A group of Satanists is planning to enact a “black mass” at the civic center in Oklahoma City next month and Catholic Archbishop Paul Coakley is demanding that the city prevent them from doing so because it’s offensive to him. And he seems to be baffled as to why the city has not done so. Here’s a letter he released:
August 4, 2014
The Memorial of St. John Vianney
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
By now you are probably aware that a Satanic group has scheduled a so-called Black Mass for Sunday, September 21 at the Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City.
Even though tickets are being sold for this event as if it were merely some sort of dark entertainment, this Satanic ritual is deadly serious. It is a blasphemous and obscene inversion of the Catholic Mass. Using a consecrated Host obtained illicitly from a Catholic church and desecrating it in the vilest ways imaginable, the practitioners offer it in sacrifice to Satan. This terrible sacrilege is a deliberate attack on the Catholic Mass as well as the foundational beliefs of all Christians. It mocks Our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we Catholics believe is truly present under the form of bread and wine in the Holy Eucharist when it has been consecrated by a validly ordained priest.
In spite of repeated requests, there has been no indication that the City intends to prevent this event from taking place. I have raised my concerns with city officials and pointed out how deeply offensive this proposed sacrilegious act is to Christians and especially to the more than 250,000 Catholics who live in Oklahoma. I am certainly concerned about the misuse of a publicly supported facility for an event which has no other purpose than mocking the Catholic faith. I am especially concerned about the dark powers that this Satanic worship invites into our community and the spiritual danger that this poses to all who are involved in it, directly or indirectly. Since it seems this event will not be cancelled, I am calling on all Catholics of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City to counteract this challenge to faith and decency through prayer and penance.
Specifically, I am asking that the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel be included at the conclusion of every Mass, beginning on the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (August 6) and continuing through the Feast of the Archangels (September 29). I invite all Catholics to pray daily for divine protection through the intercession of this heavenly patron who once defeated Lucifer in his rebellion against the Almighty and who stands ready to assist us in this hour of need.
Secondly, I am asking that each parish conduct a Eucharistic Holy Hour with Benediction to honor Christ’s Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, between the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15) and September 21, to avert this proposed sacrilege.
Finally, I invite all Catholics, Christians and people of good will to join me in prayer for a Holy Hour, outdoor Eucharistic Procession and Benediction at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Oklahoma City at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 21, the day of the proposed sacrilege. We will pray to avert this sacrilege and publicly manifest our faith in the Lord and our loving gratitude for the gift of the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of our lives.
A printable version of the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese on the archdiocesan website (www.archokc.org). If you have not yet done so, I urge you to contact the Office of the Mayor, the Honorable Mick Cornett, to express your outrage over this offensive and blasphemous sacrilege and this misuse of a tax-supported public space.
Commending our efforts to the Lord through the loving intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley
Archbishop of Oklahoma City
As I’ve said many times, I have zero use for satanists and I think these kinds of rituals are utterly moronic and pointless. You’re playing dress up and trying to get attention. Good for you. But what are you, 11 years old? But here’s the thing: That’s a personal judgment of mine. I get to say that. What I don’t have the authority to do is use the government to prevent them from doing it. And neither does Archbishop Coakley, a fact he seems not to understand at all.
It isn’t the government’s job to decide what is and is not “sacrilegious” or “blasphemous” and ban it. In fact, the Constitution forbids the government to do that. You’re free to rage against it. You’re free to show and protest it. But you don’t get to censor it. I know it’s only been a few centuries since the Catholic Church was allowed to impose that kind of authoritarian dogmatism, but maybe it’s time to update your demands a bit.