Czech priest apologizes after smashing pumpkins

Father Jaromir Smejkal, the local parish priest in the Czech town of Kurdejov, has not been feeling that Halloween holiday spirit. According to the BBC, Smejkal took it upon himself to destroy a display of carved pumpkins in the town on not one, but two consecutive nights:

"Leaving the rectory on Sunday evening, I saw numerous symbols of the satanic feast of 'Halloween' placed in front of our sacred grounds," he wrote [in an open letter published on Facebook].

"I acted according to my faith and duty to be a father and protector of the children entrusted to me and removed these symbols," said Father Smejkal, parish priest at the Roman Catholic Church of St John the Baptist. 

He added that in his view the modern tradition of Halloween had been conceived in a "heathen, contemporary world", as a counterbalance to the Catholic feast of All Souls' Day. 

Father Smejkal apologized for his outburst, saying that he would not have destroyed the jack o'lanterns if he had known that they had actually been carved by children.

It seems that, despite all his rage, he was still just a Czech who misgauged.

Czech village priest sorry for smashing pumpkins [Rob Cameron / BBC]