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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago in Spokane: Diocese weighs merits of ‘Santa myth’

 (Spokesman-Review archives)

The Catholic bishop of the Spokane diocese weighed in on a hot seasonal issue: Should the “Santa Claus” myth be banished from children’s lives?

Absolutely not, said the Rt. Rev. Augustine Schinner.

“To do away with the idea of Santa Claus would be an act of folly,” said the bishop. “Those who advocate such a move must be led by a false spirit and must be so short-sighted as not to be able to look deep into the real substratum of the Santa Claus situation.”

He said that is it “certainly not un-Christian to hold to the Santa Claus idea.”

“If they would call it falsifying to tell a child that there is a Santa Claus would they not have to admit that all similes are lies?” he said. “Could they not be led in the same breath that much poetry is a series of lies? We must realize that it is in the nature of a child to live in a dreamy world.”

The pleasure that a child takes from the Santa Claus idea “is certainly a legitimate joy,” and that joy should not be taken away.

From the military beat: A Fort George Wright soldier was facing a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor after he and two other men were found in Audubon Park “in the company of three girls, all under 16 years of age.”