FILE - In this Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017 file photo, a member of British Library staff poses for a picture with Harry Potter books published in several languages at the "Harry Potter - A History of Magic" exhibition at the British Library, in London. Priests at a Catholic parish in northern Poland have burned books, including the “Harry Potter” series, and other items that their owners said had evil forces. Images from the burning at Gdansk’s Mother of Church parish on Sunday March 31, 2019, were posted on Facebook by a Catholic foundation that uses unconventional ways of religious work. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland, File)

Polish priest regrets burning "Harry Potter" and other books

April 03, 2019 - 8:31 am

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The priest in northern Poland who led a public burning of the "Harry Potter" series and other books and items deemed by their owners as harmful has apologized and stressed it was not aimed against books or culture.

The Rev. Rafal Jarosiewicz published his apology on Facebook late Tuesday. He said the burning of books and other items linked to magic and the occult was "unfortunate."

Jarosiewicz and other priests have drawn criticism after they burned books and items brought by parishioners Sunday before a church in Gdansk, saying they were doing away with evil influences.

He was fined and an anti-smog group has contacted prosecutors about the open fire.

The book-burning comes as Poland's influential Catholic Church is grappling with revelations about the scale of pedophilia among its priests.

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