The Catholic Church on Thursday retrieved a communion wafer that a satanist planned to use in a “black Mass” next month at Civic Center Music Hall.
The wafer was turned over a day after Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley filed a lawsuit seeking its protection and restoration to the Church.
“I am relieved that we have been able to secure the return of the sacred Host, and that we have prevented its desecration as part of a planned satanic ritual,” Coakley said in a statement issued by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.
Catholics believe the wafer, when consecrated by a priest, is transformed into the body of Christ. Satanists defile the consecrated host, a bit of unleavened bread a little bigger around than a quarter, in a ritual sacrifice to the devil known as a black Mass.
The leader of an Oklahoma City satanist group, Adam Daniels, plans to stage a black Mass on Sept. 21 in a small basement theater at the Civic Center.
The event is to include live music and the “exorcism” of Christ’s spirit from an individual.
Daniels had said he possessed a consecrated wafer, prompting the archbishop to ask an Oklahoma County judge to issue orders to prevent its use in the ceremony.
Daniels said he turned the wafer over to an attorney in Norman, and the archdiocese said a priest picked it up Thursday afternoon.
Daniels also promised in writing not to use consecrated communion bread in his event. In exchange, the archdiocese agreed to drop the lawsuit.
“We couldn’t be happier,” said Mike Caspino, the lead attorney for the Catholic Church. “This is a victory for decency, a victory for all people of faith.”
Caspino, of Irvine, Calif., said he was “really grateful for the leadership and courage of Archbishop Coakley. He did a great thing for the Church.”
Black Mass to proceed
Paperwork to dismiss the lawsuit was to be filed Friday morning in Oklahoma County District Court, Caspino said.
Daniels displayed the wafer, in a plastic case, outside his house Thursday morning before leaving to take it to his attorney.
A box of communion wafers sat on the trunk of his car.
Daniels said he buys unconsecrated wafers at the LifeWay Christian Store on Northwest Expressway for use in weekly rituals in a chapel at his house.
Daniels issued a statement Thursday evening saying he would go ahead with the black Mass using coarse black bread, “the original host that has been used since 1666.”
“I refuse to waste thousands of dollars fighting over a nasty cookie that some man said a prayer over,” Daniels said in the statement. “We will still move forward with worshiping the Devil and blaspheming Gawd in the public square.”
Coakley has called for city leaders to block Daniels from using the theater in the Civic Center, which is supported by tax dollars.
City officials have said they cannot pick and choose which events to allow, as long as organizers pay their rent, adhere to the rules and follow the law.
Daniels said restrictions have been placed on his event — for instance, candles on his altar must be electric because open flames are forbidden.
Church plans prayer service
City officials have said Daniels is being charged $420 for the five-hour Sunday evening rental.
City Manager Jim Couch has promised Coakley that police will attend the black Mass and stop it if organizers break the law.
Diane Clay, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, did not respond to questions about what the church would do with the returned communion wafer.
Directions posted on the Internet for parishioners who assist with communion at St. John’s Catholic Church in Darwin, Minn., say consecrated wafers that are unfit for consumption must be dissolved in water and poured into the sacrarium, a sink that drains directly to the earth beneath the church.
Daniels said he got the consecrated wafer in the last four or five weeks. He said it was sent to him by a woman who served as the “flesh altar” for a Catholic priest in Turkey who secretly worshiped Satan and who recently was killed by Muslims because of his satanic beliefs.
Coakley has called for a campaign of prayer to oppose the black Mass. He plans to lead a prayer service and outdoor procession at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1901 NW 18, on the afternoon of Sept. 21, a few hours before the black Mass is to commence.