Catholics shocked that Vatican Christmas tree has no Christian symbols


ROME, Italy, December 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The decorations on the Vatican Christmas tree in St. Peter’s Square this year are devoid of Christian religious symbols, a veteran Vaticanist reports.

“Look,” a friend of Dr. Robert Moynihan pointed out to him. “There are peace signs, and the oriental yin-yang signs, but no angels, no depictions of the Magi, no images of Mary, nothing but universal symbols.”

“We have not seen a single religious symbol, not a single Christian symbol, on the tree.”

Close up of the 2017 Vatican Christmas tree showing a yin-yang symbol.Dr. Robert Moynihan

Continued Moynihan: “And I too saw that there seemed not to be a single Christian symbol on the tree, unless the star on the top of the tree could be considered a sign of the star that led the Magi to the Christ-child.”

The report came in Moynihan’s December 20 eLetter, which recounted his running into two friends recently while walking through St. Peter’s Square. Moynihan is the founder and editor-in-chief of Inside the Vatican magazine.

Moynihan said his friends were alarmed about the tree decorations.

“Many nuns in Rome say they are shocked and are very worried about the message these decorations are sending to the youngest,” Moynihan’s friend said. “I wish I knew the Pope’s secretaries to tell them to tell the Pope what is on the Square, if really the Holy Father wants to go and to bless such things. The worst thing for all these sponsors would be for the Pope not to come to the Square on December 31.”

The tree is a gift to the Vatican from Poland. It was Pope St. John Paul II who established the tradition of Christmas trees in St. Peter’s Square decades ago.

Media reports by and large on the ornaments followed the Vatican report’s lead, mentioning that the ornaments were created by children receiving treatment at several Italian hospitals and children from the Italian Archdiocese of Spoleto-Norcia, which was rocked by earthquakes in 2016.

News reports discussed the ornaments being made of synthetic materials to stand up to winter weather, but not the ornaments’ designs.

Moynihan’s friends told him that in past years, the Christmas tree had been decorated with brilliant white and yellow balls, denoting the Vatican colors.

The two said as well they had written a letter to the Government of Vatican City, protesting the decorations on the Christmas tree.

Controversy continues to swirl around the Vatican Nativity for its particular approach to using nudity. Facebook flagged the image of this year’s Nativity display for being “sexually suggestive or provocative.”

The tree and the Nativity scene are set to remain in St Peter’s Square until the evening of Sunday, January 7, 2018, when the Church celebrates the feast of the Lord’s Baptism.

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2 comments on “Catholics shocked that Vatican Christmas tree has no Christian symbols

  1. [By far not as good as The Donald’s White House Christmas tree but better than Barack’s]


    Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on White House celebrations:


    There could not be a greater difference between President Barack Obama’s first White House Christmas and President Donald Trump’s. Obama did not believe in exchanging Christmas gifts with his family; Trump does so lavishly.

    The cover story of the July 23, 2008 edition of People magazine set the tone for how presidential candidate Obama would celebrate Christmas, if elected. Here is what it said. “The kids receive no birthday or Christmas presents from Mom and Dad, who spend ‘hundreds’ on birthday slumber parties….”

    Trump’s first White House Christmas has the imprint of Melania Trump: she turned several rooms into a colorful display of epic proportions.

    The theme “Time-Honored Traditions” included more than 18,000 feet of lights, 3,100 yards of ribbon, 12,000 ornaments and 53 Christmas trees. Most spectacular is the hallway of the East Colonnade: it is decorated like a winter wonderland of twinkling wintery branches. There is also a grand nativity scene in the East Room, and a stunning tribute to the armed forces in the East Wing.

    Obama’s first White House Christmas was embroiled in controversy from the beginning. The following is from a news story in the New York Times published on December 7, 2009.

    “When former social secretaries gave a luncheon to welcome Ms. [Desirée] Rogers earlier this year, one participant said, she surprised them by suggesting the Obamas were planning a ‘non-religious Christmas….’

    “The lunch conversation inevitably turned to whether the White House would display its crèche, customarily placed in a prominent spot in the East Room. Ms. Rogers, this participant said, replied that the Obamas did not intend to put the manger scene on display—a remark that drew an audible gasp from the tight-knit social secretary sisterhood.”

    When the reporter, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, asked the White House for clarification, she was told that “there had been internal discussions about making Christmas more inclusive and whether to display the crèche.”

    After creating this polarizing moment, a nativity scene was reluctantly displayed. But this didn’t end the controversy. Genocidal maniac Mao Zedong, who was responsible for the deaths of 77 million Chinese people, was celebrated by the Obama White House: his picture adorned a Christmas tree ornament. Various drag queens were also honored.


    There have been no reports of Trump honoring Stalin or sexual deviants.

    Merry Christmas from the Catholic League.

  2. Not to worry, folks. I’m sure US Ambassadrix to the Motel 6 in sunny Nuouvo Roma, Callista the Soprano, will get this all squared away in a jiffy.

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