The Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh has dubbed the decision by the Thistles Shopping Centre in Stirling to ban a nativity display as "grinch-like".
“At this time of year Christmas cribs grace many public squares all across the British Isles, bringing joy to nearly all who encounter them, regardless of their religion," said a spokesperson for the Archdiocese, 5 December.
"And so it seems just a wee bit, well, Grinch-like for the Thistles Shopping Centre to ban the Christmas crib and, in the true spirit of Christmas, we would certainly ask them to reconsider their decision.”
The request to install the nativity scene within the shopping centre came from the Stirling presidium of the Legion of Mary.
"While we understand that no one wants religious or political evangelists in a shopping centre, the request was simply to have a nativity, which would be manned and anyone approaching could ask about it,” said the Legion in a social media post.
However, the management of the Stirling shopping centre, which is owned by Standard Life Investments, say they are refusing to host the nativity display so that it will remain “religiously and politically neutral” and avoid offending customers.
Thistles claim that people do not want to be “subjected to an individual organisation’s beliefs”. So far, the centre has refused to reconsider its decision.