By John Smith •
Published: 22 Oct 2023 • 11:09
Jack-o-lanterns before the destruction
Credit: Obec Kurdějov Facebook
Young children in the town of Kurdějov in the Czech Republic were distraught when they woke up one morning to discover that the pumpkin lanterns they had carved had been destroyed.
They had prepared these miniature works of art for a Pumpkin and Lantern Parade in the run up to Halloween and what had been a joyful event attracting many children and adults turned into an example of wanton vandalism.
Undaunted, more jack-o-lanterns were prepared and again they were destroyed overnight by the anonymous pumpkin hater.
This wasn’t a case of local fans of American band Smashing Pumpkins being unusually creative but a genuine example of what appeared to be a heartless strike against the local children with many locals turning to social media to call the vandal a coward who should own up.
Surprisingly enough he did in a letter written to the town mayor and even more surprisingly, it turned out that the local priest Jaromír Smejkal accepted responsibility.
In his letter he said “On leaving the parsonage on Sunday evening, I saw numerous symbols of the satanic holiday [Halloween], which was born in today’s paganized world as a counterweight to our approaching All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, placed in front of our sacred grounds.
“I acted according to my faith and duty to be a father and protector of entrusted children and removed the symbols.”
Once he discovered that these weren’t symbols of the devil scattered around the town by worshippers of Satan but were carved in innocence by children, he relented somewhat and commented “Had I known this, despite my duty to act decisively and radically against evil, I would have considered the fact that I am also touching the feelings of my fellow men, especially children.”
The matter didn’t rest there and Pavel Kafka, the vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brno told Břeclavský deník “Of course, I am sorry for the unfortunate situation in Kurdějov, which I also expressed in a written apology addressed to the mayor and representatives of the village.”
So, it appears that although Halloween is not widely celebrated in the Czech Republic, the children of Kurdějov will be free to go trick or treating on October 31 without fear of damnation from their parish priest.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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