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Catholic priests in Poland burn Harry Potter and Twilight books

Photos show priests carrying a basket of books and other items including an African-styled face mask.

Image: Fundacja SMS Z NIEBA via Facebook

CATHOLIC PRIESTS IN a Polish city burned a number of books they claim are sacrilegious over the weekend, including some from the popular Harry Potter and Twilight series. 

In a Facebook post showing photographs of the public book burning, priests in the city of Koszalin quoted Old Testament passages. They urged believers to destroy the enemies of God, telling them to “burn their idols in the fire”. 

The post on the page ‘SMS Foundation from Heaven’ shows three priests carrying a basket of books and other items including an African-styled face mask through a church to an outside fire pit.

Photographs show priests and two alter servers standing by the fire pit, where other items including a ‘Hello Kitty’ umbrella and a Hindu religious figurine, are also burning.

The group that posted the pictures is an evangelical foundation set up to spread Christian message via mobile phone texts. 

Father Rafał Jarosiewicz from the Koszalin SMS Foundation from Heaven was in the news again last year when he started driving around Poland with a mobile confessional box.

One commenter on yesterday’s Facebook post said: “I’d like to believe this is a joke… Seriously? Are people burning fantasy literature in the 21st century in some kind of sick ritual?!”

“It’s hard for me to believe that we’re so backward!” they added.

In recent months, Poland’s influential Roman Catholic church has been struggling to deal with the fallout of revelations about paedophilia among priests that are unprecedented in this overwhelmingly Catholic country.

Last month, the Polish episcopate admitted for the first time that nearly 400 of its clergy had sexually abused children and minors over the last three decades.

That reflected the findings published in February by a charity focused on sex abuse in the church.

- With reporting by AFP

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