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Bah Humbug!

Irish priest calls on Church to abandon the word ‘Christmas’

Father Desmond O’Donnell says ‘true Christmas’ has been hijacked by commercialism and superficiality

Illustrative: Guests visit Santa at Macy's Herald Square Santaland on November 17, 2017 in New York City. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Macy's/AFP)
Illustrative: Guests visit Santa at Macy's Herald Square Santaland on November 17, 2017 in New York City. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Macy's/AFP)

A Northern Irish priest has called for the Catholic Church to stop using the word “Christmas,” saying the holiday has been hijacked by commercialism, Santa and superficiality.

“We’ve lost Christmas, just like we lost Easter, and should abandon the word completely,” Father Desmond O’Donnell, of a parish outside Enniskillen, told the Belfast Telegraph. “We need to let it go, it’s already been hijacked and we just need to recognize and accept that.”

O’Donnell said he had nothing against Christmas celebrations, but felt that they have become far removed from the true spiritual meaning of the holiday.

“I am not seeking to take anything away from anyone, I am simply asking that space be preserved for believers for whom Christmas has nothing to do with Santa and Reindeer,” he said. “But non-believers deserve and need their celebration too, it’s an essential human dynamic and we all need that in the toughness of life.”

O’Donnell explained that “My religious experience of true Christmas, like so many others, is very deep and real — like the air I breathe.”

He added: “I’m all for Christians choosing to celebrate Christmas by going out for meals and enjoying a glass of wine, but the commercialization of anything is never good,” he said.

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