Oklahoma City's archbishop voiced relief that satanists organizing a black mass in the city returned a stolen Host which was to be desecrated, restating his concern that the event should happen at all. The Host was given to a priest Aug. 21 by an attorney representing Adam Daniels, who organized the black mass. “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,” Archbishop Paul Coakley said Aug. 21. “I remain concerned about the dark powers that this satanic worship invites into our community and the spiritual danger that this poses to all who are involved in it, directly or indirectly.” The occult group Dakhma of Angra Mainyu has scheduled a black mass at the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall Sept. 21. A black mass is a sacrilegious ceremony that invokes Satan and mocks the Mass, involving the desecration of the Eucharist, generally by stealing a consecrated Host from a Catholic church and using it in a profane, sexual ritual. Daniels had said that as far as he knew, the Host was consecrated and that it had been “mailed to us by (a) friend.” His decision to return the Host quickly followed upon the Aug. 20 filing of a lawsuit filed on behalf of the archdiocese, charging that the Host had been stolen from the Church. The archbishop has repeatedly asked that civic leaders cancel the satanic event. In July, an official with the Oklahoma City music hall defended the decision to permit the black mass there, citing the hall’s neutrality policy. She told CNA that as long as no laws were broken during the event itself, the city hall was not concerned with whether laws may be broken in obtaining a consecrated host ahead of time. She said that similar events scheduled in previous years had poor or no attendance. “I have raised my concerns,” Archbishop Coakley said, “and pointed out how deeply offensive this proposed sacrilegious act is to Christians and especially to the more than 250,000 Catholics who live in Oklahoma.” The archbishop has asked that every parish add the well-known prayer to St. Michael the Archangel at the end of every Mass from 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 with Benediction from Aug. 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, through Sept. 21. The archbishop will hold a Holy Hour, a Eucharistic Procession, and Benediction at Oklahoma City’s St. Francis of Assisi parish at 3 p.m. Sept. 21, the same day the satanic event is scheduled to take place. Tulsa’s Bishop Edward Slattery and Bishop Carl Kemme of Wichita have also called on the faithful to respond to the threatened desecration with their prayers. A similar black mass scheduled by Harvard Extension School’s Cultural Studies Club in May was “postponed indefinitely” amid protest among students and the local community. Asked about the lawsuit and the stolen Host, the civic center’s public information manager Jennifer Lindsey-McClintock said the facility is “glad to see that the Archbishop and Mr. Adams have come to an agreement on the matter of the host.” However, she contended, “Any decision to cancel the event itself would have to come from Mr. Adams directly. As we have previously stated, as a government-operated facility, we cannot deny rental space to any group based upon the content of their message. This includes the cancellation of any event already booked in our facility.” Lindsey-McClintock did not respond to CNA’s questions regarding the stealing of a consecrated Host being necessary for a black mass to occur.
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