“Ask a Priest: Would a ‘666’ Tattoo Be Sacrilegious?”

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Q: I wanted to get a “666” tattoo in my hair for my favorite horror movie, The Omen. I consider myself a good Christian. But would it still be considered sacrilegious because the movie is about the devil’s son? – Jack

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: The tattoo wouldn’t be sacrilegious in the strict sense, since the word can be defined as “grossly irreverent toward what is held to be sacred.”

While your body should be treated as a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), the notion of sacrilege usually applies to things explicitly dedicated to Our Lord, such as churches and sacred vessels.

That said, you might want to consider that getting a 666 tattoo could easily scandalize others, since the number, mentioned in Revelation 13:18, has long been associated in the popular mind with the demonic. Thus, people might easily assume that you are into Satanism.

The danger of scandal is underestimated nowadays. It is worth quoting a sobering passage from the Catechism:

2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.”

In a related case that could guide you here, St. Paul spoke to the need to be sensitive to weaker consciences regarding eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols (see 1 Corinthians 8).

As regards tattoos in general, one of my earlier postings might help.

Perhaps you might want to reconsider your plan. And take the matter to prayer.

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  1. Nothing more to say. A tattoo is permanent….and its simply done ‘for attention. (which may be pointing to wrongful ‘pride of self’ rather than humility.

  2. The ONLY MARK one needs as Faithful Christian of Catholic faith practice is the mark on the soul of Baptism in the name of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

    Writing on the flesh, drawing on the flesh . . . is simply designed to draw all eyes to THE SELF rather than TO THE GOD INCARNATE who came to dwell within our being, that we show God INCARNATE to ‘the world.’ We of faith do not promote Satan (as Father said, it brings scandal to Christians)

    Head for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and ask HIM to keep you focused on what is above, not below.

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