Lipa City (AsiaNews) – The Archbishop of Lipa (80 km south of Manila) is appealing to believers to help save Halloween from a pagan and consumerist infiltration that has robbed it of its Christian meaning. In a pastoral letter to the diocese, Msgr. Ramon C. Arguelles, writes: " Please introduce in our parishes and our communities the correct commemoration of the saints and the holy souls during our November celebration of the Church’s triumphs and sufferings "
According to Arguelles, Nov. 1 and 2 are traditionally important dates in the Church calendar during which Catholics worldwide take time to pray for the souls of the departed and to commemorate the Communion of Saints. In the same letter, the archbishop expresses concern that the originally wholesome observance of Halloween (“All Hallow’s Even”), the evening immediately preceding All Saints’ Day, appears to have lost its religious character due to various outside influences
“Unfortunately, secular, consumerist, and pagan practices have also seeped into what is sacred and spiritual in our religious observances,” he notes, referring to American-style Halloween that emphasizes the macabre and seems to border on the demonic.
In line with this, Arguelles appeals to all ordained and unordained ministers of the Lipa See to join him in recapturing the true meaning of the liturgical event.
To revive the religious significance of the eve of All Saints, Mgr. Arguellas approved the group called " the Prayer Warriors of the Holy Souls [PWHS] to make the Halloween celebrations more focused on the proclamation of saintly life stories. The association, which is part of the Monfort Foundation, has as its main purpose is to pray for the souls of the dead, so that those who are in purgatory are admitted to heaven.