CNA Staff, Dec 16, 2020 / 05:32 pm (CNA).- The head of the EWTN media network encouraged Christians to be hopeful and filled with joy this Christmas, despite efforts by politicians and the secular culture to ‘cancel Christmas.’
“Christmas can never be canceled — not by presidents or governors, prime ministers or politicians,” EWTN board chairman and CEO Michael Warsaw wrote in a Dec. 14 publisher’s note in the National Catholic Register.
“Christmas, after all, is the celebration of the birth of Emmanuel, God joining himself to suffering humanity as a tiny and vulnerable baby 2,000 years ago in a humble manger in Bethlehem,” he said. “And nothing can ever ‘cancel’ the hope and excitement that Christian believers experience every year as they celebrate the earthly arrival of Jesus.”
Warsaw warned against efforts to deter public celebrations of Christmas by insisting that an emphasis on Christ is insensitive to non-Christians.
“In recent decades, militant atheists and their secularist political and judicial allies have advanced an aggressive campaign in the U.S. to drive any faith-based representation of Christmas from the public square by misconstruing what the U.S. Constitution actually says about the separation of church and state,” he said.
This year, Warsaw continued, government officials are enacting coronavirus health and safety regulations that are furthering the push to “cancel Christmas.”
“We have seen this at play throughout the pandemic, as officials in many U.S. states placed burdensome restrictions on public worship, treating people of faith as second-class citizens and churches as nonessential,” he said.
He pointed to examples in New York and California, where state governors attempted to restrict Mass attendance while allowing liquor stores, bike shops, and other retail venues greater freedom to remain open. The regulations were rejected in two separate Supreme Court rulings.
“While the Supreme Court has provided some relief against draconian restrictions, the fight to cancel Christmas goes on,” Warsaw said.
He also drew attention to strict rules in other countries that will prevent religious celebrations this Christmas. In England, he noted, even the least restrictive tier of limitations allows for gatherings of only six people or fewer, even outdoors. In Belgium and British Columbia, officials have suspended all pubic Masses.
Warsaw encouraged Christians to remember the real meaning of Christmas, which is not dependent on any court ruling or executive decision.
“So while our Christmas celebrations this year might be different than in the past, they should be as joyful as ever, bringing us the true peace that can only come from the Christ Child,” he said.
EWTN Global Catholic Network is the largest religious media network in the world. EWTN’s 11 global TV channels are broadcast in multiple languages 24 hours a day, seven days a week to over 300 million television households in more than 145 countries and territories.
EWTN platforms also include radio services transmitted through SIRIUS/XM, iHeart Radio, and over 500 domestic and international AM & FM radio affiliates; a worldwide shortwave radio service; one of the largest Catholic websites in the U.S.; electronic and print news services, including Catholic News Agency, The National Catholic Register newspaper, and several global news wire services; as well as EWTN Publishing, its book publishing division.
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