The Associação República e Laicidade wrote to RTP denouncing what it considers the illegality of publishing the Christmas message from the Patriarch of Lisbon, reminding that there is an opinion against this type of situation.
In the message, which was sent before the broadcast of this evening's message from Rui Valerio, the association warned that the message was announced on several RTP channels, with RTP1 and others also broadcasting various religious celebrations, namely the “Holy Eucharist” (day 24 in the morning). and “The Christmas Mass” (25th a.m.).
“The Republican and Secular Association considers that granting airtime on public television channels to any religious community violates the constitutionally defined principle of secularism of the Portuguese Republic. This principle, to which all state employees, including public television, are bound, does not apply to it compatible with the use of public resources to defend Religious doctrine and its promotion, whatever it may be,” the association warns in the letter.
In which she also argues that since there is already a specific space for different religious communities (the “Men’s Faith” program on RTP 2 and Antena 1), the annual publication of the messages of the Patriarch of the Catholic Church outside this space and “similarly to broadcast time” constitutes “an incompatible privilege.” “With the secular nature of public service it must therefore end.”
The association also points out that the message, which is broadcast this year at 9 pm on RTP1, represents a setback in the secularization of RTP, as the message will not be broadcast in 2022.
Recall that there is an opinion issued by the Advisory Council of the Attorney General's Office, according to which “all advertisements aimed at promoting a religious sect, or aimed at religious ideas, must be considered unlawful, and their perpetrator shall bear administrative responsibility.” “.
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