Oklahoma City, Okla., Sep 14, 2014 / 15:54 pm
More than 85,000 people have signed a petition asking the city-run Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall to cancel a scheduled black mass, saying that is a blatant attack on the Catholic Church.
"A black mass is intended as an attack on another religious group, namely Catholics," reads the "Stop the black mass" petition on CitizenGo.com.
Although the organizer returned a stolen Host after a lawsuit threat, the petition tells the music hall's general manager "it is clear that his intention to defile stolen property in a government facility should raise questions of basic appropriateness."
"While the Constitution protects freedom of expression, it does not protect stealing property from others and desecrating it," the petition added. "We implore you to take a stand in favor of public decency by canceling the black mass."
The CitizenGo petition had attracted some 86,000 signatures as of Sept. 12.
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 Catholic Mass. It involves the desecration of the Eucharist, generally by stealing a consecrated Host from a Catholic church and using it in a profane, sexual ritual.
Event organizer Adam Daniels claimed to have in his possession a Host mailed to him by a friend that he believed had been consecrated at a Catholic Mass.
The California-based law firm Busch & Caspino filed suit against the group on behalf of the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, on the grounds that the Host was stolen property and belongs to the Church.
In reaction to the lawsuit, an attorney representing Daniels gave the Host to a priest of the Oklahoma City archdiocese on Aug. 21. The organizers still intend to simulate a black mass, but without the use of a consecrated Host.
Archbishop Coakley expressed relief at the return of the Host, but warned that the event poses "spiritual danger" to all who are involved in it. He has asked parishes to add the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel to Masses said between the Aug. 6 Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord and the Sept. 29 Feast of the Archangels.
In July, an official with the Oklahoma City music hall told CNA that similar occultist events scheduled in previous years had poor or no attendance.
The official said that because the hall is a city-run facility, it must operate in a position of "neutrality" and must be willing to host any event "as long as it was not hosting something specifically illegal in nature."
However, attorney Michael W. Caspino of the Busch & Caspino law firm in August told CNA that the music hall ignored its own rules against "hatefulness" and "violations of community standards."
"It's one thing to allow different religions to come in and celebrate their religion. It's a whole different thing to allow a group to come in that seeks to desecrate and insult another religion," he said.
"There are things out there that are legal, but are tasteless and violate community standards. They should have stopped (the black mass) just based on that. Not everything that's legal is right," he said.
Caspino encouraged common sense and leadership to avoid hosting an event that has "no redeeming value other than to insult other people and desecrate religious institutions."
"We should be having more positive things going on on public property and not such negative things."
While event organizers claim to have sold all 88 tickets to the black mass, Caspino said the return of the consecrated host has "gutted the significance" of the event.
"Now it's really just a bad show with bad actors," he said.