I heard this story over the weekend and it has been confirmed on the front page of today's Kerry's Eye that a priest, Martin Hegarty who was filling in for his parish priest, told a class room of 6th class children in Lixnaw, Co. Kerry that santa didn't really exist.
He is quoted in the paper as saying that they were "too old" to believe in santa.
Now according to my own sources some of the parents were very upset and the Kerry's Eye quotes one man who said his 11 year old niece was left "bawling and crying".
The priest said he didn't intend to cause harm and didn't know anyone was upset. According to the Kerry's Eye he said, rather compassionately, "According to statisticians, Irish kids get more presents at Christmas than their European counterparts" and "So they needn't worry, the presents will still come, whether Santy comes or not."
I wonder what the church would have to say if someone went into a classroom full of 11 year olds and told them, oh, lets say.... the truth about god?