Postcard from... Rome


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The Independent Online

To add to the list of church initiatives that have sunk without trace comes a plan by Catholic priests to turn Halloween into “Holyween” in order to stop young people being lured by the occult.

An Italian priest and exorcist, Don Aldo Bonaiuto, launched the initiative with other demon-busters from the International Association of Exorcists (IAE), which is currently holding its first-ever meeting at the Holy See.

Valter Cascioli, the IAE’s spokesman, warned at the start  that “the practice of the occult, Satanism and abnormal things is opening the gateway to an extraordinary amount of demonic activity”, and that the danger from the Devil was becoming “more and more of an emergency”.

 Don Aldo said it was on 31 October that the number of incidents of people practising black magic peaked, and this was accompanied by psychic disturbances, some demonic in nature. “That’s why we shouldn’t make light of Halloween,” he added.

The correct response, say the exorcists, is to promote Holyween where, instead of dressing as zombies or vampires, party-goers and young people would appear  as saints... though presumably nothing too sado-masochistic or homoerotic, such as St Sebastian.