Father Jaromir Smejkal, a priest in Kurdejov, Czech Republic, has issued a public apology after vandalizing a display of children’s Halloween pumpkins for two consecutive days.
The incident took place during the village’s Pumpkin and Lantern Parade, leaving local children in tears.
Father Jaromir Smejkal, who referred to the October festival as a “Satanic feast,” took it upon himself to stomp on a display of Jack-o’-lanterns that he spotted at a park near his church in Kurdejov. This act of vandalism affected nearly two dozen pumpkins, which had been lovingly carved by local children as part of the Halloween celebration.
The children who had put their heart and soul into creating these Halloween decorations were devastated when their second attempt at a festive display was also destroyed by Father Smejkal. Their tears and disappointment were evident, as they had worked tirelessly to bring joy to their community.
In response to the outrage and sorrow caused by his actions, Father Smejkal penned an open letter to the town’s mayor. In his letter, he extended a heartfelt apology for the act of vandalism and explained his motives. The priest expressed that he would have reacted differently had he known that the pumpkins were the creative endeavors of children.
In a Facebook post, Father Smejkal shared his perspective, saying, “Leaving the rectory on Sunday evening, I saw numerous symbols of the satanic feast of ‘Halloween’ placed in front of our sacred grounds.” He added, “I acted according to my faith and duty to be a father and protector of the children entrusted to me and removed these symbols.”
Father Smejkal believes that the celebration of Halloween is a pagan substitute for the Catholic feast of All Souls’ Day, a day when prayers are offered for saints and the departed faithful. He claimed that his duty as a figure of authority and a priest is to protect children and families from what he perceives as hidden evil.
However, the priest acknowledged that he had not intended to cause any harm to the children and their families. He came to realize that the villagers had not intended to “express contempt for what is holy to us Catholics.” In light of this realization, Father Smejkal expressed his deep regret for his actions.
Unfortunately, following his public confession and apology, Father Smejkal reportedly received a number of threats and insults online. It is essential to remember that this incident has ignited strong emotions within the community, with some defending the priest’s actions while others vehemently opposing them.