COMBERMERE, Ontario, October 31, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Catholic children in the little town of Combermere, Ontario, may not know that a Polish archbishop is warning his flock about the spiritual dangers of participating in pagan ‘Halloween’ rituals, but then again, they don’t need to worry. They participate in an “All Hallows’ Eve” festival dressed as God’s holy angels and saints.
Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski of Lodz is urging Catholics not to take part, “even in playful form,” in the pagan rituals of Halloween, calling it a “fundamentally anti-Christian festival.”
“Introducing children, and sometimes adults, to Halloween practices is a violation of Church teaching. Christians should not take part, even in playful form,” he said in a pastoral letter to his archdiocese.
The feast of pagan roots that Christians attempted to elevate as a day of praying for the dead has reverted into a celebration of the culture of death, he said. Children naively dressed as demons, witches, ghouls, and other dark and spiritual deformed creatures traipse around the neighborhood at night, issuing the threat of a “trick” if there is no “treat.”
Halloween parties have been known to include occult activities forbidden by the Church such as divination and card reading.
Archbishop Jedraszewski is concerned that Catholic children at Halloween parties could become spiritually damaged by being exposed to what is spiritually illicit. “Parents and teachers should protect youngsters against its images of terror and dread, especially when many already associate it with the cult of Satan.”
The archbishop would like Catholics under his watch to reclaim the day as a memorial for honoring the holy men and woman of years gone by. He said that All Souls' Day had “long traditions” in Poland as being a day of “praising God and honoring those who came before.”
Combermere area Catholic children dressed as God’s holy saints and angels will arrive at Madonna House Apostolate this evening, where they will parade around the house as about 100 community members sing at top voice “Oh when the Saints go Marching in.”
“It’s fun to dress up as a saint and to have people guess what saint you are,” said Gianna Baklinski, age seven, to LifeSiteNews.com. “I like when Mommy makes our costumes, because we get to learn about the saints.”
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This year Gianna is dressing as Saint Rose of Lima, a 15th century Spanish ascetic renowned for her work of helping the hungry and sick in her town.
“I like that she was so holy. She was a nun who was very kind to sick people,” said Gianna.
Gianna has memorized a clue that she will speak to the Madonna House community from a podium to help them guess who she is.
“When people wanted me to be made a saint, roses fell from heaven,” she will tell them.
The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano recently highlighted the efforts of a Philippine Catholic organization to establish a “Christ-centered alternative to Halloween.”
“Today, there is a growing concern among Christians that the modern celebration of Halloween trivializes and even glamorizes evil, the occult, and superstitious and pagan practices and beliefs that are incompatible with the Christian faith,” stated the organization Prayer Warriors of the Holy Souls on its website. “To reclaim the sacredness of the eve of All Saints, we need to create a counterculture that will serve as a Christ-centered alternative to Halloween by starting a tradition of our own.”
The organization called a “March of Saints” festival a “fitting tradition that can be firmly established in every parish and diocese to reclaim the sacredness of All Saints Day and to give back the glory to God.”