The Pope Doesn’t Hate Christmas

Image of Jesus and Mary from a Nativity SetThere has been some recent controversy over Pope Benedict’s new book, Infancy Narratives. Apparently, in it the pope tries to look at the infancy stories of Jesus from a historical point-of-view. The result is that some people began complaining the pope was trying to “cancel Christmas.”

What did the pope actually say? For one, he mentioned that Jesus was born closer to 4-6 B.C., which as far as I know, has never been controversial. Sure, it gets puzzled looks when I mention that Jesus was born 4 years “before Christ,” but this is a dating error and has little to do with our faith in Christ.

Next, the pope (correctly) mentions that a lot of the details of the Nativity scene would not have been present had you been there. Of course, anybody even remotely familiar with Scripture and Nativity scenes can figure this out. The Nativity scene is an artistic and devotional rendering of the hard facts with some other nice symbols built in. It kind of “jams together” various images.

A lot of this comes from the fact that the media doesn’t understand the Catholic approach to Scripture. The Church takes a moderately critical approach to the Bible. Pope Benedict isn’t expressing thoughts that haven’t been expressed and accepted for the last 20-30 years or more.

About David Bennett

David Bennett is an author, speaker, and small business owner. He started ChurchYear.Net in 2004, along with his brother Jonathan. The site gets over one million visitors a year, and Bennett’s writings have appeared in church bulletins, newspapers, and other media.

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