by Leonardo Blair | The pending "bowl of wisdom" (YouTube)
A group of Catholics are set to protest Saturday against a controversial monument described as the "first public satanic monument in American history" that will be mounted in Veterans Memorial Park in Belle Plaine, Minnesota.
The monument, known as the "bowl of wisdom" is sponsored by the Massachusetts-based Satanic Temple and was approved by the city after the Freedom From Religion Foundation threatened to sue over the presence of a Christian-themed statue in the park that features a soldier praying over a grave marked with a cross.
The satanic monument, which is still being worked on, is expected to be placed in a small area of the park called "the free speech zone," according to CBS. Up to 10 memorials will be allowed in the zone as long as they honor veterans.
The "bowl of wisdom" monument is a 23-inch by 23-inch black steel cube inscribed with inverted pentagrams. It also features an upside-down soldier's helmet at the top to hold remembrances and messages to fallen soldiers.
A group of lay Catholics brought together by America Needs Fatima and Return to Order believe, however, that the satanic monument is as affront to God.
"The first public satanic monument in American history was approved for erection at Veteran Park in Belle Plaine. This is an affront to God that must not go unanswered," a flyer for the rally declares. "Join a peaceful Rosary of reparation: hymns, novenas, Divine Praises and consecration to Jesus through Mary."
The Christian Post reached out to both organizations for comment Thursday but no one was immediately available to discuss the protest.
Robert Ritchie, executive director of America Needs Fatima, told LifeZette earlier, however, that they plan to mount prayers against Satan.
"The specific purpose is to raise our prayer against Satan," he said.
"It's really not a freedom of speech issue, because people who are under the influence of Satan do what Satan wants," he added. "It's more a question of, 'Why do we want the devil amongst us?' That's what's scaring people. We don't want the devil amongst us."
"The devil is bad business," he added in another interview with The Daily Caller. "Every time the devil is accepted, mankind is the loser, because he's only capable of doing evil. The more accepted he is, the more evil he will bring to us. And that's why it's important to pray against it."
Some residents of Belle Plaine, which is a city of about 6,900 residents and about 45 miles southwest of Minneapolis, are equally concerned about the pending monument.
"They said they were putting it up and I did not like it," Donna Karnitz told CBS. Her husband is a Vietnam War veteran, and she said the monument is offensive.
"It was approved a while back already, and it has not come here," she said. "I am hoping and praying that it doesn't come into the park here!"
City Councilmember Cary Coop said he voted against the designated free speech area because of potential conflict with the values of the community.
"I don't think there's too many satanists around here, but it's free speech," Coop said. "We were warned against creating this free speech zone, and it will be probably be just as well that we didn't have one. People could use private property to say whatever they want."
Leonardo Blair is a writer and reporter in the United States