Archbishop Grinch

I have to wonder what the parents thought of this.

Details, from AFP:

A Roman Catholic archbishop surprised his parishioners in Argentina by telling the children that Santa Claus was not real, but instead a commercialized symbol of Christmas.

“That’s not Christmas,” Archbishop Fabriciano Sigampa of the northern city of Resistencia said in mass, insisting that children should not confuse celebrating the birth of Christ “with a fat man dressed in red.”

Sigampa’s ire was aroused by plans for a snow covered cabin in the city’s main square where a Father Christmas figure would hear children’s wishes and receive donated toys to be given out to poor children.

“Surely, in the coming days there will be a deluge of advertisements after they inaugurate the house where a fat man dressed in red lives. And we should not confuse, we should not confuse Christmas with that.”

He said children “should know that, in reality, the gifts come from the efforts of their parents and with the help of Jesus.”

After the bishop aired his objections, organizers dropped plans for a Santa and renamed the cabin the “House of Christmas.”

Sigampa has attracted controversy before.

In the 1990s, he caused a stir by ordering a mural for the cathedral of the northern city of La Rioja that showed the Virgin Mary with then president Carlos Menem and members of the Catholic hierarchy.

Comments

  1. Dios mio… They should not be confused but there are (ahem) slightly better ways of dealing with this. God have mercy.

  2. Gosh!
    Maybe a lesson on who the REAL Santa Claus was would have been a nice idea instead. Saint Nicholas is a wonderful model of striving to be Christ-like! It seems to me that maybe he threw the baby out with the bath water.

  3. Deacon John M. Bresnahan says:

    Frankly, I think there is a problem with the whole Santa Claus bit as we practice it in the U.S.
    Most parents of little children make like there is a real jolly fat man bringing the gifts they receive. They even carry the charade to the point of leaving out cookies and milk for him to fortify him on his rounds.
    Steps are even taken in some families to make sure no adults or older children traumatize the liitle ones by accidentally letting the truth spill out.
    Then the truth about Santa finally is learned by the children and parents put a good face on the false stories they have told by saying–he is the personification of the spirit of Christmas.
    But where does that leave the Birth of Christ???? How many millions of children have subconsciously put the birth of our Saviour into the same fairy tale category as Santa???
    The more I think about this angle I wonder if the way we have been led into using Santa is a plot by atheists to undermiine belief in Jesus Christ.
    A friend of mine has dumped Santa as far as his family is concerned. Modest gifts to family members and charity to others are given in emulation of St. Nicholas and his charitable work as a Catholic bishop. His kids are told from the start that everything about Santa as he is exploited is fantasy. On the other hand, based on the little l history we know of him, St. Nicholas was a real person, a great Christian, and worthy of respect.
    Many European countries still emphasize St. Nicholas and his garb and hat are still clearly those of a Catholic bishop.
    Unfortunately our “Santa” has been virtually taken over by Madison Avenue and Hollywood to fill various coffers–many of them virulently anti-Christian.

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