Pope Francis: European Commission bid to curb use of 'Christian,' 'Christmas' like 'dictatorships'

Pope's comments follow conservatives criticizing commission’s guidance.
Pope Francis
Pope Francis during weekly general audience at the Vatican, Oct. 7, 2020
(Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Pope Francis is criticizing the European Commission's effort to make official communications more inclusive, comparing the group's recent guidelines on using terms like "Christmas" and "Christian" to the actions of historic dictatorships.

"In history many, many dictatorships have tried to do this kind of thing," the pope said Monday, according to Politico. "Think of Napoleon. ... Think of the Nazi dictatorship, the communist one. It is something that throughout history hasn't worked."

The pope's remarks follow the commission last week pulling back its 30-page guide intended to insure no European felt excluded from EU communications, which included the suggestion that staff members "avoid assuming that everyone is Christian" and celebrates Christmas.

The pope's comments also follow conservatives criticizing the commission's guidance.

"The European Union must respect each country's internal structure, its variety and not try to make them uniform," said the pope, according to a transcript of his comments. "I don't think it will do that, it wasn't its intention, but it must be careful."