Priest apologizes for saying that Santa Claus was ‘concocted by the devil’

A priest from southern Italy has apologized for telling schoolchildren Santa Claus doesn’t exist. Fr. Angelo Basile told students from the Cipresso di Ripa di Sant’Antonio school that shepherds had married Santa and a…

Priest apologizes for saying that Santa Claus was ‘concocted by the devil’

A priest from southern Italy has apologized for telling schoolchildren Santa Claus doesn’t exist. Fr. Angelo Basile told students from the Cipresso di Ripa di Sant’Antonio school that shepherds had married Santa and a fairy Godmother to make him a man so he could bring gifts to kids. “The polar bear didn’t make the birth of the twins,” he said, according to B.I.C.R., a local television news program. The statement drew angry reactions from the students.

About 30 percent of the southern Italian population is Catholic, but the school’s principal says she didn’t hear the priest say it and this only came up through social media.

Basile told the Danas weekly newspaper he “would like to sincerely apologize to all the children who read the description, and anyone who was offended by my thought.”

Before becoming a priest, he was a businessman and cattle farmer and an information technology manager. He said he wrote the Santa-doesn’t-exist’s-really-polaroid blog post after trying to sell it on a professional site, The New York Times reported. He said the blog went unnoticed for a year before it went viral recently and caused further offense.

In the blog he had written: “For so many years I have believed, as do many people, that ‘La Mio Papa’ has been a myth as you can see from this Scrooge’s ugly face.”

Read the full story at the New York Times.

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