Satanists present a chilling view of religious liberty

Satanists present a chilling view of religious liberty

Satanists present a chilling view of religious liberty

Freedom of religion can take on many forms. For some it means the killing of the unborn.

(Caution: This story contains descriptions that some may find offensive.)

A group of self-proclaimed Satanists is gathering in Boston this weekend for what they say will be the largest group ever to come together in honor of the Prince of Darkness. Roughly 800 people are expected to attend the event at the Marriott Copley Place hotel in the Back Bay East section of Boston.

Boston churches are on guard

Charlie Butts (AFN)

American Family News spoke with C.J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts about SatanCon 2023. Doyle says in addition to the expected workshops and rituals promoting abortion, satanists are also active participants in a campaign to disgrace pro-life pregnancy centers.

"They're obsessed with the culture of death," says Doyle. "They consider abortion to be a religious ritual; and [they argue that] people who practice this who are satanists should deserve a religious exemption from state laws that restrict or prohibit abortions."

Doyle notes that some Boston pastors and priests are planning to be on guard at their facilities. "There's a prudent level of caution here because satanic activity does involve defiling and desecrating the blessed sacrament," he adds, explaining that amounts to stealing the sacrament after it's been blessed by a priest.

All weekend, different Christian and Catholic organization are maintaining a prayer vigil at the convention site: the Boston Marriott Copley Place.

"Interestingly, these people are saying they're not there to worship a spiritual being called Satan. In fact, they claim not even to believe in such a being," Father Frank Pavone with Priests for Life said Thursday on American Family Radio. "What they're saying is we want to assert personal freedoms – and not surprisingly, one of the keystones of this assertion of personal freedoms is abortion."

The Satanic Temple – host of the gathering – began in 2013 and has been recognized by the federal government as a religion. Listed third among its "seven fundamental tenets" are that "One's body is inviolable, subject to one's own will alone."

Arguing that restrictions on abortion violate its members' religious beliefs, the group has launched legal actions in the past, including in Missouri and Texas among other states.

"As states have passed strong pro-life measures, they're saying, 'Oh, well you can't interfere with our religious freedom' – which includes, and get this, the ritual sacrifice of abortion," Pavone told show host Jenna Ellis. "So, they see abortion as practicing their religion, killing these babies … and they want to assert the freedom to do that. What a contrast." (See related commentary: The devil's in the details)

How some interpret religious liberty laws

The group's website claims that "Satanic" abortions should be covered by religious liberty laws. It recognizes that the law is unsettled on this question, and that the "abortion ritual" should be performed in consultation with a minister of The Satanic Temple. "Please contact us immediately if you are a member in need of an abortion," the announcement states.

"There are about five groups or so that are basically organizations of Satanists, and this is one of them," Pavone said.

The Satanists are promoting this weekend's "SatanCon 2023" as a weekend of blasphemy and remembrance in Boston, the capital of Massachusetts – where abortion in the state remains legal but with certain late-term restrictions. The law requires parental or guardian consent only until age 16.

SatanCon 2023 is dedicated to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, a jab at the on-going lawsuit between The Satanic Temple, headquartered in Salem, Mass., and the city of Boston. The Satanists filed suit after they were not allowed to lead an invocation prior to a city council meeting.

Pavone, Fr. Frank (Priests for Life) Pavone

Pavone paints a chilling picture of what he says actually takes place in a Satanist ritual abortion. His information comes from his friend Zachary King, a former Satanist who participated in these rituals and has since come to know Christ. King joined the Satanic Temple as a teenager.

"Zachary says in his book* that they have abortions; they literally are getting women impregnated and they're boarding the babies as a sacrifice to the devil," Pavone said. "He did 146 of these procedures where he helped the abortionist kill the baby, and then literally there were dozens of these Satanists gathered around as this procedure was unfolding. They literally threw the baby on the floor, and they all rushed in and devoured the baby's body parts."

Pavone explains that King is now following the words of the Apostle Paul found in Ephesians 5:11: Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

"This man is doing what St. Paul tells us to do. He's exposing the works of darkness. We have to shine a bright light on this," Pavone said.

Pavone's prayer for this spiritual battle

Pavone, national director and board chairman of Priests for Life, continues to shine a light himself. This week he addressed the annual meeting of Heartbeat International in Louisville, Kentucky.

"There are several conferences every year bringing together people who are on the front lines of saving lives," Pavone said. "Fortunately, the pregnancy centers outnumber the abortion facilities by about four to one, so we are well-equipped to be providing moms, dads and families with alternatives to abortion."

Pavone says it's a small group of people who are involved in rituals like those King describes. "The women who feel they have to have an abortion, they're not the ones who are Satanists. We're saying that at the core of this industry there is a handful of people who are literally doing this," he said.

Pavone shared King's story this week in an email blast to rally pro-life supporters to stand against SatanCon 2023 in prayer.

"I've composed a special prayer going into this weekend for believers to say in the privacy of their home to make a counter witness against this stuff," he shared with AFR listeners. "This is a spiritual battle – a battle where the forces of government are at play here. We've got to get our government back in the right hands of people who understand the Judeo-Christian basis of our nation and to understand there is such a thing as truth connected with freedom."

* Zachary King is author of "Abortion is a Satanic Sacrifice: The CD Transcript."

Editor's note: Story originally identified Fr. Frank Pavone as associated with a Texas diocease. He is not.