In a bold move that will rock the foundations of Christendom, Pope Francis has declared the installation of Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving to be a mortal sin. He made the declaration ex cathedra—or from the seat of Peter—which carries the weight of infallibility.
“There are some serious sins,” His Excellency said during an off-the-cuff in-flight press conference on the papal plane on his way back from the Holy Land over the weekend, “but one of the most grievous is to put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving.”
He added, “Playing Christmas music too early is morally problematic too.”
The declaration was the first to invoke papal infallibility since 1950, when Pope Pius XII declared Mary’s Assumption dogma.
“You really shouldn’t be putting up decorations until Christmas day,” one analyst said on condition of anonymity. “It’s Advent people—not ‘the Christmas season’! That doesn’t start until December 25th!”
Papal infallibility is used when the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error, “when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.”
Some were wondering if it was sensible to make an “off-the-cuff” statement ex cathedra.