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Bishop shocks and upsets children during…
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Bishop shocks and upsets children during a mass: "Santa Claus does not exist, he's your father or your uncle"

January 06, 2022 • By Mark Bennett
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We were all children once and we knew perfectly well that, when Christmas time came, we couldn't wait to write a letter to Santa Claus so that he could bring us the toys that we had wanted all year long. Then we grew up, became teenagers and realized that the old man with the white beard, the red outfit and the unmistakable hat, was nothing more than a (beautiful) myth born to stir the imaginations of little ones at Christmas. The disappointment when we discovered this was certainly crushing...

via: AGI

But despite this reality, it is always nice to celebrate all the beauty and magic of Christmas together with the young. It is largely thanks to them, and their unwavering faith in the good-natured and generous figure of Santa Claus, that the winter holiday is so special - for children and for adults and parents. There are, however, those who do not look favorably upon the mythical figure of Santa Claus because it can be seen as symbol of a consumerism that for decades has transformed Christmas into a purely capitalist celebration, totally disconnected from its deep religious meaning.

The bishop of Noto, a charming town in the province of Sicily, shocked many of his young faithful during a festival at the town's Basilica. During his public speech, the bishop, Antonio Staglianò, reflected on the figure of St. Nicholas of Myra (the historical figure who gave rise to the legend of Santa Claus). His speech was littered with very harsh words that literally shocked everyone who attended the event: "Santa Claus does not exist. Indeed, I want to tell you that the color red for his costume was chosen by the Coca Cola company and soley for the purpose of making sales."

Can you imagine the shock of the young faithful children when they were hit by these words: was it true what the bishop of Noto was saying? The parents who attended generally felt embarrassed, not knowing how to explain the bishop's harsh outburst to their children.

After the wave of criticism was levied against him, Bishop Staglianò responded as follows: "I said that Santa Claus is a fictional figure who is based on an actual historical person - Saint Nicholas of Myra. I encouraged the youngest to develop a better image of what the spirit of Santa Claus is supposed to embody. If Santa Claus is based on Saint Nicholas, children should realise that the core principles of the season are not simply the giving and receiving of desired gifts, but are the principles of mutually helping each other and showing solidarity with the poorest of children."

What do you think of the words of this bishop? Although they may be factually based, do you think he was right to crush the beliefs of all those little children who heard his bitter tirade?

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