Czech Village Priest Apologizes for Smashing Halloween Pumpkins
A village priest in the Czech Republic has issued an apology to local children after he was seen stomping on Halloween pumpkins near his church in Kurdejov, a village in South Moravia known for its winemaking.
Father Jaromir Smejkal admitted to destroying the carved pumpkins on two consecutive days in a local park. He expressed regret for his actions in an open letter addressed to the mayor and posted on the village’s Facebook page.
Father Smejkal explained that he had taken the drastic step because he believed the pumpkins were symbols of the “satanic feast of ‘Halloween'” and felt it was his duty as a priest and protector of the children in his care to remove these symbols.
He claimed he was unaware that the pumpkins had been carved by children participating in Halloween festivities organized by the village.
In his letter, Father Smejkal criticized Halloween as a tradition originating from a “heathen, contemporary world,” which he viewed as a contrast to the Catholic observance of All Souls’ Day.
Despite his explanation, some local children were reportedly left in tears upon discovering that their creations had been destroyed. New pumpkins were placed in the park, but they too were found scattered and stomped on the following day.
Father Smejkal emphasized that he had not intended to harm anyone, especially children, and defended his actions as an attempt to protect the community from what he perceived as hidden evil.
Although the Czech Republic is known for its low religious adherence, certain traditional religious celebrations, including All Souls’ Day, remain popular among both believers and atheists.
Some residents lament the erosion of their traditions due to the influence of highly commercialized imports from the West, with Halloween being a notable example.
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