“Of course, we know that Europe owes its existence and its identity to many contributions, but we certainly cannot forget that one of the main contributions, if not the main one, was Christianity itself. Therefore, destroying the diversity and destroying the roots means precisely to destroy the person.”
The advice concerning the word “Christmas” appeared in a section of the document called “Cultures, lifestyles or beliefs.”
Under the heading “Dos and Don’ts,” it said: “Consider the diversity of cultures, lifestyles, religions and socio-economic backgrounds in the composition of panels you organize, when inviting participants to events, and when selecting testing panels, focus groups, and your own communication teams.”
“Make space in your visual communication for different kinds of cultures, celebrations and rituals that are popular in different parts of the EU and in different communities.”
On Tuesday, Helena Dalli acknowledged concerns about the document, which she described as a “work in progress.”
“We are looking into these concerns with the view of addressing them in an updated version of the guidelines,” she wrote on her Twitter account on Nov. 30.
In an attached European Commission statement, she said: “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.”
Cardinal Parolin said that Pope Francis’ visit to Cyprus and Greece this week would take the pope to “the wellsprings of Europe.”
“So it seems to me that this journey comes at just the right time, it is a journey that reminds us precisely of these fundamental dimensions that cannot be erased,” he told Vatican News.
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“We must rediscover the ability to integrate all these realities without ignoring them, without fighting them, without eliminating them and marginalizing them.”