Head of the UGCC: They try to steal Christmas from us, as in the tale of Harry Potter

Ukraine is facing a great challenge when Christmas turns into a secular feast without the newborn Jesus. This position was expressed by Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church His Beatitude Sviatoslav in a Christmas interview for Radio Maria, which will be broadcast on January 6 and 9 at 9:05 p.m.

"The very word 'Christmas,'" he explains, "means a birthday. When we celebrate Christmas and do not say whose birthday it is, then we celebrate Christmas without a newborn. This is a new phenomenon that is a little disorienting to us, but at the same time it needs an adequate response from believing Christians. But I will say at once, there is no single answer to this thing so far…”

Secular Christmas. What is it? There is a New Year, explained the Primate of the UGCC, as a secular party, and Christmas - as a religious event, which was celebrated primarily by believers. Secular Christmas is now another secular party.

According to the observations of His Beatitude Sviatoslav, secular Christmas has three main features. First of all, this Christmas is a commercialized event. This is a powerful shopping campaign. In our tradition, we gave gifts not for Christmas, but for St. Nicholas Day. And now a certain brand of Christmas purchases is being created…

The second feature of secular Christmas is some magic, sorcery, fairy tale, which we find in the story of Harry Potter. "I realized this when I heard that the organizers of the Christmas tree on Sofia Square put a hat on it. Eventually, the tree received the Star of Bethlehem, but the hat was placed on the side, with a chair under it. As it turned out, they did it in order to sit under the hat and make a wish. Harry Potter also had Christmas, there was even a figure of a Christmas kidnapper ... But that world of magic has nothing to do with the religious reality,” the Primate said.

And the third feature is a secular Christmas which is devoid of any religious meaning. It is celebrated by representatives of various religions, even non-believers. It is celebrated as a special occasion for the holiday, but not as Christmas.

That is why Pope Francis calls this type of secularized Christmas a "stolen Christmas." This is a challenge. Christians are losing their monopoly on Christmas, so to speak," said His Beatitude Sviatoslav in the interview.

"It's really a challenge because we're called to evangelize this new culture that's emerging. We must return this ‘stolen Christmas’ to Christ. We must bring the context of the Savior into a society that pursues commerce and magic, losing touch with God, who is present here and now,” he said.

"We can become like those," the Head of the UGCC asks to ponder, "to whom the Holy Family knocked, and they were told: there is no place for you here."


The UGCC Department for Information