Pope Francis condemned the European Commission’s efforts to remove terms referring to Christianity, including Christmas, from the body’s communications. According to the pope, the EU should not embark on the path of ideological colonization.
Pope Francis criticized the European Union in a very harsh statement after its governing body, the European Commission (EC), proposed to ban the term Christmas from its official communications and even said that it is not presumed that everyone in Europe is a Christian and that everyone celebrates Christian holidays.
After the Catholic archbishop’s visit to Cyprus and Greece, he told reporters: “In history many, many dictatorships have tried to do so. Think of Napoleon: from there… Think of the Nazi dictatorship, the communist one… it is a fashion of a watered-down secularism, distilled water… But this is something that throughout hasn’t worked.”
According to him, none of these anachronisms have worked throughout history. Pope Francis also expressed the not-so-popular opinion in Brussels that the EU should return to the spirituality of the founding fathers.
He also stated that the EU should respect the internal structures of the member states, their diversity and should not try to unify them, saying:
The European Union must take in hand the ideals of the founding fathers, which were ideals of unity, of greatness, and be careful not to take the path of ideological colonization. This could end up dividing the countries and [causing] the European Union to fail. The European Union must respect each country as it is structured within, the variety of countries, and not want to make them uniform. I don’t think it will do that, it wasn’t its intention, but be careful, because sometimes they come, and they throw projects like this one out there and they don’t know what to do; I don’t know what comes to mind… No, each country has its own peculiarity, but each country is open to the others. The European Union: its sovereignty, the sovereignty of brothers in a unity that respects the individuality of each country. And be careful not to be vehicles of ideological colonization. That is why [the issue] of Christmas is an anachronism.
Pope Francis, often accused of promoting globalization and anti-European policies, appears to align in his latest statements with the opinion of countries like Poland and Hungary — two countries which argue for an EU that respects sovereignty and respecting the culture of each nation state.
“It is dangerous to have a superpower that dictates to other countries in economic, cultural and social terms as well,” he argued.
As Remix News reported last week, in a drive to make communications more “inclusive,” the European Commission wants to erase all references to Christmas along with all gendered terms.
The European Commission is also keen to “avoid considering that everyone is Christian,” therefore “not everyone celebrates the Christmas holidays (…) we must be sensitive to the fact that people have different religious traditions.”
Critics of the move say there is a huge difference between respecting all religions and being ashamed or erasing the Christian roots that are the basis of Europe’s identity.