Philippines: A leader in the Church in the predominately Catholic country has come out to say that Santa Claus has destroyed the Christmas spirit in the Philippines.
Retired Manila Bishop, Teodoro Bacani said this and more on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines website.
In a country where more than 80% of the people are Catholic, Bacani says that Santa Claus has become too popular and made the holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus into a commercial day. Christmas in the Philippines has become a “shopping frenzy” and Bacani blames this on Santa Claus.
Bacani says, "Santa Claus helps promote consumerism because he is the symbol of shopping and gift-giving. Christ symbolizes the sacrifice of life for man. But Santa has more commercial draw."
While he sees statues and images of Santa Claus peppered through out the country, the retired Bishop says, "Let us keep Christ at Christmas. Let us project Christ at Christmas".