A Roman Catholic diocese in Sicily has publicly apologized to angry parents when its bishop told a group of children that Santa Claus did not exist.
In a Facebook post on Friday and subsequent comments, Noto’s Diocese insisted that Bishop Antonio Stagliano did not want to dust off the youth’s dreams two weeks before Christmas.
Director of Diocesan Communications, Rev. Alessandro Paolino says Stagliano is trying to underline the true meaning of Christmas and the story of St. Nicholas, a bishop who gave gifts to the poor and was persecuted by a Roman emperor.
An Italian news report told Stagliano during a recent religious festival that Santa did not exist and that his red robe was made by the Coca-Cola Company for publicity.
“First of all, on behalf of the bishop, I apologize for the announcement that has caused frustration among the young, and I would like to point out that Monsignor Stagliano’s motives were completely different,” Paulino Diocesan wrote on his Facebook page.
“We must not destroy the imagination of children, but create good examples from it that are positive for life,” he continued. “So Santa Claus is an effective illustration of the importance of giving, generosity, sharing. But when this image loses its meaning, you see Santa Claus aka consumerism, ownership, purchase, purchase and the desire to buy again, then you have to re-evaluate it with a new meaning. “
But, if there is any indication in the public comment section of the Noto page, the Sicilian guardians had none of it.
While many have welcomed the bishop’s efforts to focus on the Catholic meaning of Christmas, others have blamed Stagliano for interfering with family traditions and celebrations and for crushing the souls of children whose early years were hampered by the epidemic.
One commentator, known as Mary Avola, wrote, “You are the show that, when it comes to family, children and family education, you understand nothing.”
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