We had the usual Hallowe’en phone call from a journalist today. How did we feel about the Vatican’s condemnation of Hallowe’en as anti-Christian? Do we think it is based on a sinister and dangerous ‘undercurrent of occultism’? Or do we think that it is all harmless and traditional stuff? And we decided that we wouldn’t get drawn into commenting on other people’s comments ….
So here are a few of the things which might be part of a more serious exploration of the issues.
Yes the soul of a child matters and we are probably over-careless about the influences to which they are exposed. Children do need to acquire what it takes to live in a very mixed-up kind of world but the spiritual nurture task is more important than we admit – probably because it is hard to define. After all, the Gospel constantly prioritises children – ‘Whoever does not receive the kingdom like a child ..’
So the Hallowe’en question takes its place there – alongside the internet questions and the war toys and the ‘shoot ‘m up’ video games. But the most insidious of all? I think it’s what children see us adults doing.
That means the effect of relentless consumerism – that what we want we must have whether we need it or not. And inability to manage relationships, to forgive and to live and let live. It’s easy negativity about all sorts of things. It’s discouragement when we should be offering encouragement. It’s lack of values and moral compass.
It’s all those things which are fine for us because we can choose them and live with the consequences. But not fine for children.