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Nativity ban sparks city protest

Melbourne's Catholic Youth Ministry is organising a CBD street protest tomorrow to highlight the perceived reality that "Christ" has been left out of "Christmas".

The Herald-Sun reports that the protest is aimed squarely at the Melbourne City Council's refusal to host a nativity scene in the CBD.

The protest is expected to take the form of a live performance of the nativity scene on the steps of Melbourne Town Hall.

The Youth Ministry organisers claim the council refuses to endorse any Christmas events "that promote Christ".

Monsignor Les Tomlinson said the protest is a response to a general denial about Christmas's Christian origins.

"The aggressive promotion of the commercial side of Christmas has seen a shift where some people are even unaware of its Christian origins," he said.

Jewish and Muslim leaders have also criticised the council's promotion of a secular and commercial conception of Christmas as political correctness gone mad.

But Lord Mayor John So said there was no deliberate exclusion of any group from Christmas. He said council's Christmas campaign focused on symbols of Christmas such as a tree and stars.

Nativity scene ban sparks city protest (Herald-Sun 20/12/04)

Catholic Youth Ministry, Melbourne
Archdiocese of Melbourne
City of Melbourne

Melbourne bishop regrets politically-correct Christmas downgrade (CathNews 7/12/04)
Baby Jesus let back into Sydney store (CathNews 1/12/04)
PC Christmas: Don't mention the 'C' word (CathNews 23/12/04)
Politically correct 'Holiday Tree' threatening identity of Christmas Tree (CathNews 28/11/02)

No room at the inn (Sunday Herald-Sun 12/12/04)
City lines up busy Christmas calendar (The Age 7/12/04)

Christmas and Family talkback (ABC Radio National Life Matters 17/12/04)
Christmas trees in a Buddhist temple to honour Jesus' birth ( 17/12/04)
Israeli Christians to visit Bethlehem this Christmas ( 17/12/04)
Uncertainty on Christmas Eve for the peoples and governments of Israel and Palestine ( 18/12/04)
May the Christmas tree teach us to give ourselves, says the Pope ( 19/12/04)
In Italy, it's been a rough year for the baby Jesus (Catholic News Service 17/12/04)
Star-filled Christmas concert at the Vatican to build new churches in Rom (Catholic News Agency 17/12/04)
Nativity Scenes Shaped by Customs (The Herald-Sun Durham North Carolina/Associated Press 17/12/04)
Nativity scene ban sparks city protest (Herald-Sun 20/12/04)
John Paul II at Christmas time ( 18/12/04)
Pope condemns Christmas materialism (Reuters 19/12/04)
Chrisopher Bantick: The sadness of Christmas (The Age 20/12/04)
Anne Henderson: God isn't a stranger in the suburbs (The Australian 20/12/04)
Great god commerce wins out at Christmas (The Australian 20/12/04)
Christmas Message Archbishop of Melbourne -- Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne (Archdiocese of Melbourne)

20 Dec 2004