The European Union was forced to retract a controversial document after the Vatican accused Brussels of trying to cancel Christmas by “banning” certain Christian words.
The manual, which is supposed to be used for communications in EU institutions, and which is purportedly aimed at avoiding discrimination and promoting inclusivity, has been withdrawn, because it recommended banning the word “Christmas” in communications.
The controversial document, titled “Union of Equality,” recommended the expression “holiday period” instead of “Christmas period.” The document even proposed that traditionally Christian names such as “Mary” and “John” not be used anymore.
A series of politicians on the right, including the former president of the European parliament Antonio Tajani, a member of Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, jumped on the issue to voice their opposition to the “absurd” advice.
Inclusion Does Not Deny Christian Roots
“Inclusion does not mean denying the Christian roots of (the EU)”, Tajani tweeted.
In response to the backlash to cancel Christmas and even references to Christian saints’ names, Dalli, who had tweeted a picture of herself with the guidelines on October 26 along with comments speaking of her pride in launching the document, issued an apology.
Dali stated “My initiative to draft guidelines as an internal document for communication by commission staff in their duties was intended to achieve an important aim: to illustrate the diversity of European culture and showcase the inclusive nature of the European commission towards all walks of life and beliefs of European citizens.
“However, 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. The guidelines clearly need more work. I therefore withdraw the guidelines and will work further on this document.”