The Archbishop of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is protesting an upcoming Satanic "Black Mass" that is scheduled to take place on September 21 at the local Civic Center.
The "Black Mass" slated for late September is being organized by local Oklahoma City Satanist Adam Daniels, who describes himself as a high priest of a local satanic group. Daniels told The Oklahoman in a recent interview that a Black Mass contains similar themes to a Catholic mass, however instead of worshipping God, participants worship Satan.
Paul Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, has implored city organizers, especially the board members of the Civic Center, to intervene and stop the Black Mass from taking place.
"We're astonished and grieved that the Civic Center would promote as entertainment and sell tickets for an event that is very transparently a blasphemous mockery of the Mass," Coakley said in a statement, as reported by The Oklahoman. "The 'Black Mass' that is scheduled for the Civic Center in September is a satanic inversion and distortion of the most sacred beliefs not only of Catholics, but of all Christians."
"For more than 1 billion Catholics worldwide and more than 200,000 Catholics in Oklahoma, the Mass is the most sacred of religious rituals," the archbishop continued. "In a spirit of hope, I ask those who are allowing this event to reconsider whether this is an appropriate use of public space. We trust that community leaders — and, in particular, the board members of the Oklahoma City Civic Center — do not actually wish to enable or encourage such a flagrantly inflammatory event and can surely remedy this situation."
Jennifer Lindsey-McClintock, a spokeswoman for the Civic Center Music Hall, told the Edmond Sun that as a taxpayer-funded facility, the OKC Civic Center must abide by First Amendment requirements and allow any group to use their facility, as long as they abide by the building's laws and city ordinances.
"We appreciate the archbishop's concerns regarding this event as it applies to people of faith," she told the local media outlet. "As with any show held in our facility, we work with the production group to ensure no laws or ordinances are broken during the event."
The upcoming "Black Mass" in OKC is similar to one planned earlier this year for Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, although the event was quickly canceled due to public outcry.