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September 8, 1989     The Message
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September 8, 1989
 

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2 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana September 8, 1989 Satanic cults Louisiana priest says satanic cults more common than people think By BARBARA GUTIERREZ Catholic News Service LAFAYETTE, La. (CNS) -- Satanic cults are more widespread than people realize, said a Louisiana parish priest who counsels victims of satanic cults. "There is not a satanist behind every tree," Father Joseph F. Brennan, pastor of St. Genevieve Parish in Lafayette, told the Acadiana Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Lafayette. "But they're out there and they have to be heal- ed." Father Brennan estimated that there are 8,000 covens in the United States with 100,000 members nationwide. Father Brennan has been counseling victims of ritualistic abuse and satanic cults for the past three years. He first got involved when Catholic-Jewish Continued from page 1 fueled the fires further in a ser- mon at Czestochowa Aug. 26. He characterized a mid-July protest demonstration in which seven U.S. Jews tried to scale the convent walls as an "at- tack" that threatened the lives of the nuns. He said the nuns had a right to pray at Auschwitz, and he said that Jews control the mass media in many countries and were using their power to "spread anti- Polish feeling." The storm of protest that followed Cardinal Glemp's ser- mon went well beyond the Jewish community. Cardinal John J. O'Connor of New York said he was "shocked" that the Polish prelate seemed to be reneging on the commitment to move the convent. Los Angeles Archbishop Roger M. Mahony said he join- ed in Cardinal O'Connor's com- ments. Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland of Milwaukee said Cardinal Glemp's remarks were "uncalled for and harmful." He said he hoped the Polish prelate would "seek some kind of reconciliation with the Jewish community that he has offend- ed" before his approaching visit to Milwaukee and several other U.S. cities. Cardinal Glemp provoked another round of protests when he told reporters in Warsaw Aug. 31 that the 1987 agree- nent to relocate the convent, worked out by an international group of Catholic and Jewish representatives in Geneva, should be "renegotiated," and this time "not by some car- dinals who don't understand the situation." Among the nine Catholic and nine Jewish representatives who worked out the agreement were four cardinals: Cardinal Macharski and Cardinals Albert Decourtray of Lyons, France, Jean-Marie Lustiger of Paris, and Godfried Danneels of Malines-Brussels, Belgium. The three French and Belgian cardinals responded with a statement declaring that "the agreement undertaken must be respected." "Cardinal Glemp could only be expressing his personal opi- parents of a young boy came to him and asked for help. As the counseling sessions progressed, the young victim began talking to Father Brennan about books that he read. The priest went to a nearby bookstore, where he found "shelves and shelves of books on satanism. I had been shopp- ing in that store for years, and I had just never noticed them." The priest began reading all he could about the practices and rituals of satanism. He con- tacted psychologists and other ministers who have helped vic- tims of satanic cults. As word got out that he had begun his own ministry, more and more parents began seeking his help. He currently works with about 150 cases. "Many times I have been ask- ed what they are like," he said. "But satanic involvement can- not be defined, it has to be ex- nion when he spoke about renegotiating the Geneva ac- cord," they said. Sharply disputing his challenge to their competence, they asked, "If four cardinals, including the archbishop of Krakow, are not qualified to represent the Catholic side, who is?" Cardinal Glemp's remarks also surprised one of Cardinal Macharski's top aides, Jesuit Father Stanislaw Musial, who advises the Krakow prelate on Jewish affairs and had helped negotiate the Geneva accord. Recently returned from France, Father Musial said in an interview with Catholic News Service Sept. 3, "At this point, the whole issue could be transferred to a national level, and that might be for the best. But the idea of clearing the table and saying, 'These car- dinals didn't know what they were doing' -- that's incredi- ble." Father Musial said Cardinal Glemp's comments about Jews in his Aug. 26 sermon had caus- ed an "enormous negative reac- tion." It was not only a Catholic- Jewish rift, he said. "The fact is, this issue is