SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Visitors to the Illinois Capitol can now see a statue of a satanic deity.
The display of a baby Baphomet, a goat deity, was installed on Monday by the Satanic Temple of Illinois, according to the Washington Examiner.
“This year’s tradition marks a greater urgency in the Baphomet’s message of harmony and reconciliation,” the Satanic Temple’s director of campaign operations Erin Helian in a press release.
The display was put around other holiday displays in honor of Sol Invictus, the ancient Roman holiday that was replaced by Christmas and is now a holiday of the Satanic Temple. It is located next to Springfield’s Christian nativity scene.
The installation of the display has not been without criticism. Bishop Thomas Paprocki, the Springfield diocese leader, oversaw the installation of the Christian nativity scene, and said that a Satanic display “should have no place in this Capitol or any other place.”
Members of the Catholic advocacy group American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property also had an issue with the installation and gathered to protest. They reportedly held up signs that read “Mary crushes the serpent,” and “Satan has no rights.”
However, these protests did not dissuade the Satanic Temple, and they offered to meet with meet with Paprocki to celebrate the season.
“This years’ (sic) display celebrates unity,” Helian said in a statement. “In keeping with that spirit, we have invited Bishop Paprocki to hold hands with members of The Satanic Temple while we come together and stand before all of the religious displays at the rotunda. I am sure people of all faiths in the Springfield community will be very disappointed if Bishop Paprocki turns down this opportunity and opts to divide people — especially during the holidays.”