Santa And the Church Scandals

This is beyond weird.

“(July 26) — Talk about piling on — now even Santa Claus is taking shots at the Catholic Church.

An explanation, of course, is in order. It’s not the jolly old elf who lives at the North Bishop Santa ClausPole with toy-crafting elves and flying reindeer. No, Virginia, this is a decidedly more politicized Claus, an ordained bishop from Nevada with the likeness and legal name of his famous doppelganger.

And this Santa Claus is angry. Last week, in a scathing, widely distributed press release, Claus called out the church for its failure to institute sufficient reform in the wake of clergy sex abuse scandals. He also suggested that he may sue the church to force change.

Strotz Photography
Santa Claus — his legal name, no middle initial — of Lake Tahoe, Nev., has a lump of coal for Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church.

“Bishop Santa intends ‘to explore and utilize a variety of legal means,'” the statement read in part, “‘to hold the Roman Catholic Church, especially the pope and Vatican, accountable for the suffering of many thousands of vulnerable children at the hands of clergy, straight and gay, young and old, celibate or not.'”

But sue the Catholic Church? Who is this Santa Claus?

According to Washoe County, Nev., he’s 63-year-old Thomas O’Connor, a Lake Tahoe man who legally changed his name to Santa Claus (no middle initial) in 2005. A look at his website — yes, Virginia, Claus has a website — reveals that he was recently elevated to the title of missionary bishop in the Apostles’ Anglican Church, an ecumenical Christian denomination based in Ohio and Michigan.”

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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