dividing Christ- ians, too." The escalating conflict led to new Jewish appeals for Pope John Paul II to step in and resolve the issue. The 14 nuns in the convent, which was erected in 1984 just outside the Auschwitz camp, have maintained silence amid the furor surrounding them. The local Carmelite superior in Krakow, Father Anastazy Gadek, told CNS in an inter- view Sept. 2 that the nuns would be willing to move if ordered to do so by the Vatican. ii Hi HOLY [ FATHER /: : COUNCIL t Meets at University of Evansville Newman Center 2nd 4th Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. Msgr. M.E. Bilskie, chaplain New members invited. Call Doug Matheis Grand Knight, 473-3107 perienced. ' ' He said victims often express a "lack of love and trust" in their lives. Some of the advice he offers parents to keep their children from becoming involved in satanic cults includes family prayer and a strong family life. He added that fragile home con- ditions make a child vulnerable to becoming involved in satanic cults. "Bring Jesus Christ, his love, Gospel and church back to your homes," he said. "I have never treated a case where there is family prayer." He also stressed the role of the community in stopping the growth of satanic cults. "Our task as leaders of a Christian community is to make sure we build a society that is not right for evil," said Father Brennan. In today's society, there is emphasis on an inordinate desire for money, power and success. "We have a society that says whatever is good for me is right," he said. Father Brennan said there are several warning signs that can help parents determine if their children are involved in satanic cults, including locked rooms, aggressive behavior, no church attendance, satanic symbols, jewelry, candles and posters. The mast common place for active recruitment into satanic cults is on college campuses, he said. Drugs go hand in hand with satanic practices, he add- ed. Father Brennan said the New Orleans area has one of the country's fastest-growing pro- blems with satanic cults and that he is counseling several victims from the area. He cited a need for qualified counselors. "We need a lot more, but so far there are not too many," said the priest, who recently published a book on such cults titled "The Kingdom of Darkness." Satanism conference set in Owensboro An international conference on Satanism, sponsored by the Catholic diocese of Owensboro and other Kentucky organiza- tions, is scheduled at the Owensboro Executive Inn, Oct. 16 through 18. "Shining Through the Darkness -- the Roots of Ritualistic Abuse and Behavior" is the title of the conference. "What parents and teachers should look for" is one of the topics to be covered. Some workshops are designed for clergy, mental health workers, parents and educators. Other workshops are geared for law enforcement, judicial and cor- rectional professionals. Topics to be explored include the following: identification and investigation of ritualistic criminal behavior, identifica- tion of ritual abuse in a com- munity setting; victims of ritual abuse; victims of child por- nography; occult recogni- tion/sex, drugs and heavy metal music; state and federal statutes regarding child abuse; examin- ing one's own belief system; developing a treatment techni- que and a treatment milieu; thought disorder; multiple per- sonality disorders; typical pro- file of a kid who becomes in- volved in rituals; what parents and teachers should look for; and indications of ritual sexual abuse in children. Workshops scheduled during the three-day conference in- clude "the Roots of Satanism," "Identification of Symbols," and "Witchcraft vs, Satanism." Workshops on the third day of the conference deal mainly with the various roles of the church, educator, health care provider, mental health worker, law enforcement personnel, parent, the courts and the child protection worker. A general session on the last day is devoted to "Developing a Community Approach to the Problem" -- during which par- ticipants will work in groups to develop plans for their home communities. Conference sponsors include the Valley Institute of Psychiatry in Owensboro, the Pastoral Advisory Committee of the Valley Institute of Psychiatry, the Catholic Pastoral Center/Diocese of Owensboro, the Catholic School System, the Daviess County School System, Peo- ple's Education Against Child Exploitation, the Owensboro Police Department, the Office of the Daviess County Attorney and the Commonwealth At- torney's Office. More information about the conference is available from Valley Institute of Psychiatry, Post Office Box 4010, Owensboro, Ky. 42302. Telephone (502) 686-8477. CHOOL'S PEN DRIVE CAREFULLY