(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — A NWPA church is seeing backlash from the community after a recent social media post.
A heated debate over a Halloween event has their social media page blowing up. According to the Facebook post, St. Patrick Catholic Church in Venango County is voicing opposition to a “Witch Walk” event that is going on in the Franklin area this Saturday.
The post states, in part, events featuring the occult and witchcraft practices are “attempts” to lure and entice others to participate, and urged community members to express any disapproval to the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce. In the comments section, the Franklin Retail Association clarified it is their event; it is not being put on by the chamber of commerce.
“It’s one thing to dress up and go dancing or to have a couple drinks, but when you introduce Wiccan charms, spells, and formulas like many witch walks have done and promote readings like this one in Franklin, you’re crossing the line and popularizing what is evil and harmful,” the post read.
The event in question is the “Downtown Franklin’s Witch Walk 2023” and it will be held on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 4-7 p.m. According to Franklin, PA Facebook page, the schedule includes kids pumpkin carving, performances from the Emlenton Witch Dancers, magic acts, spooky book readings, awards & prizes and live music.
You can learn additional event details with this link.
The church also stated in the post that “Occult practices, spiritism, divination, sorcery, black magic, Ouija boards, horoscopes, fortune tellers, palm readers, tarot cards, consulting mediums, and the like, are sins of irreligion tempting God in words and deeds…These practices are a gateway to the diabolic and invite demonic presences into one’s life, family, and home whether intended or unintended.”
For those in support of St. Patrick, the church asks to join them at the church — 949 Liberty St. in Franklin– at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, to pray prayers of deliverance ahead of the event.
The Facebook post had over 3.8K comments, nearly 900 shares, and 2.5K reactions as of 6 p.m. Wednesday. It was posted at 4:51 a.m. Tuesday. As of Thursday, the post appeared to have limited comments that show up on Facebook.
In response, the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce sent JET 24/FOX 66 the following statement:
“The Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce has been representing the interests of the local business community since 1913. It is our mission to promote economic growth and enhance the quality of life for our members and their communities. Our members know that, by working together, we can play a leading role in improving the local business climate, recruiting and retaining business and industry, attracting visitors to the area, and using our combined influence for legislation that supports all of these goals. The Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary organization of the business community. It is not a civic club, charitable organization, or department of city government. The Chamber is a private, non-for-profit tax-paying corporation. It unites hundreds of businesses – large and small, non-profits, schools, churches, government bodies, and communities, thus creating a unique central agency working to improve business and build a better community. Over 80% of the membership is composed of small businesses interested in prospering and creating a healthy environment in which to conduct business. But most important, the Chamber is made up of people who realize that through the Chamber they can accomplish collectively what no one of us can do individually. The strength of the Chamber lies in attracting the greatest number of members, creating a pool of resources from which can be drawn ideas, energy, and finances to increase the Quality of Life throughout the region.”