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http://saintjoepodcast.com/

Hey Jesse Romero and Terry Barber recently made a talk on the "Evils of Halloween" and it is sparking quite a lot of controversy. I think that they did a good job in explaining that the way that modern Halloween is celebrated is pretty bad. This includes satanic rituals, witchcraft, and various other things that are obviously contrary to the Catholic Faith. In this talk, Jesse mentions different articles talking about the Catholic Church opposing Halloween. He further mentions quotes from various chief exorcists in Rome including Fr Amorth who supposedly want to prohibit Catholics from celebrating Halloween. Deborah Lipsky (An ex-Satanist who I believe is a reliable source) was on-air and she stated that Catholics should have nothing to do with Halloween. Lastly Jesse gives good advice against people dressing up as slutty characters for women, and gruesome characters for males.

I think the main problem though from this talk is that they did not mention the history of Halloween (Hollow's Eve) which has a lot of Catholics roots. These include treating the 31st of November as a vigil for all Saints Day. But it also includes treating this day as a day of remembering the 4 Last Things, and knowing about the reality of Hell and how to avoid it. Even things like the modern notion of "trick or treat" came originally from the English Catholics who would ask for "Soul cakes" instead, which is simply an exchange of cakes for prayers for the dead of one's household.

I think that Halloween was too much related with the pagan holiday of Samhain which comes from Irish Celtic pagans. I think that the modern celebration of Halloween truly is celebrated like this, but not necessarily the original Catholic celebration of it.

Here are some good articles on the history and origins of Halloween (Hollow's Eve) and how it is Catholic

Here are some good articles on Halloween that I have read (including mine)
http://www.fisheaters.com/customstimeaft...t12aa.html

http://walkinginthedesert.com/2014/10/10...halloween/

http://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/hallween.htm

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/l...s/10_2.cfm
This raises a question in my mind: obviously we can all agree that we shouldn't give reverence or sacrifices to pagan gods, but, granting for sake of argument that Halloween is a totally pagan festival in its origins, why shouldn't we have pagan festivals where no pagan gods are honoured and nothing is done that is explicitly contrary to the faith?
It seems to me a lot of this has to do with the rise of a moralistic, rationalistic, and propositional form of Christianity as a result of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. Instead of Christendom as a body of people located in particular places, you now have an abstract system of ideas with no connection to history, place, or the natural world, though obviously this trend was incomplete and present in certain places more than others.
(11-01-2014, 04:29 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: [ -> ]It seems to me a lot of this has to do with the rise of a moralistic, rationalistic, and propositional form of Christianity as a result of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. Instead of Christendom as a body of people located in particular places, you now have an abstract system of ideas with no connection to history, place, or the natural world, though obviously this trend was incomplete and present in certain places more than others.

Could you elaborate on that? I don't get how this applies. Written that way one might have the impression that this critique is a general excuse for any inculturation.

(11-01-2014, 03:54 PM)Dirigible Wrote: [ -> ]This raises a question in my mind: obviously we can all agree that we shouldn't give reverence or sacrifices to pagan gods, but, granting for sake of argument that Halloween is a totally pagan festival in its origins, why shouldn't we have pagan festivals where no pagan gods are honoured and nothing is done that is explicitly contrary to the faith?

I guess it depends on the sort of pagan practice, really. There are some that are simply incompatible even if no explicit reference to the gods are made, like if one were to strip the Bacchanalia of any reference to Bacchus (which, any way, could be interpreted allegorically). Or even today's Carnivals. I really think that these festivals are not only immoral but deeply unchristian in their structure inasmuch as they adopt the Dionysius-Apollo duality, which is irreducibly violent.
I think traditional Halloween is mostly a an UK/American thing, so I don't know too much about it, but what is exported through its American version has this basic structure: its a night to dress slutty, to have a bit of controlled violence, so on and so forth. In this sense I don't really think it can be celebrated by Christians, even if nobody explicit summons the devil.
I agree with Crusading Philologist. Well put. It is a difficult thing for us in the Protestant, Reformed West, to see, but deep down, none of this would have been a problem before the Prot Rev.

Everything on earth has a divine origin, damaged by sin. Many things have been then rescued by the Redemption. Many pagan things were made Catholic. We baptize human beings, destined to hell without baptism. We do the same to pagan festivals, to culture. We change them, we baptize them. Some previous believers fall away, apostasize. They can celebrate Hallowe'en as apostates. We can celebrate it as Catholics, as the Eve of All Hallows. No one "owns" anything, and Hallowe'en in and of itself does nothing, good nor evil. Human beings choose holy or unholy ways to spend this time.

I like Hallowe'en. I use it to explain the eternal verities, the last 4 things, to my children. We go to cemeteries and pray for the departed. They tell me that Weeping Willows would be perfect in cemeteries because the wind in the leaves would sound like the whispers of the souls in Purgatory asking for prayers. Is this scientific? Is it superstitious? Nah. Let people have their artistic ways of expressing the fact of the afterlife. To attack Hallowe'en on the basis of its origin is to say we cant have parties because some bad peole have bad parties, or in the past parties were all bad. To hell with that (pun intended). We own this world. It belongs to us. We can always do good. Hallowe'en is just a day on the calendar, that each one can fill with good will or not.

Great post, Maldon!  I agree a thousand percent! There are only 365 days on the calendar, and God redeemed them all. All Saints is as Catholic as it gets, and the evening before being an unofficial time to recall the realities of Hell before honoring the faithful dead in Purgatory and Heaven in the days that follow just makes sense. And it's fun.  I so can't stand it when Catholics start sounding like Jack Chick tracts. Man!

(11-01-2014, 06:54 PM)maldon Wrote: [ -> ]I agree with Crusading Philologist. Well put. It is a difficult thing for us in the Protestant, Reformed West, to see, but deep down, none of this would have been a problem before the Prot Rev.

