Satanism Grows Bolder in Hatred of the Holy, But Catholics Resist
In the face of continuing and growing interest in Satanism, the Catholic Church remains resolute in defending the Faith.
“Our struggle is not with flesh and blood,” wrote the Apostle Paul in his Letter to the Ephesians, “but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.”
Sometimes it seems that the evil spirits about whom Paul writes are working overtime in America! In recent months — really, in the past few years — reports of Satanism have risen sharply.
Destruction in the Name of the Devil
In New Haven, Connecticut, St. Joseph’s Church suffered damage in July 2020 when vandals painted a Satanic pentagram and an anarchy symbol on the church doors. The Archdiocese of Hartford saw this as part of a larger national problem and wrote, “This follows an apparent trend of desecrating Catholic spaces throughout the nation, as evidenced by incidents in Chattanooga, Queens, Boston, Sacramento, and Ocala.”
Since that time there have been a number of similar incidents. At Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Florida, a statue of Jesus was decapitated. In Colorado Springs, a statue of the Virgin Mary was defaced with red paint and the word “redrum” was painted on its base. (“Redrum” is “murder” spelled backwards, and is generally believed to refer to the 1980 Stanley Kubrick film “The Shining.”) In California, the historic San Gabriel Mission, which was founded by St. Junípero Serra in 1771 and which contained many irreplaceable artifacts, was destroyed by arson.
It’s not only Catholic churches that have fallen victim to Satanic vandalism. In March 2021, the doors of Temple of Greater Works, a Protestant church in Shreveport, Louisiana, were defaced with Satanic symbols. The Christian Center Church in Roswell, Georgia, suffered the same damage. And at Living Hope Covenant in Colorado Springs, Satanic graffiti was spray-painted on congregants’ vehicles as well as on the church building.
Opening the Door to Evil
As cases of Satanic vandalism increase in the news, there seems to be a push by some in the culture to explore the alternate “religion” of tarot. Like the Ouija board, tarot cards are a form of divination, by which users seek information from supernatural sources. The sources being courted through tarot, though, are not of God, but rather, spirits — specifically, evil spirits.
The Washington Post reported recently that “Tarot cards are ‘having a moment’ with help from the pandemic.” Sales of tarot decks, they report, have doubled in the past five years. The Post cites as evidence the popularity of psychics like 29-year-old Skye Marinda, who conducts tarot readings via Zoom. Tarot has also captured the attention of Nashville-based singer-songwriter Audrey Assad, who told her fans in 2021 that she had left the Catholic Church and had begun turning to tarot during the pandemic, while experiencing isolation and “experiential angst.”
That “tarot moment” will most certainly be strengthened by the release in Fall 2022 of Brittany Muller’s new book The Contemplative Tarot: A Christian Guide to the Cards. Muller is a self-described but misinformed Catholic who claims to have found an intersectionality between Christian faith and the occult; she has described the figures depicted on the Rider-Waite tarot deck’s court cards as “saints” rather than as gendered hierarchical figures.
Introducing Children to Satanic Worship
But perhaps even more dangerous than the adults’ interest in occult practices is a recent trend toward introducing school-age children to Satanism. In Moline, Illinois, the Jane Addams Elementary School is holding an “After School Satan Club” on school property. The flyer for the Satan Club, which was made available to middle-school children at the school’s entranceway, is decorated with a cartoon devil and promises fun activities including science projects, puzzles and games, as well as arts and crafts. “Hey kids!” the flyer reads; “let’s have fun at After School Satan Club!” The Satan Club, according to Satanic Temple founder Lucien Greaves, is intended to offer an alternative to after-school religious clubs, especially for those children who may not be able to go home right after school because the parents are working.
While the Satan Club at Jane Addams Elementary has drawn national attention, the idea of a children’s club honoring the devil is widely promoted by members of the Satanic Temple, and is offered to schools across the country which have after-school meetings of religious groups such as the Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Blatant Devil Worship Planned for Arizona at First Annual SatanCon
But the proliferation of Satanic pastimes is not limited to tarot and property destruction. Lucien Greaves, founder of the Satanic Temple, will be the keynote speaker at the first SatanCon, a major conference of Satanists planned for Feb. 11-13 at the Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale’s Old Town. With its theme of “Lupercalia in Scottsdale,” the conference will include workshops on so-called “reproductive rights” (abortion), child abuse, addiction recovery and promotion of a Satanic after-school club for children.
The Catholic Church Stands Firm Against Satan and the Evil Spirits
In the face of continuing and growing interest in Satanism, the Catholic Church remains resolute in defending the Faith. Responding to the vandalism in New Haven, archdiocesan officials said on Facebook:
The underlying motive of these sacrilegious attacks is clear: to intimidate and instill fear in the hearts of those who worship Christ. … However, our cherished Catholic faith has survived for 2,000 years in the faces of many different oppressors, and it is not about to yield now. Therefore, we remain unafraid and resolute in our faith, and we will pray for a conversion of the hearts of those who wish to terrorize us.
Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki has spoken openly against a number of controversial issues in Illinois. After the Chicago chapter of the Satanic Temple was permitted to display an atheistic display in the rotunda of the State Capitol, featuring an “infant Satan” beside the Nativity scene, Bishop Paprocki said that Satanic displays “should have no place in this capitol or any other place.”
According to the State Journal-Register, Bishop Paprocki acknowledged that the First Amendment of the Constitution protects the free exercise of religion; but he contended that Satan worship “is not a religion. True religion binds people to God and to each other in faith. The devil seeks to divide, not to unite, and the only thing that Satan worship binds its adherents to is the evil one.”
And in the Diocese of Phoenix, where SatanCon 2022 will bring together devil worshippers from across the United States, Bishop Thomas Olmsted has not spoken directly to the conference organizers but has called on Catholics to unite in spiritual warfare. He encourages all people of faith in the diocese to join in increased prayer and sacrifice for the next month, in the following concrete ways:
- Attend public Eucharistic adoration opportunities at your parish;
- Pray novenas and prayers to the Blessed Virgin and the saints, especially the Prayer of St. Michael after Mass;
- Increase your efforts to attend weekday Mass;
- Fast; and
- Make sacrifices of reparation for sinners.
Those of us who reside outside the boundaries of the Phoenix Diocese, but who share a common concern regarding any plan to honor evil spirits on American soil, should consider joining in this campaign of prayer and sacrifice. One popular prayer for protection against the devil is the Prayer to St. Michael, which was added to the Leonine Prayers by Pope Leo XIII in 1886, to be prayed after Mass:
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.