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Meditation 659
Who actually practices Catholic Satanism?[1]

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Coincidently, just after reading the newspaper article[2] on the renewed Vatican emphasis on fighting Satan, I encountered the following passage while rereading John Cornwell's excellent book on the ever-increasing disconnect between the Vatican and the ordinary members of the Catholic Church, Breaking Faith.[3]

Toward the end of my journey, I went to Dublin to meet Sister Briege McKenna, a nun credited with a charism for healing. She ran a renewal ministry for priests at All Hallows College in Drumcondra and she invited me to spend time on retreat there. She was a remarkable woman. In her presence I felt a sense of purity of heart and great courage. She had devoted her life to helping troubled priests. She told me horrifying stories of priests involved in diabolism. She related the case of a priest, half mad with despair who had taken part in a Black Mass ritual in which he had pushed the Sacred Host into a woman's vagina. (emphasis added) Priests came to Sister Briege from all over the world for healing and reassurance.

Until I read that paragraph, I had never encountered any remotely credible anecdotal evidence of anyone being involved in true Satan worship. And yet, I see that it is quite possible for a member of the clergy to get involved.

It is estimated that as many as 7% of the Catholic priesthood were involved with the sexual abuse of young people and children. As many as 2% of the Catholic priesthood may be considered true pedophiles.[4] (Yes these are small percentages, but of large numbers.) I would think that a priest who recognizes that he has repeatedly committed evil acts and expects to continue to do so might very well go all the way and start worshipping Satan. After all, if he buys into Catholic theology, he knows where he is going to end up.

So, the Vatican now wants to fight Satanism. That's fine. But it should recognize that the only evidence for true Satanism is not outside the Church, nor amongst the laity of the Church. The limited evidence that there is indicates that the true practitioners of Satanism are a tiny minority within the Catholic Church's own priesthood. That's where the Vatican focus on this issue should lie, not on some imaginary external threat.


  1. "Catholic Satanism" meaning the worship of the Catholic or Christian interpretation of Satan
  2. Pope raises stakes in fight with the Devil, National Post, Saturday December 29, 2007
  3. p 85 Breaking Faith, John Cornwell, Viking Compass 2001
  4. p 164 ibid