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Church uses nativity scene to make climate change statement

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DEDHAM, Mass. (CNN/WFLA) — A Massachusetts church is, once again, using its nativity scene to make a political statement. This year’s theme is climate change.

Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and the three Wise Men are all surrounded by an encroaching sea of blue. In the blue, plastic bottles and drowned animals float around the manger.

Father Stephen Josoma of St. Susanna’s Parish says they want to create a conversation and send a message.

“It’s happening as we speak. It’s not a future event that may or may not happen,” Josoma said.

His parishioners agree.

“Jesus was born into the circumstances of his time,” Pat Ferrone said. “You can’t pick up the paper or magazine or whatever without knowing, without learning something dire.”

Creating political conversation has become part of the nativity tradition at St. Susanna’s. In 2017, the church called to mind some of the country’s deadliest mass shootings. Last year, the nativity scene was surrounded by a cage to draw attention to the crisis at the border.

Some Dedham residents find the politicization of the nativity troubling.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to mix those two topics together,” Mike Looby said. “It’s in bad taste.”

If the climate change nativity scene doesn’t get people talking, Father Josoma hopes to at least motivate people to start thinking.

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