Polish Church Decries Satanist Bible

WARSAW-Poland's Catholic Church has condemned the publication of a translation of a U.S.-authored “Satanist's Bible,” intended for use by young members of the country's Satanist movement.

“The Church unequivocally rejects any invocation of the Devil and demons,” said Bishop Zygmunt Pawlowicz, a bishops' conference authority on alternative religions. “We advise everyone created in God's image, who has a body and immortal spirit, who is responsible for their own development and behavior, and who is obliged to live in love for God and man, not to read this book beyond its introduction.”

The “Satanist's Bible,” written by the Georgian-Romanian founder of the U.S. “Satanist church,” Szandor La Vey, was released in early September by the Wroclaw-based Mania publishing house. Among other contents, the book sets out rituals and symbols for use in Satanist weddings and “blessings,” and well as guidelines for recruiting potential human victims. It defines the Devil as “the spirit of progress, inspirer of all great movements contributing to the development of civilization and progress of humanity, and embodiment of all heresies leading to liberation.”

In his statement, Bishop Pawlowicz said Polish Catholics should remember that the Catechism of the Catholic Church rejected all forms of magic and occultism. “Every thinking person, and Christians especially, should feel disgusted by the portrait of humanity presented by La Vey and his concept of life in a world ruled by demons,” the bishop added.

Reports of a Satanist movement in Poland were officially rejected by the last communist government in the late 1980s, but have resur-faced in the last three years after a spate of cemetery and church desecrations. In October 1994, Polish newspapers reported that four teenage girls had been found hanged in a village near Olsztyn after allegedly being “ordered” by Satanists to kill themselves on reaching their 18th birthday.(Jonathan Luxmoore)