Santa and Christmas
So PJ Media reports this happened in Texas earlier in the month:
A pastor made a scene on Friday by preaching about the falsehood of Santa Claus at a mall. He walked around the Santa exhibit, where kids and parents stood in line to see Santa, shouting that Santa isn’t real and that Christmas is about Jesus Christ.
You can watch the pastor make a fool of himself at the link, which includes a Youtube clip the pastor himself filmed.
I’m reminded of the wisdom of the Catholic Church’s repeated insistence that parents are the primary educators of their children, and everyone else, including ecclesiastics, must defer to them:
- The Catechism calls the rights of parents “primordial and inalienable.”
- In Familiaris Consortio, St John Paul II called parents’ ministry “original and irreplaceable.”
- St Thomas Aquinas compares parents’ duty and right to teach their children to the duties and rights of the priest:
“Some only propagate and guard spiritual life by a spiritual ministry: this is the role of the sacrament of Orders; others do this for both corporal and spiritual life, and this is brought about by the sacrament of marriage, by which a man and a woman join in order to beget offspring and bring them up to worship God.”
Hence I’m in pretty good company calling the Texan pastor’s actions out of order. He has no business subverting the rights of parents.
Apart from that, it’s far from clear that he’s right to decry the Santa Claus myth. The author of the PJ Media item linked above relates the Christian origins of gift-giving from St Nicholas. And even the modern Coca-Cola adulteration of St Nick does a lot of good.
Case in point: Eric Schmitt-Matzen’s apostolate, borne from a chance conversation at his local church, and an uncanny likeness to the real deal.
Put me down as a believer.