Oklahoma Archbishop Files Suit Over Stolen Host that Satanists Have Slotted for Desecration

Bishop formal

Archbishop Paul Coakley filed suit today against the group which has said it will conduct a “black mass” at the Oklahoma City Civic Center.

The basis for the lawsuit is that the group has illegally obtained property belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, i.e., a Consecrated Host.

There are a number of statutes which might apply to this situation. According to an article in National Catholic Reporter, a “black mass” involves a naked woman lying on the “altar,” which has a certain symmetry since their “priest” is a convicted sex offender. Since Oklahoma has laws against public nudity, the Satanists claim they are going to forego that, along with using excrement and urine.

Here is a sampling of other statutes which might apply to the situation. These are all from Title 21,  criminal law. I’m sure there are many others under tort law.

Oklahoma Criminal Statutes:

1. Receiving property obtained under false pretenses:”§21-1713.  Receiving stolen property – Presumption.

A.  Every person who buys or receives, in any manner, upon any consideration, any personal property of any value whatsoever that has been stolen, embezzled, obtained by false pretense or robbery, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe the same to have been stolen, embezzled, obtained by false pretense, or robbery, or who conceals, withholds, or aids in concealing or withholding such property from the owner, shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary not to exceed five (5) years, or in the county jail not to exceed one (1) year, or by a fine not to exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or by both such fine and imprisonment.

2. Larceny:
“§211701.  Larceny defined.
Larceny is the taking of personal property accomplished by fraud or stealth, and with intent to deprive another thereof.”
3. Crime against a house of worship (as an Accessory to the crime).
“§21-1765.  House of worship or contents, injuring.
Any person who willfully breaks, defaces, or otherwise injures any house of worship, or any part thereof, or any appurtenance thereto, or any book, furniture, ornament, musical instrument, article of silver or plated ware, or other chattel kept therein for use in connection with religious worship, shall be guilty of a felony.”
§21173.  Accessories defined.
All persons who, after the commission of any felony, conceal or aid the offender, with knowledge that he has committed a felony, and with intent that he may avoid or escape from arrest, trial, conviction, or punishment, are accessories.
§21901.  Blasphemy defined.Blasphemy consists in wantonly uttering or publishing words, casting contumelious reproach or profane ridicule upon God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Scriptures or the Christian or any other religion.
 
§21902.  Serious discussion not blasphemy.If it appears beyond reasonable doubt that the words complained of were used in the course of serious discussion, and with intent to make known or recommend opinions entertained by the accused, such words are not blasphemy.

This is the press release Archbishop Coakley put out about the lawsuit:

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  • Rob B.

    I read this over on the NCRegister website today. I particularly love the fact that the lawsuit is only five pages long. Brevity is indeed the soul of wit…

  • pagansister

    This case should be interesting.

  • y_p_w

    While blasphemy laws are technically on the books in several states including Oklahoma, they are legally unenforceable.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Burstyn,_Inc._v._Wilson#Still-existing_laws

    I also can’t see how the crimes against a house of worship would be occurring in this case. The law is clearly about entering a house of worship and damaging the church property within said house of worship. This guy claims that he got the wafers from a priest in Turkey who had Satanic leanings.

    The Archbishop is essentially asking the court to enforce church doctrine. While you may no like what’s happening, you should understand why this is problematic as a matter of civil law.

  • oregon nurse

    Calling the Host the “property” of the Church seems inconsistent with our beliefs. Is that really language used in the lawsuit?

  • Lark62

    The satanic service seems to fall somewhere on the continuum between horribly offensive and really dumb. However, I don’t think any of us has a right not to be offended.

    Muslims have a right to believe it is wrong to make an image of Mohammed, and they may be offended if someone violates that prohibition. But they have no right to limit the actions of other people.

    The actions of private individuals are protected by the Constitution, no matter how silly or offensive.

    Note – atheists are often accused of being easily offended, but “offended” is the wrong word. Atheists get upset when GOVERNMENT pushes religion. If a public school teacher taught my children to pray the rosary, I wouldn’t be offended, I would be angry. However, I would also be angry if the government of Oklahoma sponsored the black mass, and you would find me protesting along side you.

    This is not government action. This nutcase is renting facilities on the same terms available to anyone. He has a right to do this.

    • hamiltonr

      That’s so rich Lark, you could walk on it. You give atheists a pass because you think that their over the top, destructive and downright boorish behavior is right. Atheists are just people, and they are not all like this. I personally know atheists who just go about living their lives and don’t behave like certified nuts and fanatics. But these organized groups of atheists who spend their days attacking Christians — as well as the bat guano crazies who keep doing fly-bys on this blog — are haters. The crazies are also, based on their behavior, well, kinda crazy.

      How can you tell the difference? It’s easy. The fanatics and the crazies spend their whole lives attacking other people’s beliefs and denigrating, degrading and mocking other people. They butt into other people’s conversations just to issue insults and they go all over the country making complaints about behavior that is bothering nobody simply because they want to shut it down. Then, they try to justify this behavior with claims that they are doing all this for a higher purpose.

      In case you didn’t know Lark, there are all kinds of names for that behavior; none of them too flattering.

      • Lark62

        Wow

        • hamiltonr

          Sorry Lark. I’m on edge lately. I honestly wasn’t aiming that at you. It’s tough sometimes, reading/writing about James Foley one minute and then trying to switch gears. Apologies.

          • Lark62

            I understand. There’s an atheist website I read regularly. About one a week the owner prints a selection of rejected posts. Although the authors claim to be christian, the hate, bile and ignorance is mind boggling. I imagine you get way too much of the same from the opposite direction.

            I like your blog. I completely agree with you about 70% to 80% of the time, and completely disagree with you the rest. And not much in the middle. It keeps me honest. Please know that my intent is to be respectful when I post.

            • hamiltonr

              Thanks for understanding Lark.

      • Linda_LaScola

        Rebecca –

        I just want to ascertain whether you consider me one of the “bat guano crazies who keep doing fly-bys on this blog.” I wonder about this because of your comment in an earlier blog post of yours
        about desecration in which you said, “I honestly believe that what you are doing here is another atheist set piece. This set piece is the practice of going onto Christian blogs and hectoring the people there in order to divert attention from clear-cut atheist misbehavior, in this instance, in the matter of desecrating the Host.”

        I hope not, but in any case, I still welcome you and any of your commenters to my blog http://www.patheos.com/blogs/clergyproject/ to express yourselves about anything written there.

        Like you, I don’t appreciate “name calling” on my blog and do want people to “address others with respect.”

        • hamiltonr

          No. I don’t.

          Most of those are unfit to print due to language and overall incoherence.


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