Friday, 30 October 2009

Now the Vatican's having a go at Hallowe'en

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Is it just me, or is this year a bumper one for religious attacks on Hallowe'en? In the past month, we've had Methodists in Derry trying to ban an annual Hallowe'en carnival that sounds like lots of fun (music, magic shows, fireworks ... you know, all the evil stuff), and Christians in Leicestershire informing local residents that "Celebrating Halloween means we are siding along with the Devil and all his works." And of course, those are just the ones I've noticed and put on this blog.

And now? Well, things have just gotten serious. How, I hear you cry, could things get more serious than Christians in Leicestershire posting leaflets about the evils of Hallowe'en? By the Pope getting involved, that's how. Or the Vatican, at least. An article in today's edition of the official Vatican rag, L'Osservatore Romano, channelled in this case through the Daily Mail, declares that "Halloween has an undercurrent of occultism and is absolutely anti-Christian".

According to the Mail, this follows several previous Vatican warnings, including one last year from Aldo Bonaiuto, head of the Catholic Church's anti occult and sect unit:
"Halloween pushes new generations towards a mentality of esoteric magic and it attacks sacred and spiritual values through a devious initiation to the art and images of the occult. At best, it gives a big helping hand to consumerism and materialism."
I suspect many of this blog's readers attach little credibility to the Vatican, but I bet you'll all be taking it a lot more seriously now you know it has an "anti-occult and sect unit"...

9 comments:

The Heresiarch said...

A very reliable source, that Daily Mail.

Paul Sims said...

Very much so. I feel especially confident that it will have provided me with a reliable translation from the original Italian (or do they print L'Osservatore Romano in Latin?)

The Heresiarch said...

Ha.

The trouble with Osservatore-derived stories is that they're invariably headlined "the Pope says" as though he writes the thing. Whereas it's attributed to a "liturgical expert" called Joan Maria Canals - later described as "Father Canals", surprisingly. Still, I loved the part about parents needing to direct the feast towards "wholesomeness and beauty"; it put me in mind of that scene from Mean Girls where Lindsay Lohan is inappropriately dressed.

valdemar said...

But it is true that children should be drawn away from mad, occult, brain-warping practices, and into nice, harmless things like eating the magically-created flesh and blood of a long-dead tribal shaman. That's only logical.

Russ Painter said...

Not a lot of support for that Derry petition. They got 187 signatures, a lot of which are bogus and a lot are against it in the comments (myself included).

Ron said...

Joan Maria Canals

Possibly a typo - the guy's Spanish, so maybe Juan? On the other hand, naming male children after female saints isn't exactly a rarity in predominantly Catholic countries.

Anonymous said...

They have a daily edition in italian and a weekly in some other languages, here: vatican.va/news_services/or/home_eng.html
I tired to find the name of the priest they refer to but I didn't. Of course maybe I was not looking hard enough - my italian is far from perfect, and I didn't want to waste too mcuh time on this...

Anonymous said...

However, the yothe guy mentioned in the daily mail post does have a piece on halloween: donaldobuonaiuto.it/blog/?p=499

Claire said...

There was someone in my local newspaper (in Illinois, USA) complaining that Halloween has been too commercialized, and that we've forgotten the religious significance of the day. Back when he was younger and the world wasn't in the heathen-y state that it is, All Saints Day was a time for venerating the saints and remembering the dearly departed. All the candy and expensive decorations and costumes are the real sin...