The official title The Satanic Temple confers on its ordained clergy is Minister of Satan, latinized as Minister Satanae. This is most commonly shortened simply to “Minister” when used as a pre-nominal title (e.g. “Minister Smith”) and abbreviated to its initials when used as a post-nominal title (e.g. Pat Smith, M.S. or Pat Smith, MoS). This is the only title that ordained clergy of TST may use in an official context.
When it comes to informal use, the question becomes more complicated. Newly ordained ministers often ask questions like:
- May I refer to myself as a Priest?
- May I use the title Reverend?
- Am I allowed to use Brother, Sister, Father, or Mother as religious titles in TST?
- Can I call myself a Satanic Bishop or Satanic Pope now that I am ordained?
Informal titles are adopted as personal creative expressions, and their use is generally limited to social media accounts, informal conversation, or private social events where everyone involved is likely to understand and be “in” on the joke. We want to give our ministers a great deal of creative leeway in these situations, but we do ask you to adhere to just a few important guidelines even for your playful, unofficial self-styled titles:
- There are some absolutely prohibited titles that must never be used.
- Don’t use titles that have connections to a specific cultural community or practice (e.g. swami, guru) unless you have an authentic lived connection to that community and believe its use to be appropriate in the context you are using it in.
- Don’t use titles that imply hierarchy (e.g. high magus, supreme mugwump) because they suggest power inequalities that do not exist within our ministry and could easily be misinterpreted by casual listeners and observers.
- Exercise caution with titles that have strong associative ties with oppressive, sexist, and/or patriarchal structures. These can be interesting when they are used in a deliberately political or subversive way, but if they are just used as a plain mimic of theistic religious traditions then there is a good chance they will function more to invoke associations with harmful authoritarian religions than to subvert them.
If you are a minister and are considering adopting a new informal title but are not sure whether your choice will raise any questions or problems, feel free to reach out to the Ordination Council and ask for feedback.