Christmas Should Be Celebrated As A Spiritual Festival: Archbishop John Barwa

Bhubaneswar/Cuttack: Christmas is not about external decoration but it should be celebrated as a spiritual festival, said Archbishop John Barwa of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar as the world celebrates the birth of Christ on Friday.

As churches that were closed for around 10 months due to the coronavirus pandemic reopened for Christmas in Odisha, Barwa referred to it as God’s plan.

Extending Christmas greetings to all, the Archbishop expressed that the authorities gave permission to celebrate Christmas this year amid the COVID-19 restrictions, as per the divine will.

“I believe the restrictions are a part of God’s plan as we were focusing on external decorations and forgetting the importance of Christmas. God wants to remind us about it,” said Barwa.

Though Christians in Odisha were not able to visit the church for the midnight mass on Christmas eve this year, many attended online broadcasts from the catholic churches all around the world.

Those who were allowed to attend the church service today had to follow the Covid-19 guidelines such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance. The pandemic was not able to dampen the festive spirit.

Archbishop John Barwa, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar