The European Commission has rejected the idea of reprinting a school calendar handed out to millions of students that lists Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Chinese festivals, but ignores both of Christianity’s most significant days: Christmas and Easter.
The EC Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, issued a statement that the error was “regrettable” and explaining a 1-page “correction” was sent to schools.
“In the Ombudsman’s view, the actions which the commission took to rectify the error were reasonable. He further considered that it would be disproportionate to reprint the 2010/2011 edition. Accordingly the Ombudsman closed the case without further inquiries,” said a statement from the EC released to the Telegraph.
The issue had been raised by an Irish priest who noted the inclusion of the other religious dates, as well as a “Europe Day” which falls on May 9, but the complete absence of references to Christmas and Easter – “or any other Christian holiday.”
The Christian Institute, which advocates for the truths of the Bible throughout the United Kingdom, said the only text for Christmas Day is, “A true friend is someone who shares your concerns and doubles your joy.”
It noted that the omission of the Christian festivals in the diary angered many church leaders and politicians at least partly because of the organization’s “Christmas card” for 2010, which included no reference to Christ’s birth “but instead bore the words ‘Season’s Greetings.'”
The Institute said the “Europa Diary” is issued to secondary schools every year by the Brussels-based organization.
It said, “When the error originally came to light, a spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community said the omission was ‘just astonishing.'”
“Christmas and Easter are important feasts for hundreds of millions of Christians and Europeans,” Johanna Touzel, said in the Institute report. “If the commission does not mark Christmas as a feast in its diaries then it should be working as normal on December 25.”
Earlier, Martin Callanan, the leader of the European Conservatives, told the Institute the “mistake” really was more propaganda than anything else.
“It comes as no surprise that the commission is turning into a bunch of Euro Scrooges,” he said. “Why is the commission spending money sending calendars to millions of schoolchildren in the first place?”
At a blog posting on the situation was the comment, “So much for the inclusion of Christianity – on which the history of Europe is based.
So much for the grand, encompassing nature of the European Union that was promised to us all, and particularly to the people of Ireland when they were bullied into ratifying the Lisbon Treaty – they having already rejected it once.
“Pope Benedict XVI has recently made reference to the persecution of Christians, and the rejection of Christianity. Is this a further instance of such a mindset within the European Union?”
At another site was the posting, “This is NOT a war on Christmas, it’s a war on Christianity. And it’s here in America, too, school calendars are being changed to eliminate Christian holidays (but keep those of other religions), we all know about the endless lawsuits and complaints about Christmas trees and nativity scenes, scientists (so-called) are now saying that Christmas trees should not be displayed publicly, people apologize for saying the WORD ‘Christmas’!, and kids are being told they can’t wear crosses to school. … The list goes on and on. WE are under attack, and we have to find a way to fight back, or they will indeed eliminate all evidence of Christianity from this planet.”
WND previously reported on the report called “Shadow Report on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe,” which cites page after page of examples of attacks on Christians and Christianity across Europe.
“There are signs that hostility towards free and open demonstrations of faith is growing. Christians are increasingly marginalized and are appearing more often in courts over matters related to faith. So I think that we are heading for a bloodless persecution,” Gudrun Kugler told Mercatornet about the report.