A Catholic Priest in Northern Ireland shocked parishioners in 2017 after telling them that Christians had “lost Christmas” and as such, they should stop using the word entirely.
Fr Desmond Desmond O'Donnell, a parish priest in Cleenish in County Fermanagh, said the term had become too commercialized and was beyond salvaging at this point.
"We've lost Christmas, just like we lost Easter, and should abandon the word completely," he sadly told the Belfast Telegraph, at the time.
"We need to let it go, it's already been hijacked and we just need to recognize and accept that."
He denied he was being a Scrooge or a Christmas killjoy and added he wasn’t against atheists and agnostics celebrated the birth of Christ in their own way but he wanted a separate word with more religious connotations.
Never abandon the word! Merry CHRISTmas! https://t.co/wZxwt4hJ9r— ClemsonTigerFan (@silvergogal) November 21, 2017
"I'm just trying to rescue the reality of Christmas for believers by giving up 'Christmas' and replacing it with another word."
As an alternative, he suggested the word ‘Christmas’ could be substituted for ‘Nativity’ and ‘Easter’ for ‘Resurrection’.
Such changes he concluded were necessary as Ireland was undergoing the rapid secularization that so many other countries in the western world had already experienced.
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*Originally published in December 2017.