You may have concerns about the “Day of the Dead”. Does it conflict with Catholic teaching? Should you avoid it like the plague?
Fr. Richard Simon addresses this head on. A caller named Sue from Chicagoland voices her concerns about how the event is portrayed in public schools and in popular media, particularly referencing a Disney cartoon called Coco. She feels that the modern depiction might mislead children about the concepts of heaven, hell, and death.
Fr. Simon acknowledges the growing popularity of the Day of the Dead in mainstream culture and believes it to be a trend influenced by inclusivity. He advises against overemphasizing it either negatively or positively. He emphasizes the original purpose of the Day of the Dead: a time to visit cemeteries and pray for the departed souls, particularly on the evenings of All Saints and All Souls Day. He mentions that the portrayal in the movie Coco is purely fantastical and not reflective of the event’s true meaning.
Fr. Simon suggests explaining to children that the Day of the Dead is essentially the same as All Souls Day, a day to remember and pray for deceased loved ones. He expresses concern over public schools celebrating the Day of the Dead, considering it a potential violation of the separation of church and state. He also notes that while society often distorts or commercializes religious practices, it’s essential to understand and respect their original intent and significance.