Cardinal Martini condemns Haloween
Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini of Milan has urged Italians to ignore Haloween, which he described as 'foreign' to their traditions.
"Halloween is a type of holiday that is foreign to our traditions, which have tremendous value and must endure," the Archbishop of Milan wrote in a catechism tract handed out to young people on Monday.
Halloween trick or treating is an American import that has caught on in Italy, to the delight of some and the dismay of others.
The cardinal is worried that it is diverting young Italians from the traditional observance of All Saints Day and All Souls Day, when many Italian Catholics decorate the graves of their relatives.
Honouring the dead "is a part of our history," Martini wrote. "It is the moment which opens the hope of eternity - the moment when the Lord makes us understand that life is more than that of earth."
On Saturday, children dressed as witches, vampires, and mummies walked Rome's streets, and bars and discos in many cities were okabbubg costume parties for Tuesday night.