Hallowe'en '˜highly dangerous' and may open doors to '˜principalities and powers' of Satan, warn Derry priests

Priests convening for the Dioceses of Derry and Raphoe's annual synod this week have warned the cult of Hallowe'en is '˜highly dangerous' and may open doors to the 'principalities and powers' of Satan.

The stark warning was initiated by Rev. David Crooks, of Taughboyne, who, addressing fellow clergy in An Grianán Hotel, said: “Halloween...is turning into this ridiculous nonsense...In shops and all over the place, we see all these accoutrements of witchcraft and all that kind of horrible nonsense,” he said.

“People say ‘Oh, it’s just for the children’. Well, I think it’s sending the wrong message to children – it’s actually highly dangerous. It can lead children to start looking at the internet and finding there things like tarot cards and séances, it can grow into all of that. It’s highly dangerous stuff and I think that church leaders of authority should speak about it.”

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Rev. Malcolm Ferry, of St. Augustine’s, said: “It’s not accidental that the shops in the city are decorated – the Council are now promoting it. This is a problem and maybe the Diocese would need to think that if this is Council’s strategy, we need to have a strategy.”

Rev. Ivan Dinsmore, of Ardstraw, said: “It’s really good to hear church leaders speaking up on this subject and coming out against this festival of paganism that is so popular now within our community.”

Rev. Mark Lennox of Chrish Church Strabane, said he’d been in one shop in Derry that was selling Ouija boards.

“We as a Church do need to speak out against this and educate our people that these things aren’t just fun but are actually opening doors to the principalities and the powers that we read about in the Book of Romans and other parts of Scripture.”