Italian bishop apologizes after telling children “Santa Claus does not exist”

The Italian bishop is forced to apologize after telling the children “Santa Claus does not exist” and that his “red coat was chosen by Coca-Cola for the advertisements”

  • Bishop Antonio Stagliano outraged parents saying Santa Claus does not exist
  • He said at a religious holiday that the famous the red costume was invented by Coca-Cola for advertising
  • His diocese of Noto in Sicily has since apologized for the comments










A Catholic bishop was forced to apologize to outraged parents after telling a group of children that Santa Claus didn’t exist.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Noto in Sicily insisted that Bishop Antonio Stagliano did not intend to shatter the dreams of young people two weeks before Christmas.

Communication director Rev. Alessandro Paolino said on social media from the Italian diocese that Mr Stagliano was trying to highlight the true meaning of Christmas and the story of Saint Nicholas, a bishop who gave gifts to the poor and was persecuted by a Roman emperor.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Noto in Sicily insisted that Bishop Antonio Stagliano did not want to shatter the dreams of young people two weeks before Christmas by saying that Santa Claus does not exist.

Italian reports quoted Mr Stagliano as saying during a recent religious holiday that Santa Claus did not exist and that his red suit was created by Coca-Cola for publicity purposes.

“First of all, on behalf of the bishop, I express my sadness for this declaration which created disappointment among the little ones, and I would like to point out that Bishop Stagliano’s intentions were very different”, wrote Mgr. Paolino on the diocesan Facebook page.

“We should certainly not demolish the imagination of children, but draw good positive examples for life,” he continued.

‘So Santa Claus is an effective image to convey the importance of giving, of generosity, of sharing.

Italian reports quoted Mr Stagliano as saying during a recent religious holiday that Santa Claus did not exist and that his red suit was created by Coca-Cola for publicity purposes (stock photo)

Italian reports quoted Mr Stagliano as saying during a recent religious holiday that Santa Claus did not exist and that his red suit was created by Coca-Cola for publicity purposes (stock photo)

“But when that image loses its meaning, you see Santa Claus aka consumerism, the desire to own, buy, buy and buy again, then you have to revalue it by giving it new meaning.”

While several parents in the diocese praised the bishop’s attempt to focus on the Catholic meaning of Christmas, others criticized Mr Stagliano for interfering with family traditions and celebrations and for shattering the morale of children whose the first years were disrupted by the pandemic.

“You are the demonstration that when it comes to families, children and family education, you don’t understand a thing,” wrote commentator Mary Avola.

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