’t meet Commission standards and failed to achieve its stated purpose. She spoke after an outcry from politicians and even the Vatican.

“The version of the guidelines published does not adequately serve this purpose. It is not a mature document and does not meet all commission quality standards,” Dalli stressed.

“The guidelines need more work. I, therefore, withdraw the guidelines and will work further on this document.”

At least some European Christians remain concerned about the future of Christmas, with Liberal politicians seeking change on how Christian holidays are celebrated.

Liberal politicians complain there are no Black people among European Commissioners and suggest married white men should not dominate the EU.

RETREAT QUESTIONED

Sophie in’t Veld, an outspoken liberal Dutch European legislator, fears the Commission’s sudden retreat on the Christmas issue. “Commissioner Dalli deserves praise for having the courage to address the issue, be it in a somewhat clumsy way,” she explained.

In‘t Veld condemned the “concerted misinformation and attacks on her by the far-right” and said, “the subsequent response to these by the Commission are concerning.”

She stressed that “We need to recognize that Europe and its institutions represent everyone. The institutions should be strictly neutral: let’s not forget the majority of Europeans are not religious.”

Her words contradicted EU statistics showing Christianity as the dominant in the bloc comprising 72.8 percent of the EU population as of 2018.

Smaller groups include , Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and some East Asian religions, especially in Western EU countries, including and France.

Devoted Christians regularly going to church or professing the as their daily guideline are much smaller groups in the 27-nation bloc, according to a Worthy News assessment.

VATICAN CONCERNED

Amid the controversy, Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin expressed an unusually sharp critique on perceived efforts to cancel Christmas.

Parolin said efforts to eradicate discrimination can’t involve the “cancellation of our roots, the Christian dimension of our Europe, especially with regard to Christian festivals.”

Antonio Tajani of Italy’s center-right Forza Italia party and the president of the constitutional affairs committee of the European Parliament hailed the retraction of Christmas guidelines.

“Viva Natale!” (“Long live Christmas!”), Tajani wrote in a message on the social
networking site . “Long live a Europe of common sense.”

Yet, with pressure mounting, European Christian leaders still wonder how long the faithful will be able to openly remember and refer to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.

The row over the Commission document came as millions of European Christians were already unable to visit churches this Christmas this year due to lockdowns or other measures.

Of course, Parolin added, “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.”

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