Catholic News Agency, January 14, 2011
A 2011-2012 school calendar published by the European Union has omitted Christian holidays, while continuing to note important Jewish and Muslim celebrations.
The European Union has printed three million copies of the calendar which will be distributed free-of-charge to students who request them.
Former French politician and government minister, Christine Boutin, wrote in her blog Jan. 11 that the calendar leaves out Christianity, “the religion practiced or recognized as forming the cultural assembly of our ‘old’ continent.”
Boutin is a consultant for the Pontifical Council for the Family, as well as president of the Christian Democratic Party in France. She went on to lament that Christianity has “fallen into the limbo of collective ignorance.”
While Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter are missing from the calendar’s pages, days commemorating “Sikh Baisakhi-Day, the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday, the Muslim holiday Aid-el-Kebir,” remain in place,” Boutin continued.
The Christian Democratic Party in France called the omissions “unacceptable” and has filed a petition asking that the calendars not be distributed as printed, but that students be given versions that include Christian holidays.
“The role of the Christian religion in the shaping of Europe is an undeniable historical fact” that the European Union cannot omit. To do so would be to “instruct students while denying that a particular religion has greatly contributed to the foundation and unity of Europe,” the organization said.
The petition states that the Christian religion is “the first of all religions in Europe. It is therefore unthinkable that it be denied, as it has great importance for the lives of all.”