FaithTue Feb 8, 2011 - 1:41 pm EST
EU: Omitting Christmas, Easter from agenda was a ‘mistake’
BRUSSELS, Belgium, February 8, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The European Commission admitted that it made a “mistake” by omitting Christmas and Easter from an official agenda that included numerous non-Christian religious holidays, and said “immediate remedial action” will be taken.
The EU produced over three million copies of the diaries for secondary school students in various European countries. They were immediately attacked for including references to Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Chinese festivities, but failing to mention Christmas or Easter.
A statement on the Consumer Affairs website announced, “Immediate remedial action is being taken to rectify the omission of certain Christian religious holidays from the Europa Diary 2010/2011.”
The “error” was “regrettable” and “will be addressed by a Corrigendum sent to all teachers who ordered this edition of the Diary in all EU Member States concerned.”
“There was never an intention to discriminate against the Christian religion in this publication.”
In a statement on his website, EU consumer protection commissioner John Dalli said, “It has come to my attention that the current edition of the dairy does not refer to those religious holidays and events, such as Christmas, that are of Europe heritage.
“I very much regret this incoherence and am taking immediate action.”
The diary has already been sent to at least 21,000 schools throughout Europe, but the Consumer Protection Commissioner assured that letters were being sent to the education ministry “apologizing” for the mistake.
The letter will include a page for possible inclusion in the diary listing all the religious and public holidays for that particular country, reported The Parliament.com.
“This will, of course, include Christmas. The letter will explain that this was a mistake on our side,” said Dalli.
In the diary the section dated December 25 was blank, while the bottom of the page gave the secular message: “A true friend is someone who shares your concerns and will double your joy.”
Johanna Touzel, the spokesman for the Catholic Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community, said the absence of Christian festivals is “just astonishing.”
The Christian Democratic Party in France said the omission was “unacceptable.” They filed a petition requesting that the diaries not be distributed as printed but replaced with versions that include the Christian holidays.