Exorcist responds to Cosmopolitan’s ‘satanic abortion ceremony’ coverage

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Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti, a professor at The Catholic University of America is pictured in a campus chapel Oct. 21, 2019. (CNS photo/Chaz Muth)

An experienced exorcist is responding to a recent Cosmopolitan magazine story and social media post detailing a “satanic abortion ceremony.”

“In previous eras, those who practiced evil kept to the shadows and remained hidden,” Msgr. Stephen Rossetti, research associate professor of practice at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., told Our Sunday Visitor. “Today, our society has gotten so dysfunctional that evil freely operates in the open and society accepts it, even condones it. Someone needs to say: ‘The Emperor has no clothes.'”

Msgr. Rossetti, who also leads the St. Michael Center For Spiritual Renewal, a non-profit that prays with those spiritually suffering and in need of healing and deliverance, has served as an exorcist for the Archdiocese of Washington for more than 15 years. The licensed psychologist has written several books, including “Diary of an American Exorcist: Demons, Possession, and the Modern-Day Battle Against Ancient Evil.”

He made his comments after Cosmopolitan, a women’s magazine, described a “satanic abortion ceremony” step-by-step in a story online and in an Instagram post published in November.

“So how does a satanic abortion ceremony even work?” the post with images of upside down crosses asks. “Here’s a simple one [the Satanic Temple] recommends.”

Satanism and abortion

The larger story featured the Satanic Temple, which says it does not believe in Satan or the supernatural, but, at the same time, considers itself a religious organization and provides “religious medication abortion care.” Its online clinic based in New Mexico offers to mail abortion pills to women in that state “who wish to perform The Satanic Temple’s Religious Abortion Ritual.”

The “ritual” encourages women to focus on themselves and concludes with them saying, “By my body, my blood; by my will, it is done.” The phrasing contrasts with the Mass, when the priest repeats Christ’s words during the consecration: “For this is my Body, which will be given up for you” and “for this is the chalice of my Blood … which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

“Satanists will often take Catholic rituals and sacraments and do what we call a ‘Satanic inversion,'” Msgr. Rossetti said. “They will take that which is holy and desecrate it such as in a Black Mass. Evil takes the truth and then inverts or distorts it.”

He commented on the connection with abortion.

“I had previously been told by a former Satanist that he did rituals to dedicate the abortion and the fetuses to Satan,” Msgr. Rossetti said. “We Catholics knew that an abortion was a grievous sin; the connection of abortion with Satanism only confirms it and casts a clear, dark, dark shadow over all pro-abortion forces.”

Among other things, the Cosmopolitan story cites a woman, identified as “Jessica,” who was raised Catholic and plans to go through with this kind of abortion by incorporating “some ceremonial aspects into her solo abortion experience.”

“I would hope that all those who support abortions or those personally considering an abortion would rethink their stance,” Msgr. Rossetti said. “Do you really want to be aligned with Satanists?”

Other exorcists have more generally commented on abortion and the demonic. As chief exorcist of the Archdiocese of Washington, Father Luke Clark, OP, previously called abortion an “open door for the demonic” during one interview.

“[W]e’ve had cases where that’s exactly how the demons were able to possess the individual,” he said. “The effects of abortion are devastating. The killing of the child, the mother’s fear, despair, guilt, shame, self-hatred and belief she has committed an unforgivable sin all point to the atmosphere of hell.”

“Yet long as we live,” he added, “we can repent and be forgiven of any sin, including abortion.”

Church teaching on abortion

The Catechism of the Catholic Church condemns abortion as a “crime against human life.”

“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception,” the Catholic Church teaches. “From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”

The Church, at the same time, offers mercy and forgiveness for people involved with abortion.

“The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy,” the catechism adds, but instead “makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.”

Katie Yoder

Katie Yoder is a contributing editor for Our Sunday Visitor.