‘Christmas miracle’: Mall overturns nativity set ban after Christians protest with living nativity
Previously, when a shopping mall refused to host a nativity scene last week, two friends decided to make themselves into one. John Mallon, 27, of Glasgow and Elena Feick, 30, of Paisley dressed up as Joseph and Mary with the Child Jesus after news reports appeared that the Thistles Centre shopping mall in Stirling, a city north of Edinburgh, would not permit a traditional manger scene to become part of its Christmas display.
Thistles Centre released a statement today saying that they had changed their minds and would allow a representative from the Legion of Mary to set up a nativity scene as part of their Christmas decor.
“We’ve listened carefully to everyone who contacted us about the installation and have decided to reverse our original decision,” it said.
“We have offered Mrs Patterson the opportunity to host a nativity scene at the centre this Sunday in line with her original request and we are delighted that she has accepted,” it continued.
Thistles Centre’s decision not to permit the display on the grounds that it “prides itself on being religiously and politically neutral” made national headlines and was covered on LifeSiteNews.
On Monday, Scottish Catholics John Mallon and Elena Feick protested actively by visiting the mall dressed as St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mallon chatted with shoppers and discussed the “crib controversy” with them. A video of the dynamic duo “looking for a place at the inn” has been viewed thousands of times on social media.
John Mallon is delighted by Thistles’ change of heart. He is an administrator of Glasgow’s Holy Family Roman Catholic Church Facebook page.
“It’s a Christmas miracle,” he told LifeSiteNews via social media. “What great news! The real reason for the season!”
Mallon has a message for Scottish readers, too.
“If you are shopping in Thistles Shopping centre this Advent, why not pay a visit to the Crib and share your picture with us to spread the peace and joy of the Christmas season to all, “ he suggested.
The Scotsman has reported that the Archdiocese of St. Andrews & Edinburgh has likewise expressed great satisfaction that Thistles Centre has responded with “generosity and inclusivity” to Christians.
Previously, both the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh and the Church of Scotland had voiced disappointment at the mall’s “Grinch-like” decision. Now, an archdiocesan spokesman congratulated, the management of the mall for listening to the general public and responding with generosity and inclusivity, recognising that contemporary Scotland should be a place that both respects and upholds religious liberty in the public square.
“We wish the management, staff and shoppers at Thistles a very happy and very peaceful Christmas indeed.”