Everything on earth has a divine origin, damaged by sin. Many things have been then rescued by the Redemption. Many pagan things were made Catholic. We baptize human beings, destined to hell without baptism. We do the same to pagan festivals, to culture. We change them, we baptize them. Some previous believers fall away, apostasize. They can celebrate Hallowe'en as apostates. We can celebrate it as Catholics, as the Eve of All Hallows. No one "owns" anything, and Hallowe'en in and of itself does nothing, good nor evil. Human beings choose holy or unholy ways to spend this time.

I like Hallowe'en. I use it to explain the eternal verities, the last 4 things, to my children. We go to cemeteries and pray for the departed. They tell me that Weeping Willows would be perfect in cemeteries because the wind in the leaves would sound like the whispers of the souls in Purgatory asking for prayers. Is this scientific? Is it superstitious? Nah. Let people have their artistic ways of expressing the fact of the afterlife. To attack Hallowe'en on the basis of its origin is to say we cant have parties because some bad peole have bad parties, or in the past parties were all bad. To hell with that (pun intended). We own this world. It belongs to us. We can always do good. Hallowe'en is just a day on the calendar, that each one can fill with good will or not.

I wonder if people would be this tolerant to the pagan festivals of Africa or Japan, or take this position to its logical conclusion and accept incultured Masses.
But anyway, the point is not to criticize the history of a particular festival, but its very structure and practices.

Your analogy of festivals with human beings is a fallacy: humans are created in the image and likeness of God, they are essentially good; festivals, on the other hand, are products of culture, thus they are always a product of religion—and as the the psalmist says, all the gods of the pagans are demons; or as the apostle says, their god is their belly. So they are not a priori all redeemable in themselves. For instance, I challenge you to redeem in a sober Christian way the Bacchanalia or the Orgia (I also extend this challenge to Vox).

As I said, I don't know much about Halloween, but the version we have here it consists basically of parties for adults who dress as monsters or prostitutes. And in this way it is not redeemable and its very nature is something resembling these old pagan festivals of innebriation.

I think this is really serious (I say this not to be argumentative, but in charity): everyone should think real careful and not be led by emotional memories from childhood, because to participate in a Liturgy that has no communion with the Light is a sin against the first commandment. So, I'm not saying that Halloween is intrinsically evil or irredeemable, but let's be so cavalier about the issue.
The OP is a bit too much of a Jack Chick to me.

Some important points should be hammered home:

1) Trick and treating is okay and fun, and Catholic kids very much should go out and have that kind of fun.
2) Dressing up as pegasus, or a vampire, or even a little demon isn't demonic.
3) Free candy is fun.
4) Hijinx and games during halloween is a must if you're under the age of sixteen.
5) Corn mazes, "haunted" basements and spooky movies (as long as they're not vulgar) is definitely a hit.

If you're a traditional Catholic mom or dad, and you have kids, do let them do that. You make absolutely no compromises in doing this.

A couple of other points are worth pointing out as well:

6) As Catholics we can also use this holiday to remember the souls of the faithful departed.
7) On top of all the secular festivitas, we can tell our children about the realities of Hell and Purgatory, and what little sacrifices they can give to help Holy Souls.
8) We can make little sacrifices during this period, and offer special prayers.

Most importantly: One need not happen at the expense of the other.
Quote:I wonder if people would be this tolerant to the pagan festivals of Africa or Japan

Name a celebration. During the annual longest day in Denmark we had a ritual that involved a fire being burned and danced around. However that was done away with when Denmark was made Christian. However it then became the St Hans celebration, and we burn a witch on the fire. This ritual, name and all, survived even the protestantization of Denmark.

Quote:or take this position to its logical conclusion and accept incultured Masses.

How on Earth does that follow as a logical conclusion?

Quote:Your analogy of festivals with human beings is a fallacy: humans are created in the image and likeness of God, they are essentially good; festivals, on the other hand, are products of culture, thus they are always a product of religion—and as the the psalmist says, all the gods of the pagans are demons; or as the apostle says, their god is their belly.

Its not an official teaching of the magisterium that anything not produced by the Church for consumption or celebration is an evil. Period. At no point has the magisterium taught that dressing up, going out for trick and treating and having fun in general is evil.

Quote:So they are not a priori all redeemable in themselves. For instance, I challenge you to redeem in a sober Christian way the Bacchanalia or the Orgia (I also extend this challenge to Vox).

I'm afraid this isn't a very sturdy argument. Saying "Well... you can't redeem all rituals, they can't ALL be redeemable... surely some are..." Yeah, so what?

Quote:As I said, I don't know much about Halloween, but the version we have here it consists basically of parties for adults who dress as monsters or prostitutes. And in this way it is not redeemable and its very nature is something resembling these old pagan festivals of innebriation.

You'll have to explain the evil further, it seems you propped it up by throwing in prostitutes. What's the parallel, and what evil is being perpetrated? If you're talking about intoxication, that's not part of the tradition at all and a symptoms of parties in general, and its quite possible to have fairly sober parties.

Quote:I think this is really serious (I say this not to be argumentative, but in charity)

Actually prior to this you said you didn't know, but now its serious?

Quote:]everyone should think real careful and not be led by emotional memories from childhood

No problem, I have never participated in a Halloween celebration in my life. I only know of the form.

Quote:because to participate in a Liturgy that has no communion with the Light is a sin against the first commandment.

Did you just imply that Halloween is a religious liturgy, and that everyone going taking part of it is guilty of grave sin?  ???

Quote:So, I'm not saying that Halloween is intrinsically evil or irredeemable, but let's be so cavalier about the issue.

Actually you seem to be very unclear, and I want you to be more specific.
Duplicate.
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