Action Alert!

The Vatican and Halloween: clarification

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Nov 02, 2009

Last week CWN posted a story about an article that had appeared in L'Osservatore Romano, warning against pagan and occult influences on the celebration of Halloween. Our own short summary of that article in the Vatican newspaper was reasonably accurate.

Unfortunately, CWN also linked to a story in the Daily Telegraph of London, which gave a somewhat sensationalistic account of the article in L'Osservatore. CWN should have cautioned readers about that Telegraph coverage-- as, indeed, we do caution readers about the problems with many accounts of Vatican affairs that appear in the British press. We apologize for the oversight in this case.

We have updated the CWN story to provide a bit more detail as to what the Vatican newspaper article said-- and, equally important, what it did not say.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - May. 06, 2018 10:00 PM ET USA

    Do we even have souls anymore? This all sounds like saying the means justify the ends. Receiving HC validly makes two claims:(1)by approaching one (re)states commitment to Christ & His Catholic Church AND (2)by receiving one accepts Christ & His Grace. Non-Catholic reception ignores the first part. Christ & His Church are supposed to be one. If the marriage is solid why not RCIA for the spouse to become Catholic? Well, yeah, I know, it's complicated. Tell it to Jesus hanging on the Cross.

  • Posted by: Retired01 - May. 03, 2018 3:18 PM ET USA

    The elephant in the New Paradigm room? “Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal” (Amoris Laetitia, 303).

  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - May. 02, 2018 10:31 AM ET USA

    In the current climate in the Church, Fr. Vavarek is exceedingly brave to write an article like this. Priests in some dioceses - Cardinal Cupich's Chicago archdiocese springs to mind - would be severely punished for speaking the truth in this way. In some respects, the "New Paradigm" may actually have a long history. To many of us, there are elements of it that sound a lot like what Eve was told in the Garden of Eden. God bless Fr. Vavarek.

  • Posted by: feedback - May. 02, 2018 10:17 AM ET USA

    Thank you for this valuable essay. Some clerics are firmly stuck in the 1960-70's with their theological "new" ideas, frequently combined with their left-leaning political involvement, and their taste for "new" church music, "new" art, and "new" 1960-70's architecture. The results of their activism are overall counter productive.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - May. 01, 2018 8:57 PM ET USA

    Succinct answer to the Pope's and his men's and women's well-practiced belittlements, condescensions, and proffering of spurious logic and analysis. Frequent recourse to these types of essays is critical in the fight to continue to embrace the rule of faith and morality that can save us from casuistry, a false irenicism, and subjugation to the modern "consensus" disciplinarian. Since Fr. Vaverak is not directly referencing the Pope in his essay, we hope that he remains secure in his ministry.

  • Posted by: miked.doc6394 - May. 01, 2018 4:56 PM ET USA

    Thank you for this much needed and thorough explanation. "Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." -Matthew 5:19