An Irish Catholic priest has secured an apology from the European Commission after it printed more than three million high school diaries without any reference to Christmas or Easter.

The unnamed Irish cleric complained to the Commission’s ombudsman after he received a copy of the diary which contains other religious holidays but not those of Christian faith.

The European Commission has now apologised for the error but has refused to recall the three million diaries including the 330,000 delivered to schools in Britain.

The Irish Times reports that the diaries include Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Chinese festivals as well as highlighting Europe Day which falls on May 9th.

But the absence of Christian holidays, including Easter and Christmas, has angered church leaders and politicians.

One Commission official has already admitted the error was a ‘blunder’.

But it took the formal complaint from the Irish priest to prompt the enquiry by the EU Ombudsman into the 2010/2011 edition of the Europa Diary, issued to secondary schools every year by Brussels.

The ombudsman, P Nikiforos Diamandouros, has dismissed calls for the entire run to be recalled.

He said: “The commission’s apology for the “regrettable” error, coupled with a one-page correction sent out to all schools showing the main public holidays in every EU member state, was sufficient.”

The report from the inquiry said: “In the ombudsman’s view, the actions which the commission took to rectify the error were reasonable.

“He further considered that it would be disproportionate to reprint the 2010/2011 edition. Accordingly, the ombudsman closed the case without further inquiries.”