Bishop Noto of Sicily last week stunned students by dropping a bomb during an art festival – telling them Christmas is not real.
“No, Santa does not exist. In fact, I would like to add that the red color of his suit was chosen by Coca Cola exclusively for advertising purposes,” Antonio Staglianò told the children, according to tradition. Sicilian pine.
Italian media reported that the comments were made during an event held on the feast of Saint Nicholas, the original inspiration for the Santa figure and widely known for his generosity.
However, after the bishop’s comments went viral, the Diocese of Noto posted an apology on its Facebook page, written by Staglianò’s press secretary, Father Alessandro Paolini.
“First of all, on behalf of the Bishop, I express my regret that this statement has disappointed you, and want to make it clear that this was not at all the intention of Mr. Staglianò,” the statement said. .
Paolini said the bishop’s aim is to “reflect the meaning of Christmas and the beautiful traditions that come with it with greater awareness and to “recapture the beauty of an increasingly ‘loving Christmas’.” commercialized’ and ‘Christianized’. “
“If we can all draw one lesson, young or old, from the image of Santa Claus (derived from the Bishop of St. Nicholas) it is: less gifts to ‘create’ and ‘spend’ consumption “and more” gifts “to share,” the statement added.
Staglianò also reviewed the comments in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica published on Friday, saying, “I didn’t tell them that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, but we talked about the necessity. must distinguish what is real and what is fake.
Staglianò told the newspaper: “The real truth has come out, that Christmas is no longer Christian, adding that ‘the Christmas atmosphere of lights and shopping has changed. for Christmas”.
He argues that the “culture of consumption” has obscured the true meaning of the festival, which is a message of giving – exemplified by the birth of baby Jesus, who “was born to give himself to others”. all humanity.”
The apology was concurred, stating that at Christmas “we received a wonderful Gift, Jesus Christ,” and offering to “appear to someone we have overlooked or ignored for a while.” a long time or mend a damaged relationship” as a more meaningful gift.