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Archbishop calls for ban on Halloween celebrations

Britain's Archbishop Vincent Nichols is calling on Catholics throughout his Archdiocese of Birmingham to distance themselves from traditional Halloween celebrations at the end of the month.

Catholic World News reports that he is instead advising them to celebrate the Christian eve of All Saints Day, "in order to counteract an increasing tendency for the popular mind to make the association between Halloween and secular, if not pagan imagery."

Archbishop Nichols said, "I invite every parish to think about what it could provide in the late afternoon and evening of Halloween in order to express the life of the Church ... and that this is the beginning of a feast in which we rejoice in the work of God seen in his saints and the cause of great inspiration and joy to the world."

Bishop Nicholas' rallying call is backed by flyers for Night of Light, a Catholic celebration of Halloween, promoted by Cor Lumen Christi. The flyers suggest that parents dress children as saints rather than as ghouls and witches.

Cor Lumen spokesman, Damian Stayne, told The Catholic Times: "The Church explicitly condemns witchcraft in the Catechism, so why dress our children as witches?"

For adults, the Night of Light activities include attending a Mass in honour of the saints on 31 October.

Cor-Lumen Christi