Warsaw: Catholic priests in Poland burned books they say are sacrilegious this weekend, including tomes from British author J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series of fantasy novels.
“We obey the Word,” priests said in a Facebook post showing photographs of the public book burning and quoting Biblical passages from the book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament.
One passage exhorting believers to destroy the enemies of God includes the command to “burn their idols in the fire”.
The post, on a page run by the Catholic “SMS from Heaven” evangelical group, stirred controversy and has gone viral.
Photographs show three priests carrying a basket of books and other items, including an African-styled face mask through a church to an outside fire pit.
Priests are seen saying prayers over the fire pit where other items, including a 'Hello Kitty' umbrella and a Hindu religious figurine, are also burning.
Contacted by AFP on Monday, the Polish Episcopate and local bishop acknowledged the incident but declined to comment.
The local parish did not answer calls. The book burning took place “after the 10:00 am mass on Sunday, at 11:00 am,” an unnamed parishioner at the church in the northern Polish city of Gdansk told the TVN24 commercial news channel.
“And these offerings, which were brought (to the church) during the week, were taken in front of the church and there was a bonfire.”...