Western Europe

Italian church apologizes for claims of nonexistent Santa Claus

16:24, 11 December 2021
Italian church apologizes for claims of nonexistent Santa Claus Photo: pixabay.com

The Catholic Diocese in Sicily has issued a public apology after one of the priests declared that Santa Claus doesn't exist.

The diocese of the commune of Noto explained that Bishop Antonio Staliano didn’t want to destroy the dreams of the little parishioners two weeks before Christmas.

The Italian media quoted Staliano as saying that Santa Claus isn’t real, and the usual red suit was invented for advertising purposes by the Coca-Cola company.

“I said that Santa Claus is not a historical person, like Saint Nicholas, from whom the fictional character was created,” Stagliano claimed.

After the sermon, the public accused the priest of destroying family traditions, and the diocese of Noto, to which Stagliano belongs, had to apologize.

“First of all, on behalf of the bishop, I express my sorrow for this declaration, which has created disappointment in the little ones, and want to specify that Monsignor Stagliano’s intentions were quite different,” Rev Alessandro Paolino, the communications director for the diocese of Noto wrote on the diocesan Facebook page on Friday.

The Italian church said that the Bishop was only trying to remind them about the true meaning of the holiday. In particular, he recalled the story of St. Nicholas (Nicholas the Wonderworker), who was persecuted by the Romans for adherence to the Christian faith. He became the prototype of the modern Santa Claus.