More RCC cut & paste -- full of mysticism, opinion, and factual errors -- from the same people who tell us that the decades-long, worldwide abuse cover-up never happened.<quoted text>
But let us leave the realm of conjecture and return to historical records. There is ample evidence to demonstrate that, even though the Christmas date was not made official until 354, clearly it was established long before Aurelian instituted his pagan feastday.
The conception of St. John the Baptist is the historical anchor to know the date of Christmas, based on the detailed and careful calculations on dates made by first Fathers of the Church.
The date of St. Elizabeth's conception sets the base for knowing Christ's birth
The early tractatus De solstitiia records the tradition of the Archangel Gabriel appearing to Zachariah in the High Temple when he was serving as high priest on the Day of Atonement (Lk 1:8). This placed the conception of St. John the Baptist during the feast of Tabernacles in late September, as the Archangel Gabriel said (Lk 1:28) and his birth nine months later at the time of the summer solstice.(4)
Since the Gospel of Luke states that the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary in the sixth month after John's conception (Lk 1:26), this placed the conception of Christ at about the time of the spring equinox, that is, at the time of the Jewish Passover, in late March. His birth would thus be in late December at the time of the winter solstice.
That these dates, based on Tradition and Scripture, are trustworthy is confirmed by recent evidence taken from the Dead Sea Scrolls, whose authors were very concerned about calendar dates, essential for establishing when the Torah feasts should be celebrated. The data found in the Scrolls make it possible to know the Temple’s rotating assignment of priests during Old Testament times and show definitely that Zachariah served as a Temple priest in September, thus confirming the tradition of the Early Church.(5)
The Catholic Church determined March 25 as the date of Our Lord’s Conception long before Aurelian decided to make his solar feast. For example, around 221 AD, Sexto Julio Africano wrote the Chronographiai in which he affirmed that the Annunciation was March 25.(6) Once the date of the Incarnation was established, it was a simple matter of adding nine months to arrive at the date of Our Lord’s birth - December 25. This date would not be made official until the late fourth century, but it was established long before Aurelian and Constantine. It had nothing to do with pagan festivals.
We can be certain that the first Catholic apologists and Fathers of the Church, who lived very close to the time of the Apostles, were fully aware of the dates associated with the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. They had all the calendar sources at hand and they would not allow any untruth to be introduced in the Catholic liturgy. The date of Christ’s birth was transmitted by them as being December 25, a Sunday.
Addressing the verse of Luke 2:7, Fr Cornelius a Lapide comments on the architecture of this choice:“Christ was born Sunday, because this was the first day of the world.… Christ was born on Sunday night, in keeping with the order of His marvels, so that the day on which He said Let there be light, and there was light, was the same day on which, at night, the light shone in darkness for the upright of heart, that is, the sun of justice, Christ the Lord.”(7)
There's an entire industry that is paid to provide various denominations with "proof."
But that "proof" is outdated, because even Pope Benedict wrote that the 12/25 date is surely incorrect.
Remember Pope Benedict?