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SATANISM

The cult of Satan or Satan worship. Known in antiquity, it has long been practiced under a diffeent name among polytheists in their invocation and propitiation of the evil deities. But Satanism properly so called is mainly a revolt against Christianity or the Catholic Church. It rose in the twelfth century and culminated in the Black Mass, a blasphemous parody of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Modern Satanism has become widespread in circles that venerate the devil, pray for his assistance, perform elaborate rites in his honor, including demonic caricatures of the seven sacraments, establish legally recognized "Churches of Satan," and claim to possess extraordinary power to harm those who oppose them. Philosophically, Satanists hold to a Manichaean view of the universe, that there are ultimately two creative principles in the universe, one good and the other bad. Satanists venerate what Christians call the "principle of evil."

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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