Vatican newspaper slams BBC's stance on BC/AD in dates
Oct 4, 2011, 16:01 GMT
Vatican City - The Vatican's official newspaper on Tuesday criticized as an 'historically nonsensical hypocrisy' the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)'s reported plan to drop the terms BC and AD when specifying dates.
Wednesday's edition of L'Osservatore Romano - the newspaper comes out late the previous day - was commenting on what it said was the BBC's intention to replace BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini or the year of our Lord) with the more neutral BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era).
'The BBC has in its dating system decided to ignore the birth of Christ,' read the title of an article written by Catholic historian Lucetta Scaraffia.
Following criticism in Britain, including from some of its well-known radio and television personalities, the BBC recently denied it intends to change its rules on how dates should be specified, but noted that the decision on which term to use would lie with individual production and editorial teams for specific programmes.
L'Osservatore Romano rejected what it said was BBC's professed motive behind the decision: respect for people of other religions.
'In reality, it is already quite clear that the respect for other religions is only a pretext, because it is only some secular Westerners who wish to cancel every trace of Christianity from Western culture,' it added.
'This is certainly not the first time that this has happened,' the article noted.
L'Osservatore Romano compared the BBC's stance to the introduction by the anti-clerical leaders of the French Revolution of a new calendar in which the date of the storming by revolutionaries of Paris' Bastille prison, July 14, 1789, was adopted as the first year of a new era.
L'Osservatore Romano also recalled how other ideologically- motivated changes made to calendars, such as those introduced by Russian Communist leader Vladimir Lenin and Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini had ultimately failed.
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