Robert Zollitsch, head of Germany’s Catholic Church, has given something new to think over about the Christmas story, as he told The Local that if Jesus were alive today, he’d be Facebook friends with all of his followers.
“Jesus would certainly today be on Facebook and Twitter,” said Freiburg Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who is chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference.
“He was always looking for people, and took unusual routes to do this,” he told the publication, adding: “Fundamentally all media are suited to bring the word of God to the people.”
According to Zollitsch, social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook were not ‘new-fangled and pointless, rather they represented ways in which to reach people which the Church had not previously contacted.’
Zollitsch said he already send Twitter messages with news from his archbishopric, and revealed to reporters, “perhaps I will set up a personal account too.”
Meanwhile Steve Jenkins, a spokesman for the Church of England, urged people to enjoy the holiday, including indulging in online shopping, reports News.
“Everybody has spare time on Christmas Day. In the old days they would sit around the radio, today they’ve sitting around the tablet, smartphone and computer … It doesn’t detract hugely from the day,” the spokesman said.
The statement was at odds with concerns raised by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, who had previously claimed that Christmas Day is “in danger” of being taken over by gadgets.
The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, advises acting in moderation, saying: “Shopping online on Christmas Day can be a bit like eating too much Christmas pudding. You will enjoy it for a while. But when you get on the scales in the New Year you may regret what you did.”
Amazon.co.uk reported that its holiday sales have more than doubled over the last five years. “Our biggest day of the year for MP3 and Kindle Book downloads as many people are buying content for their new devices that they have just received,” a spokesperson for the site said.
While forgiving of people spending a little time online in a largely quiet day, the head of Germany Catholic church concluded it was important “that people remember what Christmas is about.”
“It’s about marking that by going to church, it’s also about spending time with your family. It is important to be with your family, [to] enjoy a Christmas meal,” he said.
Last month the Pope claimed in his new book that Jesus was born several years earlier than commonly thought as the Christian calendar is based on a miscalculation.
“The calculation of the beginning of our calendar – based on the birth of Jesus – was made by Dionysius Exiguus, who made a mistake in his calculations by several years,” the Pope explained in the book. “The actual date of Jesus’s birth was several years before.”
In fact, many historians share the Pope’s opinion and suggest that Christ was born sometime between 7BC and 2BC.