A priest has come under fire after destroying children’s Halloween decorations because they went against his beliefs.
Father Jaromir Smejkal is a Czech priest from the South Moravian Region who caused a stir in his community after smashing several pumpkins carved out by local children as part of the Halloween festivities held by his town.
Defending his actions in a statement, Father Smejkal wrote: “Leaving the rectory on Sunday evening, I saw numerous symbols of the s*tanic feast of ‘Halloween’ placed in front of our sacred grounds.
“I acted according to my faith and duty to be a father and protector of the children entrusted to me and removed these symbols.”
He went on to argue that “heathen” practices like Halloween act as a counterbalance to Christian holidays and festivities such as All Souls’ Day.
Following his actions, the priest of the Roman Catholic Church of St John the Baptist suffered a backlash when a local newspaper reported the children were left in tears after discovering their carved pumpkins were ruined.
The priest has since apologized for his actions in an open letter addressed to the mayor of his town.
In the apology that has been branded as half-hearted by some, Father Smejkal said it was never his intention to harm anyone, especially children.
“But try to remember that my duty as a figure of authority and a priest is to protect children and families from hidden evil,” he added.
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