Portugal cancels holidays after Vatican talks
The Vatican signed off on Portugal's move to eliminate four holidays.
May 9th, 2012
10:18 AM ET

Portugal cancels holidays after Vatican talks

By Sofia Fernandes and Richard Allen Greene

(CNN) - Portugal is eliminating four holidays to try to boost its economy, the government announced - but only after getting the agreement of the Vatican.

The economically struggling European country will stop giving workers a day off for Corpus Christi and All Saints' Day, starting next year, the government said.

It will also eliminate two civil holidays to be fair, the statement said Tuesday.

The center-right government thanked the Holy See and the Portuguese Bishops' Conference for their "constructive approach" to the negotiations.

Portugal and the Vatican will re-evaluate the agreement in five years, the government said.

Economy ministry spokesman Hugo Soares declined to say how cutting the holidays would boost the economy.

The opposition Socialists and Communists did not immediately respond to CNN requests for comment.

Portugal, a largely Catholic country, is struggling with recession and debt. Along with the economies of Greece, Italy, Ireland and Spain, its economy is a cause for concern across the 17 countries that use the euro as their currency.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Portugal

soundoff (96 Responses)
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    May 12, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  7. TYPICAL atheist's logic

    Atheists are like a fishermen who have been competing to hit the ocean floor using their long poles but failed. They decided to connect all their long poles altogether and made the last attempt but fail yet. All of them went back to the shore frustrated, telling all people that "ocean like beer in a bar, is bottomless".

    May 12, 2012 at 7:58 am |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    May 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!.

      May 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  9. 'Nother-Son-'O-Ursus

    This pic 'o this pope reminds one of Bela Lugosi & others, (playing at 'Vlad dracul') the historic inspiration for vampires!

    May 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  10. The Truth

    The vatican placed this judge in office and is responsible for this atrocity!!



    May 10, 2012 at 2:34 am |
    • Cartoon

      Wow. The Vatican is in charge of saying who gets to be a judge in the U.S. That's weird for a country that has only had one Catholic as president more than 50 years ago.

      May 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • momoya

      I doubt that the RC can completely decide who gets placed as judge somewhere, but it would be stupid to pretend that the RCC doesn't have a lot of control over what what happens in America's politics.. Just a few weeks ago the RCC basically told the US and the President that they would not follow a particular law-SO THE CONGRESS WROTE A NEW ONE!!!. I know of no other group that could wield as much power.. FVCK the Roman Catholic Church; fvck it as hard and fast and with as many psychological consequences as they often put to small children in their care.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  11. Hdixbskans

    No! Please don't use your force lightning Emperor Palpatine!!!!! Seriously, look at the photo.

    May 10, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • Cartoon

      Your humor is so original.

      May 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • AGuest9

      It's uncanny! It's the first thing that pops into my head every time I see a pic of him.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • fritz

      Wow! I thought he looked familiar. He's the spitting image of the Dark Lord himself. Emporer Palpatine of the Galactic Empire a.k.a. Darth Sidious. Master of the Dark Side.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
  12. Badda Bing

    A shame Portugal did not cancel superstitious delusions instead.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Geo

      Hey, that's really clever! Good job parroting your master Richard Dawkins!

      May 10, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Cartoon

      Wow. I get all my views on life and the world from Family Guy and South Park too.

      May 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  13. PTUK

    For the ignorant lot here that do not (or refuse to) understand the role of the Vatican in this story, I strongly suggest you look up the definition of the following word: concordat.

    May 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Ken in Texas

      Good tip,,,,,,"The Concordat of 2004 was an agreement between Portugal and the Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church. ........ It has 33 articles, and supersedes the Concordat of 1940, renewing the relations between the Catholic Church and Portugal, redefining the status of this religion in the Portuguese Republic. Articles refer to aspects from religious holidays, ect......"

      May 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  14. Suzie

    Religion adapting to opinion yet again. So much for a firm foundation for morality, sheepies.

    May 9, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Ken in Texas

      What has it to do with a moral foundation? You have to admit, you'd complain if the church opposed this action and you just did when they didn't. You just have a hatred of the church and love the opportunity to slam it even if you haven't a good reason. Putz!

      May 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • TruthWarrior

      The RCC is a criminal organization bent on committing crimes against humanity for over 1500 years!
      They are sadistic, perverted criminals whose greed and lust are only matched by their overweening pride, arrogance, and hatefulness!
      They have no authority from a god! They lie, cheat, steal, extort, defraud, torture, murder, molest and raipe children, swindle dying people, and do their best to evade prosecution like the slimiest gangster that ever crawled out from a sewer!

      They have no business running a country, an empire of mental slavery, or anything in this world. They are CRIMINALS and they need to be STOPPED NOW!
      There are a lot of Catholics who think nothing of committing any crime, because all they have to do is run to the confessional, give the RCC their "cut", and get "absolution" and criminal assistance in avoiding capture or prosecution.

