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Italian Halloween

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome that an Italian cardinal has denounced the growing popularity of Halloween as an unwelcome foreign import. Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini urged Italian children to follow traditional Catholic rituals honoring the dead tomorrow, November first -- when the Church celebrates as All Saints' Day. Italian sociologists worry about a revival of witchcraft. Until a few years ago, Halloween was unknown in Italy. This year, jack-o-lanterns adorn shop windows, and children are dressing up as witches and vampires.

Copyright 2000 NPR