MANILA, Philippines - Ghoulish and scary costumes worn during Halloween are like invitations for the devil to come in.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday discouraged the public from turning Halloween into a scary event.
Fr. Francis Lucas, executive secretary of CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Social Communication and Mass Media, said “the wearing of scary masks and knife embedded in the neck is pure evil and it is a like you are seducing the Diablo.”
“It is like (saying) ‘welcome to me’ because Satan is negative. He destroys our consciousness so he is able to get to us. Especially for the youth, it is like you are suggesting using the costumes that they are wearing,” he said.
“How can you talk to God if the dress you are wearing makes you look like a Diablo?” he added.
He explained that ‘Hallow’ really means “blessed and that is what we should push for.”
He also believed that the children should be surrounded by positive images when observing All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
Children could don clothes patterned after the clothes of saints instead of wearing scary costumes, and elders could give children a new game that would encourage them to become good instead of “trick or treat” games.
Lucas also said the management and owners of shopping malls, hotels, clubs, bars and schools could come up with positive concepts in decorating their establishments.
More importantly, he said, Filipinos should pray for and show respect to their departed love ones when they visit the cemetery. They should not get drunk or engage in fights.
“It can be solemn. It can be festive because you are having a family reunion and you are praying together. Recite the prayer while sprinkling the tomb with holy water,” Lucas said.
“The best gift is that you bring that person (departed loved one) to heaven. You have to do everything. That is a very good sign that you continue to be one with the dead,” he added.
March of Saints
In Dagupan City, hundreds of parishioners will instead join the first-ever March of Saints today.
Fr. Alvin Platon of the St. John The Evangelist Parish in Dagupan City yesterday told The STAR that the March of Saints is a Christian alternative of Halloween party, which he said is a pagan celebration.
“The alternative celebration is to bring back the holiness, the sacredness of the celebration which is the All Saints’ Day,” Platon said.
“We believe that saints are our guide, not the evil spirits in our lives,” he added.
The march would be around the downtown area and would start at 4:00 p.m. About 28 saints would be portrayed.
“Everybody is invited to portray their own patron saints,” Platon said.
“It’s also a costume party, a celebration for children and people if they would like to dress up as saints to remove the fear of Halloween,” he added.
Platon said other parishes would also come up with similar celebrations where children would dress up as saints.
‘Napoles will meet Maker one day’
The CBCP also reminded alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles and others implicated in the P10-billion scam that time would come when they would meet their Maker.
“Napoles and her henchmen should go to the cemetery and think that all (their) millions of pesos will all be gone when they die,” said Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of CBCP-National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace.
Gariguez also said that Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who is implicated in the scam, should cancel his trip to the United States and visit the cemetery instead.
“He should contemplate and say to himself that ‘I will also die, it is just a matter of who would go first and face God’,” Gariguez added.
Earlier reports said Estrada would accompany his wife Precy to the US because she needs to undergo medical tests for a lump and cyst that were diagnosed in her breast.
Gariguez also described as a desecration Napoles’ reportedly throwing parties at the mausoleum housing the tomb of her mother at Heritage Park every Nov. 1. -with Eva Visperas