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A Catholic priest in Northern Ireland is making headlines with his call for devout Christians to stop using the word "Christmas." 

Father Desmond O'Donnell, who leads a congregation in County Fermanagh, contends that the church must come to terms with Christmas becoming overly commercialized and losing its true meaning.


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"We've lost Christmas, just like we lost Easter, and should abandon the word completely. We need to let it go, it's already been hijacked and we just need to recognize and accept that," he said, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

He argued that the holiday has become conflated with Santa Claus and other festive traditions which are unrelated to the birth of Jesus Christ. 

"I am not seeking to take anything away from anyone, I am simply asking that space be preserved for believers for whom Christmas has nothing to do with Santa and reindeer," said O'Donnell, who worked in Australia for 28 years previously.

"My religious experience of true Christmas, like so many others, is very deep and real - like the air I breathe."

President Trump has consistently vowed to make sure the term "Merry Christmas" is preserved and not replaced by other holiday greetings which are considered non-religious. 

"We’re getting near that beautiful Christmas season that people don’t talk about anymore. They don’t use the word Christmas because it’s not politically correct," Trump said last month.

"You go to department stores and they’ll say 'Happy New Year,' or they’ll say other things and it’ll be red, they’ll have it painted. Well, guess what? We’re saying 'Merry Christmas' again.”


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