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.