No ho ho: Italian church apologizes for bishop’s allegations regarding Santa Claus | Italy
A Roman Catholic diocese in Sicily has publicly apologized to outraged parents after its bishop told a group of children that Santa Claus did not exist.
Bishop Antonio Stagliano was not thinking of the comments and was trying to emphasize the true meaning of Christmas and the story of Saint Nicholas, a bishop who offered gifts to the poor and was persecuted by a Roman emperor, the Reverend said. Alessandro Paolino, the director of communication for the diocese of Noto.
Italian reports quoted Stagliano as saying during a recent religious holiday that Santa Claus does not exist and that his red suit was created by Coca-Cola for publicity.
“First of all, in the name of the bishop, I express my sadness for this declaration, which created a disappointment among the little ones, and I want to clarify that the intentions of Bishop Stagliano were very different”, wrote Paolino on the Diocesan Facebook page on Friday. .
“We should certainly not demolish the imagination of children, but draw good positive examples for life,” he continued. “Father Christmas is therefore an effective image to convey the importance of giving, of generosity, of sharing. But when that image loses its meaning, you see Santa Claus aka consumerism, the desire to own, buy, buy and buy again, then you have to revalue it by giving it new meaning.
But, if the public comments section of the Noto page was any indication, Sicilian parents had none of it.
While several praised the bishop’s attempt to focus on the Catholic meaning of Christmas, others criticized Stagliano for interfering with family traditions and celebrations and crushing the minds of children, including the first years were disrupted by the pandemic.
“You are the demonstration that when it comes to families, children and family education, you don’t understand a thing,” wrote one commentator, identified as Mary Avola.