Kids dressing up for Halloween is ‘complete betrayal of Christian faith’, says priest

Father Richard O’Connor has criticised children dressing up as demons and devils at Halloween parties – and wants them to come as saints instead

A party-pooping priest says children dressing up as devils and demons for Halloween is a “complete betrayal of the Christian faith”.

Father Richard O’Connor said children should instead dress as saints – and warned trick or treat traditions could be “avenues towards the occult”.

Fr O’Connor, an Irish priest of the Diocese of Kerry, said he wants to see Halloween “get back to its true meaning”.

The opinionated padre, who once called for a Communion ban on couples “living in sin”, made his comments in The Irish Catholic newspaper.

He said: “We’re supposed to be celebrating the Feast of All Saints’ [November 1] and we have the kids dressing up as demons and devils and witches and things like that, the very opposite.

“It shows a complete betrayal of the Christian faith on this particular point.”

Fr O’Connor, who teaches in the Pontifical Angelicum University in Rome, said a saint-focussed celebration would “give real meaning.”

He said: “Certainly, have Halloween parties, but have them centred on the saints. I would expect Catholic schools to give the lead in that respect.

“Take at Christmas, the school will have a little play centred on the nativity, and the kids love dressing up as shepherds, the three kings, and all the rest of it.

“The same way you could have a party centred on the saints.”

He added: “I would say certainly make a big thing of Halloween and have a great party but be celebrating the saints instead of the demons.”

In a letter to the editor of the Irish Catholic, Fr O’Connor argues: “The word ‘Halloween’ means the eve of the feast of All Saints.

“Yet on shop windows and even on school windows, we see images of ghosts, skeletons, witches, demons etc., at this time of year, indeed of all sorts of ugly things that remind one of the occult and of Satan.

“But many Catholic parents and the boards of Catholic schools seem to have no problem with this.

“Instead, they see it, naively, as good fun even though such things are what might be called ‘avenues’ leading towards the occult; and this at a time when Satan-worship, black masses, and seances are on the increase all over the world.

“If Halloween is to get back its true meaning, why not make this a time when parents encourage young people to dress up as their favourite saints, and schools, then, give prizes for the best efforts.

“Furthermore, instead of ‘trick-or-treating’, the young could also go around to their neighbours offering to pray to those saints for their intentions.”