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