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.
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