Polish Catholic monks burn Harry Potter books, 'Whats up Kitty' umbrellas

Catholic monks in Poland burned books they are saying are sacrilegious this weekend, together with tomes from British writer J.Okay. Rowling’s Harry Potter sequence of fantasy novels.

“We obey the Phrase,” monks stated in a Fb publish exhibiting images of the general public e book burning and quoting Biblical passages from the e book of Deuteronomy within the Previous Testomony.

One passage exhorting believers to destroy the enemies of God consists of the command to “burn their idols within the fireplace”.

The publish, on a web page run by the Catholic “SMS from Heaven” evangelical group, stirred controversy and has gone viral.

Pictures present three monks carrying a basket of books and different objects, together with an African-styled face masks by way of a church to an out of doors fireplace pit.

Monks are seen saying prayers over the hearth pit the place different objects, together with a e book from the Twilight vampire-themed fantasy romance sequence, a ‘Whats up Kitty’ umbrella, and a Hindu spiritual figurine, are additionally burning.

Father Jan Kucharski, the priest within the Gdansk parish the place the e book burning befell, advised the natemat.pl information web site on Monday that they’d burned objects “linked to the occult and magic”.

“Other than the books, there have been talismans and amulets. Parishioners introduced them to place issues so as” as a part of spring cleansing, added the priest, who can be listed as an exorcist on the Gdansk diocese official web site.

‘Inappropriate’

The burning befell in entrance of his church after Sunday mass.

Kucharczyk dismissed comparisons to the cultural censorship of totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany.

“We all know what’s dangerous to our devoted in order that’s why we held an occasion like this. I might even name it evangelical,” he advised natemat.pl.

Contacted by AFP on Monday, the Polish Episcopate and Gdansk diocese acknowledged the incident however declined to remark.

Father Wojciech Parfianowicz, a spokesperson from the Koszalin-Kolobrzeg diocese the place the “SMS from Heaven” group relies, condemned the e book burning as “inappropriate”.

However he advised the Polish PAP information company that the occasion risked “diverting consideration from actual non secular risks” posed by “the occult or magic”.

“I might wish to consider this can be a joke… Severely? Are individuals burning fantasy literature within the 21st century in some type of sick ritual?!” one Fb person stated in a remark beneath the publish.

“It is exhausting for me to consider that we’re so backward!” the person added.

Different Fb customers, nonetheless, backed the e book burning.

“Do away with every part that doesn’t please God and see how your life will change,” one particular person posted.

Youngster abuse scandal

Launched in 1997, the Harry Potter sequence of books spins an epic story of excellent and evil centered on the adventures of the eponymous bespectacled younger wizard as he struggles towards the darkish wizard Lord Voldemort.

It has generally drawn criticism from spiritual and conservative circles for what they are saying is its concentrate on witchcraft.

This newest incident comes as Poland’s influential Roman Catholic church struggles to cope with the fallout of revelations about paedophilia amongst monks which might be unprecedented on this overwhelmingly Catholic nation.

Final month, the Polish episcopate admitted for the primary time that almost 400 of its clergy had sexually abused kids and minors over the previous three many years.

That mirrored findings revealed in February by a charity centered on intercourse abuse within the church.

A survey revealed within the liberal every day Gazeta Wyborcza on Monday urged that 64 p.c of Poles desire a secular state, with 29 p.c opposed and 7 p.c with out an opinion.

The ballot was carried out March 5-11 by Kantor Millward Brown on a random consultant pattern of 1,500 grownup Poles.