      When you think you can become "innocent" of a crime you just committed just by hiding behind the suave slick thugs the RCC employs and influences, then there is nothing to hold you back from repeating your crimes.
      Instead of accountability, the RCC promotes the hiding of criminal behavior. Did you never guess why or just how long and extensive their criminal network is?
      Portugal is one of their slave-states. If they wanted they could massacre anyone in that country and get away with it. And don't think it never happens. It does. And that's in addition to the thousands, the millions of children who are tortured, raiped, beaten, brutalized, and murdered by members of the RCC and protected by the RCC.
      A few holidays doesn't make much difference when the whole country groans under the whips of the RCC who gather the gold, the cash, the property, and the sx slaves and torture victims.
      They are one of the most EVIL organizations IN THE WORLD!

      May 9, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Ken in Texas

      Truthwarrior,,,, first of all, your name is wrong based on some of you outrageous comments. And you think the RCC can murder everyone in tha country? Oh pal, you need to get your meds adjusted. It appears your levels are off a bit and you are talking crazy talk.

      May 9, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  15. Leucadia Bob


    May 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  16. Coffeebreaker

    Just think about it, Portugal does very well with turism and also the other European countries in dificulty, when you go in vacation, you want to enjoy restaurantes and all other amenities, guess what they will be closed because of all those saint holidays they have and then if happens to be on a thursday it gets bridged they do not work until monday. If you have business you want to make the best of it to be open when every one is out and about. Now what does the Vatican has to do with it...really...the Vatican is very rich it is a country on it self, I do not see how is it helping any one, it likes to preach but stuffs it's greedy hands deep in is pockets.

    May 9, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Nice name.

      May 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • J.W

      We need a smokebreaker.

      May 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      smokebreaker has to go outside, so he can't post 🙁 He is forced to b!tch to other smokers in person.

      May 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      On a more serious note, one would need to know if businesses are recquired to close said holidays. If it's anything like the US, just look at Walmart. We have several holidays ourselves, but Walmart only closes 1 day out of the year, by thier own choice. I tried to find the answer myself, but have not yet.

      May 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  17. David Nelson

    Has Portugal ever heard of the concept of separation of church and state? The little horn power in Daniel (the papal antichrist power) would seek to change times and laws. I don't remember any of those feasts in the bible, or Sunday worship for that matter. It's amazing! The country can't even amend its own laws without permission of the Vatican. Really Sad! Heaven help the United States if we ever fall into the same trap of uniting with the Vatican.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Dr. Howard

      Portugal is just another Vatican colony that never threw off their colonial oppressor.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Bo

      Many of these countries have no conception of separation of church and state.
      Believe me David, “The little Horn” is desperately working to get the same power in the U.S. as it has in most European, South American countries and Mexico and I think that some day it will happen.

      May 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • portugal

      No kidding! What about banning gay marriage? What about contraceptive pills debate. All under religious stamp. And where? in the great USA!

      May 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • portugal

      To clarify. I'm not anti american. I'm anti stupidity.

      May 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Diogo Tigeleiro

      I'm Portuguese, and here in Portugal there is a saying that says: "Being Portuguese is being Catholic.".
      Most of the population agrees that Portugal should ask for permission to the Holy See, and only a very, very small percentage of the population is against the cancellation of those holidays. And all of the population doesn't understand why they are cancelling those holidays and how only for days will boost the economy.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  18. Reality

    Public holidays in Portugal

    Date English name

    1 January New Year's Day


    Good Friday


    25 April Freedom Day

    1 May Labor Day

    Corpus Christi (feast)

    1 June Azores Day

    10 June Portugal Day

    1 July Madeira Day

    15 August Assumption

    5 October Republic Day

    1 November All Saints Day

    1 December Restoration of Independence

    8 December Immaculate Conception

    25 December Christmas Day

    Going with the latest reviews of said holidays by a number of contemporary NT scholars, Easter, Christmas, Corpus Christi, All Saints Day, the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception can be eliminated because they fail to pass rigorous testing for historical authenticity.

    For example: The 2000 Year Easter con:

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

    The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,


    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Dr. Howard

      Didn't read that either.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Reality

      For those who are "reading challenged" a PowerPoint slide for your refrigerator door:




      Added details upon request.

      May 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  19. lunchbreaker

    "Economy ministry spokesman Hugo Soares declined to say how cutting the holidays would boost the economy."

    I would be curious to see the research. Having more paid hours with workers working that time would seem to increase productivity, but less time off for employees could cause higher stress levels and lower moral which could decrease productivity. The most problematic part of said research would be how to put a number value on things like "moral" or "stress".

    May 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.