Guest ColumnistAn Open Letter to the Mayor of Oklahoma City

Dear Mayor Mike Cornett,

I earned my Ph.D. in moral theology from The Catholic University of America in 2010.

The news of the proposed “black mass” to be held at the Oklahoma City Civic Center on September 21 is deeply disturbing to me as a theologian, as a practicing Catholic, as an American—and most especially, as a mother. I beg you to do all in your power cancel it, and I ask you to consider this parallel.

Would it be appropriate to make civic facilities available for a play put on by a group of pedophiles aimed at promoting and glorifying molesting and abusing children? Now, of course, no laws would be broken—no actual children would be on stage to be urinated on or abused sexually or physically. But the actors might simulate degrading or abusive acts on a doll which would represent the children that the pedophile group likes to harm in this way.

Children are vulnerable, innocent, beautiful, and full of goodness.

No wonder a civilized society protects the young ones who are our future.
No wonder God came to earth as a child.

It is truly the Christ child, the same baby Jesus we honor in the manger at Christmas, who is mocked, degraded, and abused during a black mass. Though the organizers of this proposed black mass in your city will not (I hope and pray) be conducting degrading acts on an actual Eucharistic Host, but, rather, will be simulating them on a symbolic host, the insult to God will be grave. I am deeply troubled for my country if we allow public facilities to be used to insult the God whom our Founding Fathers revered and to whom they entrusted our country’s welfare. I am deeply, deeply saddened as a Catholic that my faith will be publically mocked. And, as a mother, my heart breaks that the child of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be molested and abused as a spectacle—even in simulation.

I am praying and fasting that you will stop this. Please, PLEASE cancel the black mass event.


Sarah Smith Bartel, PhD

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