Priest Apologizes for Destroying Pumpkins

In an open letter, Czech cleric admits he stomped on 'satanic' symbols
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2023 4:55 PM CDT
Village Priest Admits Attacking 'Satanic' Symbols
St John the Baptist in Kurdejov in the Czech Republic   (Getty/rihast)

The Rev. Jaromir Smejkal said that he wouldn't have done it if he'd known the pumpkins were carved by the children of his Czech village, but that he has a duty to protect families from "hidden evil." So the parish priest at St John the Baptist in Kurdejov acted, the BBC reports. "Leaving the rectory on Sunday evening, I saw numerous symbols of the satanic feast of 'Halloween' placed in front of our sacred grounds," he later wrote in an open letter to the mayor posted on the village's Facebook page. "I acted according to my faith and duty to be a father and protector of the children entrusted to me and removed these symbols." By "removed," he meant stomped and otherwise destroyed.

Children had carved the pumpkins as part of Halloween events organized by the village, reports Breclavsky Denik, a newspaper in the region. Some reportedly were in tears when they found out what happened. Other pumpkins were brought to the park, but they, too, were found stomped on and scattered a day later. Smejkal said the current Halloween celebrations sprung up as a counter to the Roman Catholic feast of All Souls' Day. Other Czechs say Halloween is an example of commercialized traditions brought in from the West that diminish their traditions, per the BBC. (More Halloween stories.)

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