A convention of Satanists slated to begin Friday in Boston will be met with prayer, not protests, from Catholics and evangelicals, spokespersons for the religious communities say.
About 800 supporters of The Satanic Temple are due to converge on the Boston Marriott Copley Place hotel for three days of presentations such as “Hellbillies: Visible Satanism in Rural America,” “Deconstructing Your Religious Upbringing” and “Pandemonium! 5,000 Years of Satanic Culture.”
In media reports and statements to The Washington Times, officials of The Satanic Temple have insisted that they are not “theistic” and do not believe in a “literal” Satan, rather viewing the biblical figure as “a literary metaphor.”
But organizers of prayer efforts around the event aren’t buying Satanists’ assertion that they have no religious sympathy for the devil.
“They didn’t call themselves ‘SatanCon’ for nothing,” said Terry Donilon, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston. “We’ve dealt with them in the past, because they’ve got their temple up in Salem, where we have a shrine to Pope Saint John Paul the Second.”
The Most Rev. Mark O’Connell, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston, cautioned area Catholics about their response to a potentially disturbing event.
“[W]e ask you to not organize or encourage any of your parishioners to go to the event to protest. It will only fuel the hate of those who support it and feed the media with images,” Bishop O’Connell said in a letter to local parishes. “Rather than protesting in person, we hope to storm the Heavens with prayer.”
He warned about possible desecration of the Communion elements by protesters at churches and said parishes “in Boston should be especially vigilant during this weekend to any who try to disrespect our Churches. All ushers should be made aware to be vigilant.”
He also urged Catholics to say the “Prayer of Saint Michael … during these times.”
The imprecation begins, “Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil” and asks him to “thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.”
Kris Kubal, chief program officer at Intercessors for America, an evangelical prayer group, said many of their 500,000 volunteers will pray for a religious change among the SatanCon attendees, and not for God to punish them.
“We want to pray that they’d be set free from this, and that we want to be loving, and we want to pray for them to find the truth,” Ms. Kubal said.
She said the organization is “coming together with a lot of other groups across the state, to pray for Boston, and to pray that instead of praying against it … praying that they would see the light.”
The Satanic Temple, headquartered in Salem, Massachusetts, about 20 miles north of Boston, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Source : https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/apr/25/satancon-boston-catholics-and-evangelicals-plan-pr/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&rand=1247