A Catholic Bishop has been forced to apologies to outraged parents after telling a group of children that Santa Claus does not exist.
Two weeks prior to Christmas, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Noto in Sicily maintained that Bishop Antonio Stagliano was not trying to endanger children’s dreams.
The Rev Alessandro Paolino posted, on Italian diocesan social media, that Mr Stagliano tried to emphasize the true meaning and story of St Nicholas. He was a bishop who distributed gifts to the poor but was persecuted and executed by the Roman emperor.
In Sicily, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Noto insists that Bishop Antonio Stagliano didn’t mean to derail children’s hopes two weeks prior to Christmas when he said Santa Claus doesn’t exist
According to Italian media reports, Mr Stagliano said that Santa didn’t exist during an Italian religious festival and that Coca-Cola created his red costume for public attention.
“First of all I want to express my sadness for this declaration which created disappointment in children and want you to know that Monsignor Stagliano intended things were very differently,” wrote Mr Paolino on the diocesan facebook page.
“We cannot destroy children’s imaginations, but we can draw useful examples that are good for the future,” he said.
“So Santa Claus” is a powerful image that conveys the value of generosity and sharing.
Italian news reported that Mr. Stagliano stated that Santa was not real and his red dress was made by Coca-Cola to promote the festival (stock photo).
“But when this image loses it’s meaning, you can see Santa Claus (aka consumerism), the need to own, buy and sell again. After that, you must revalue it giving it a new meaning.
Although many parents in the diocese praised the effort of the bishop to concentrate on the Catholic meaning Christmas, some others criticized Mr. Stagliano as interfering in family traditions and celebrations and for crushing the spirits and early childhood experiences of those affected by the pandemic.
Mary Avola, one of the commenters, wrote, “You’re the proof that when it comes families, children, and family education, I don’t know a thing.”