Friday, October 30, 2009

Is Halloween anti-Christian?

Okay, the original source is the UK Telegraph, so the usual cautions about the British media and its tendency to exaggerate are in effect. Also, the story as usual conflates "The Vatican" with, presumably, a handful of Vatican officials. Still...interesting, no?

The Vatican has warned parents that Halloween is an anti-Christian pagan holiday of "terror, fear and death."

An article published in the Vatican's official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano says "Halloween has an undercurrent of occultism and is absolutely anti-Christian."

Parents should "be aware of this and try to direct the meaning of the feast towards wholesomeness and beauty rather than terror, fear and death," said Father Canals, a member of a Spanish commission on church rites.

The Catholic Church has increasingly gone against Halloween's popularity in recent years. Last year, a newspaper controlled by Italian bishops called for a boycott of the goulish holiday, saying it was a "dangerous celebration of horror."

You can read the original UK Telegraph article here.

Let's keep any discussion respectful, and remember that it's quite likely that this brief report isn't the whole story...

UPDATE: Jack Smith at The Catholic Key says the story's a hoax. So often the case, apparently, with some of these media sources.


Natasha said...

For our family, Halloween is a great time to remind ourselves that all things Halloween (witches, magic, ghost stories, Great Pumpkins) are all pretend. We dress up, do light decorating, carve a pumpkin, and go trick or treating. There is nothing like a whole night of playing pretend to take the mystique out of the occult. The next morning is a great opportunity to remind my children that the promises of the occult are empty, scary, and full of death....not fulfilling, loving, and full of life like the promises of Christ. We spend All Saints Day learning about a new saint and All Souls Day is a quite day of prayer and talking about loved ones in heaven. We enjoy Halloween as an American custom. Having All Saints Day and All Souls immediately following allows me as a mom to highlight the differences between the secular and the holy. I do want to add that we don't even decorate until the day of and we don't make an elaborate celebration of it. We keep Halloween in its place.

Anonymous said...

Is this telling of the Telegraph?

I've seen others quote this as a reputable (?) news source, notably when wishing to underscore a ultra-conservative stance on a 'seemingly' dogmatic issue espoused by semi-reactionaries (wanting to stop the world and have it turn the other way back to a past existing only in someone's rosy childhood).

This inappropriate, unreasonable (makes no common sense to those at all familiar with Roman Catholic beliefs), and inaccurate 'reporting' is reminiscent of tabloids found near the grocery check-out counter. Next time someone quotes this 'rag' best take it with a grain of salt.

stef said...

had fun playing detective -- don't know if I actually unearthed anything, but it was entertaining following the tracks...

Tito Edwards said...

The USA Today has done a non-mea culpa by acknowledging that the Catholic blogosphere wasn't too happy about their reporting on this.


In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,