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Catholics lead resistance to Minnesota Satanic Temple veterans monument


Sisters Shirley Citrowski and Carol Speich pause to look at a monument of a soldier at Veterans Memorial Park in Belle Plaine, Minn., June 9. A proposed monument that Massachusetts-based Satanic Temple wants to install in the park has roiled some members of the community, including the two women religious, who were born and raised in Belle Plaine but now live elsewhere. (CNS photo/Dave Hrbacek, The Catholic Spirit)

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BELLE PLAINE, Minn. (CNS) -- A black cube with Satanic symbols and an offering bowl has been proposed for Belle Plaine's Veterans Memorial Park.

And the town's Catholics don't want it there.

Father Brian Lynch, pastor of Our Lady of the Prairie Parish, gathered for prayer in the park in June with more than 50 Catholics. Two days later, about 40 Catholics joined Father Lynch as he testified against the proposed monument before the Belle Plaine City Council. Meanwhile, more than 30 Catholics, including members of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis' Catholic Watchmen initiative, attended Mass and prayed in eucharistic adoration at the parish.

"Sometimes these things which are evil can really, maybe, wake some people up. We really have to take our faith seriously and live it," Father Lynch told The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Commissioned by the Massachusetts-based Satanic Temple, the proposed monument consists of a 23-inch-by-23-inch steel cube engraved with inverted pentagrams on each side. On top of the box sits an upside down soldier's helmet, which memorializes fallen soldiers and serves as an offering bowl.

The Satanic Temple describes the bowl as a place for visitors to leave cards or flowers, but also calls it a "Baphometic" bowl, relating it to an occult idol that has roots in medieval paganism.

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