European Parliament Authorizes a Creche

Source: FSSPX News

The artisanal nativity scene with Isabel Benjumea

For the first time in its history, the European Parliament will exhibit a Nativity scene. Installed on Wednesday, November 30, the Nativity scene will remain on display until January 6, the feast of the Epiphany, at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels.

This presence is due to MEP Isabel Benjumea of Spain, a member of the Partido Popular, who was elected in 2019 and is a practicing Catholic.

Shortly after her election Isabel Benjumea contacted the office of the Presidency of Parliament to request the presence of a Nativity scene at Christmas time. In December 2020, a negative response followed on the grounds that the display of religious content could be offensive.

She reports having retorted: “Is it offensive to enter the Prado Museum and see the wonderful works of Fra Angelico, Caravaggio, or Velázquez when they exhibit the Annunciation, the Adoration of the Kings, or the Nativity? Is it offensive to remind Europeans that December 25 is the birth of Jesus of Nazareth?”

The MEP was then able to benefit from the support of the current President of Parliament, the Maltese Roberta Metsola, as well as the support of the leader of the Partido Popular Spaniards in the European Chamber, Dolors Montserrat.

Isabel Benjumea argued that the institution could not consider it an offense to remember that at Christmas what is celebrated is the birth of Christianity, nor take offense at the desire to claim “something as simple as the historical heritage of Europe.”

Finally, she recalled, “the founding fathers of the EU came from Christian humanism and, of course, Europe cannot be understood without its Christian roots.” The Spanish MEP insisted, and ended up obtaining, a positive response to her request in 2022. The crèche, financed by Spanish MEPs, was installed in Brussels on Wednesday.

For now, this is a temporary concession. Benjumea is convinced that there is no turning back, and dreams of seeing a parade of artisanal Nativity scenes from the different Spanish provinces or from other European countries with a great tradition of Nativity scenes, such as Poland, Austria, Italy, and Belgium.

It is an artisanal Nativity scene made in Murcia, Spain, in the workshop of Jesús Griñán, a specialist in the field and who has already offered his works in Europe and Asia. The project will be financed by all the Spanish deputies of the Partido Popular, who hope that this historic first will mark the beginning of a long tradition.