A local group has rented space in the Oklahoma City Civic Center for a satanic Black Mass, prompting Catholic Archbishop Paul Coakley to issue a statement questioning whether that is an appropriate use of public space.
“We’re astonished and grieved that the Civic Center would promote as entertainment and sell tickets for an event that is very transparently a blasphemous mockery of the Mass,” said Coakley, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. “The ‘Black Mass’ that is scheduled for the Civic Center in September is a satanic inversion and distortion of the most sacred beliefs not only of Catholics, but of all Christians.”
Adam Daniels, of Oklahoma City, who described himself as high priest of the satanic group hosting the event, described a Black Mass as “a ritual that is similar to a Catholic Mass, but done in such a way that you are offering a sacrifice to Satan to receive his blessing.”
“The goal for the event is to continue the satanic movement — to keep fighting for our rights for religious freedom,” said Daniels, 35.
Archbishop Coakley wants city leaders to reconsider allowing the Sept. 21 event.
“For more than 1 billion Catholics worldwide and more than 200,000 Catholics in Oklahoma, the Mass is the most sacred of religious rituals,” he said. “In a spirit of hope, I ask those who are allowing this event to reconsider whether this is an appropriate use of public space. We trust that community leaders — and, in particular, the board members of the Oklahoma City Civic Center — do not actually wish to enable or encourage such a flagrantly inflammatory event and can surely remedy this situation.”