Satan’s worshipers are coming to Oklahoma City, and the Sooner State may need some help from its Lone Star neighbor if it’s to put the devil in his place.
But first, some background: On Sept. 21, a self-described “satanist” group called Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, led by registered sex offender Adam Daniels, 35, is holding a “black mass” at the Civic Center Music Hall in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
An Aug. 8 story at Fox News quotes the group’s Website as saying, “The authenticity and purpose of the Black Mass will remain intact while allowing for slight changes so that public viewing can occur without breaking Oklahoma’s laws based on nudity, public urination and other sex acts.”
This isn’t the first time this year that a black mass has been in the news.
Back in May, a group called the Satanic Temple tried — and succeeded, more or less — in putting on a similar ceremony in Boston, losing their original venue on the campus of Harvard University and winding up on the second floor of a nearby Chinese restaurant.
At the same time, Boston Catholic clergy and lay people held a Eucharistic Procession, in which a Consecrated Host is displayed in a decorative framework, or monstrance, and walked in a dignified manner through the streets, to the accompaniment of prayers and veneration (click here for pictures).
A Consecrated Host, or Holy Eucharist, is a communion wafer that has been, according to Catholic belief, transubstantiated into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, through the actions of a priest in good standing with the Church.
At the end of the procession, there was a standing-room-only prayer service at St. Paul’s Catholic Church off Harvard Square, which was attended by more than 1,500 people, including Harvard president Drew Faust.
By this point, the Temple had walked back its original claim that it had a Consecrated Host for its ritual, but the Oklahoma City satanists are still claiming they have one, but not revealing how it was obtained (as the Eucharist is supposed to be consumed immediately during a Catholic Mass, it was either pilfered at that time or stolen in some other way).
But as the so-called black mass is meant to be an inversion and a profane parody of the actual Catholic Mass, the use of a Consecrated Host implies either the satanists’ belief in its authenticity, or their clear intention to insult and scandalize believers. If the black mass was just theater, a ordinary Ritz cracker would do as well.
In a message released Aug. 4, Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley said, “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.”
According to the Fox News story, the event, held in a 92-seat theater, had only sold 13 tickets to that date. This is more than it sold last year, which apparently was zero.
Speaking to Breitbart News, Oklahoma state legislator Rebecca Hamilton, who blogs as Public Catholic, says, “The mass has been going on for a number of years in Oklahoma City, and I personally think it got an excellent response last year — not one person showed up. That’s a total ‘no’ from the whole community. That’s dissing them, big time.”
“They claim they’ve sold about 20 or 30 tickets [for the black mass]. If they have, that’s a huge increase,” she continued. “I don’t know. There are so many stupid people who would want to do that because it’s so titillating. They think of it as going to see a horror movie.”
Speaking to Fox News, Kristy Yager, director of public information for Oklahoma City’s city manager, said that a police officer would monitor the event to ensure no laws were broken.
Regarding the “thousands” of emails and calls received urging the event’s cancelation, Yager said, “We empathize, we understand, where people are coming from. There’s just nothing we can do without bringing a lawsuit, which we would surely lose.”
Explains Hamilton: “What the Civic Center is claiming is, since they are a public venue, they have a responsibility to rent their facility to whoever wants to rent it, who abides by their rules and provides the funds to rent it. The question I’ve been asking myself is, if, let’s say, a local preacher decided that they were going to burn the Koran and make a big show of it, and wanted to rent the Civic Center to do that, would the Civic Center rent their facility to them?”
Asked why Oklahoma has attracted the attention of satanists (the bunch from Boston has also tried to raise money to put a statue of goat-headed Baphomet, flanked by adoring tykes, on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol), Hamilton says, “We tend to be a state that honors traditional morality in our public utterances.”
“You have every kind of thinking that you want in Oklahoma, and people are pretty much free to think it. You don’t have public officials going around saying, ‘You’ve got to get out of the state if you don’t agree with me,’ like the governor of New York did,” she states. “But Oklahoma has become something of a target for some people. I’m guessing that’s because we seem to embody traditional values and traditional Christianity in a way that offends them. That’s a guess. I don’t know. They’ve never told me, and I don’t want to talk to them to find out.”
To counteract the black mass, Archbishop Coakley asked every parish to add the prayer for the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel to the end of Mass, starting on Aug. 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration, through Sept. 29, the Feast of the Archangels.
He has also asked each parish to hold a Holy Hour (an hour spent in spiritual communion with Christ, often, but not always, before a displayed Consecrated Host) with Benediction, starting on Aug. 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, through Sept. 21.
In addition, at 3 p.m. Central Time on Sept. 21, the archbishop is holding a Holy Hour and an outdoor Eucharistic Procession and Benediction at Oklahoma City’s St. Francis of Assisi Church (the same saint who inspired Archbishop Bergoglio to become Pope Francis).
However, it’s unlikely that, on its own, Oklahoma City can produce the kind of crowds that showed up in Boston.
Catholics only make up about 4 percent of the population of the Church province that includes Oklahoma City and Tulsa, along with Little Rock, Arkansas, compared to over 39 percent of Boston. But, to the south, the province of San Antonio in Texas, which includes the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Lubbock, boasts almost 29 percent, while Galveston/Houston has about 26 percent.
So, with Archbishop Coakley’s assent, Hamilton has issued this call to the Catholics of Texas, which she hopes will be shared across the state:
Can you wait with me for one hour?
Sometimes Catholics wait with Him in Eucharistic Devotion. But, on Sept. 21, we are called to wait with Him in a situation that amounts to a living witness to our Faith.
Satanists have planned a black mass at the Oklahoma Civic Center on that day. We ask Texas Catholics to join Archbishop Coakley as he leads a Eucharistic Procession, followed by a Benediction, at 3 p.m. Central Time, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, at 1901 NW 18th, in Oklahoma City.
Let’s make this planned desecration of the Holy Mass and Our Lord in the Eucharist redound into a public outpouring of our love for Jesus. This black mass, which is intended to mock Jesus Christ, can be a time of witness to how much we love Him.
Texans, don’t miss this chance to stand up for Jesus. Be in Oklahoma City at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church at 3 p.m. on Sept. 21.