Oklahoma City’s Catholic archbishop filed a lawsuit against a satanist group Wednesday, alleging it stole a priceless, sacred and revered item from a Catholic church for use in its “black Mass” at the Civic Center Music Hall.
In his lawsuit filed in Oklahoma County District Court, the Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley asked a district court judge “to halt the desecration” of a stolen Eucharistic host as part the planned black Mass. The Eucharistic Host is considered by Catholics to be the body of Jesus Christ.
However, the organizer of the satanic black Mass, set for Sept. 21, said he and his group did not steal anything and the lawsuit filed Wednesday is a form of “intimidation” to stop the event from happening.
“I’m being falsely accused of a crime I never committed,” said Adam Daniels, who is the defendant in the lawsuit, along with the satanic organization Dakhma of Angra Mainyu Syndicate.
The case has been assigned to Oklahoma County District Court Judge Bryan C. Dixon, who ordered the defendants not to destroy the property at issue until the lawsuit is resolved. No hearing date has been set.
Group to rent space
Daniels has said the black Mass involves a sacrifice to the devil, a practice known as inversion of the Christian ritual. Daniels is paying $420 to rent a basement theater in the Civic Center for five hours.
In a news release, Coakley, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, said a consecrated host was obtained illicitly from a Catholic church “to be desecrated in the vilest ways imaginable” as an offering in sacrifice to Satan at the black Mass.
Coakley is asking the court to require the Oklahoma County sheriff to obtain the Eucharistic host from the Satanist group and deliver it to him as the local leader of the Catholic Church. The lawsuit states that in order for an unauthorized individual to have a consecrated host, he or she would have had to obtain it through illicit means such as “theft, fraud, wrongful taking or other form of misappropriation, either by Defendants or by someone else.”
In the lawsuit, Coakley said the consecrated host — typically a small unleavened wafer of bread — is considered sacred by Catholic Christians. It is an integral part of the Eucharist, also called Holy Communion.
“A host is simply a piece of bread. However, a consecrated host — including the Consecrated Host that is the subject of this action — is a host that has undergone the transubstantiation and is now the body and blood of Jesus Christ,” the lawsuit states. “To Catholics, the consecrated host is the most sacred, respected and revered thing in the world.”
Transubstantiation, the Merriam-Webster dictionary says, is the “miraculous change” by which, according to Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox dogma, the Eucharistic elements at their consecration become the body and blood of Christ while keeping only the appearances of bread and wine. A host must be consecrated by an ordained priest.
Coakley said in his statement: “Catholics believe Jesus Christ is truly present under the form of bread and wine in the Holy Eucharist, and it is the source and summit of our faith.”
Diane Clay, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, said the archbishop was out of town Wednesday and unavailable for comment.
She said Daniels has stated several times publicly that he and his group planned to use a consecrated host as part of their black Mass event, hence the lawsuit.
Wednesday, Daniels said he initially heard about the lawsuit from a representative of a Catholic blog. He said he acquired the host from a Catholic priest in Turkey who consecrated it and mailed it to him. Daniels said the priest, whom he refused to name, was killed recently by Muslims in Turkey because of his satanic beliefs.
“I did not say where it came from and they have no proof” the host was stolen, Daniels said.
According to the lawsuit, any consecrated host is property of the Roman Catholic Church and rules have been put in place to protect the hosts and ensure that they are dealt with reverently. The lawsuit states hosts are typically kept in a tabernacle, which is maintained “under lock and key” and Catholics who receive consecrated hosts during communion are taught to consume the hosts immediately and never to take them from the church.
“The Church maintains ownership of all consecrated hosts throughout the world,” the lawsuit states.
Daniels said he considered the allegations in the lawsuit a form of “defamation of character.” He said the black Mass will go on despite the “intimidation tactic to stop us.”
Daniels said the black Mass will not include sexual acts, nudity or urination because the event is being held in a public building and these actions would violate public indecency laws.
According to the lawsuit, previous black Mass events have involved defilement of the hosts.
Daniels said Civic Center officials have told him 39 tickets to the black mass have been sold thus far and he expected another 15 to be purchased soon.
Archbishop calls for prayer
Earlier this month, Coakley called on Catholics to begin a campaign of prayer in opposition to the Satanists’ plans. The religious leader asked Catholic churches to conclude each Mass with the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel through Sept. 29. Coakley also has scheduled a prayer service, and an outdoor procession and benediction, for the day of the event.
Oklahoma City officials have said the city and Civic Center “are required by law to rent space to individuals and organizations so long as they comply with our policies and ordinances and have paid the established rental fees.”
City Manager Jim Couch has said Oklahoma City police will attend the black Mass and stop it if anyone breaks the law.
City spokeswoman Kristy Yager on Wednesday said, “The lawsuit does not involve the city of Oklahoma City.”
Mayor Mick Cornett was away on vacation and unavailable for comment, said Steve Hill, the mayor’s chief of staff.
William Crum, Staff Writer
To Catholics, the consecrated host is the most sacred, respected and revered thing in the world.”
Stated in the lawsuit,