Catholic priest goes on rampage stomping on pumpkins carved by children
Billy Corgan, eat your heart out.
A Catholic priest has apologised to local children after repeatedly stomping on ‘satanic’ Halloween pumpkins left near his church.
Father Jaromir Smejkal destroyed the carved pumpkins on two successive days after spotting them in a park in Kurdejov, a village in the Czech Republic.
However, in an open letter to the town’s mayor posted on a local Facebook page, the priest apologised for the vandalism and said he would have acted differently had he known they were carved by children.
‘Leaving the rectory on Sunday evening, I saw numerous symbols of the satanic feast of “Halloween” placed in front of our sacred grounds,’ he wrote.
‘I acted according to my faith and duty to be a father and protector of the children entrusted to me and removed these symbols.’
Father Smejkal claimed the modern tradition of Halloween had been conceived in a ‘heathen, contemporary world’, as a counterbalance to the Catholic feast of All Souls’ Day.
But he added it had never been his intention to harm anyone, especially not children.
‘Try to remember that my duty as a figure of authority and a priest is to protect children and families from hidden evil,’ he said.
The pumpkins were said to be carved by children as part of a Halloween festival, local media reported.
But the youngsters were said to have been reduced to tears upon discovering their creations had been destroyed.
Fresh pumpkins were later left in the park but were also found scattered and stomped on the next day.
The Czech Republic is considered to be one of the least religious countries in the world, but some traditions, such as All Souls’ Day, are still widely celebrated.
Some locals have previously complained about the adoption of commercialised foreign holidays, of which Halloween is a prime example.
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