Vatican Newspaper Criticizes BBC’s Elimination to Drop B.C. and A.D.

by John Thavis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The Vatican newspaper said it was “historically senseless hypocrisy” for the BBC to drop the dating abbreviations B.C. and A.D. on the grounds that they might offend non-Christians.

In a front-page commentary Oct. 4, L’Osservatore Romano said the change reflected a wider effort to “cancel every trace of Christianity from Western culture.”

The British media corporation recently announced it would replace B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini, or Year of the Lord) with B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era). It said the new terms were a “religiously neutral” alternative.

The Vatican newspaper added its voice to a growing number of critics, who have noted that the new dating abbreviations still use the birth of Christ as a reference point, but without acknowledging the connection.