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Vatican paper cautions against occult influence on Halloween

October 30, 2009

An article in L'Osservatore Romano has cautioned against the "dangerous messages" in popular celebrations of Halloween. “Halloween has an undercurrent of occultism and is absolutely anti-Christian," wrote Joan Maria Canals, noting that a focus on the macabre and ghoulish has crept into the celebrations even of young children. The Vatican newspaper article encourages parents to help their children avoid the harmful influences of the occult and the frightening aspects of public observances.

update Although the summary above gives a reasonably accurate sense of the article in L'Osservatore Romano, the story in the Telegraph gives an overly dramatic impression of both the article's argument and its authority. (The London Times offered an even more sensationalistic account.) The Vatican did not condemn Halloween celebrations. A single priest-- writing, it is true, in the official Vatican newspaper-- made some strong cautionary remarks. The Catholic Key blog puts the matter in proper context.


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