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Reparation For Black Mass . . . “The Chaotic Forces Of Evil Are Very Real”

October 1, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By MOST REV. PAUL COAKLEY

(Editor’s Note: The black mass took place as scheduled Sunday, September 21 in Oklahoma City’s Civic Center. Various news outlets reported that hundreds protested against the black mass while only dozens attended it. Below we reprint Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley’s September 18 statement, followed by his homily at the holy hour held shortly before the black mass. A procession to the Civic Center took place after the holy hour.
(ZENIT News Agency provided the text of Archbishop Coakley’s holy hour homily.)

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The Hour Has Come

On Sunday, September 21, a local satanic sect apparently will be allowed to conduct a public act of blasphemy in the form of a so-called black mass at the Civic Center in Oklahoma City. In spite of an overwhelming outcry of alarm from around the world, our city leaders will allow this outrage to take place in a publicly supported facility.
They will not accede to the reasonable requests of local citizens to stop this outright mockery of the Catholic Mass nor the reasonable concerns of so many that this satanic ritual invokes powers of evil and invites them into our community.
Even though our city leaders apparently do not take this threat seriously, I do. As a Catholic priest and bishop I have witnessed in my ministry the battle between forces of good and evil in both ordinary and extraordinary ways. It is not merely a struggle rooted in human weakness and ignorance, though these are certainly the source of much suffering and mayhem in our lives and in our world.
Demonic activity and the chaotic forces of evil are very real. The madness of war accompanied by increasingly brutal acts of terror, the violence in our schools and communities are all evidence that something is terribly wrong.
The crucial battleground for the forces of good and evil is the human heart. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus Christ came to conquer the power of sin and to cast out demons. This was an essential part of His mission and ministry. It continues in His Church. Through His death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has gained the victory. He has destroyed the power of Satan, the Prince of Darkness and Father of Lies. The war has been won, though skirmishes will continue until Christ comes again in glory. As people of faith we dare not lose hope. Victory is assured.
This ordeal in our community has been ongoing for nearly three months, since we first became aware of the scheduled black mass. In spite of our apparent inability to prevent this sacrilegious event from taking place, I am grateful for a number of blessings that have accrued through this trial. I am grateful for the significant legal victory that allowed us to regain possession of the consecrated Host that would have been desecrated during the black mass.
I am deeply grateful for the strong response to our appeal for prayer throughout the Christian community. People across Oklahoma, throughout our great country and around the world have responded with prayer and fasting. We have been given an opportunity to express our faith in the Lord and our profound gratitude for His gift of the Eucharist through acts of devotion. Many of our Catholic people have been appealing to St. Michael the Archangel for heavenly protection against the powers of evil in our world.
On Sunday, September 21, we will gather for a public act of worship at St. Francis of Assisi Church. I invite all Catholics as well as other Christians and people of goodwill to join us for a Eucharistic Holy Hour, an outdoor Eucharistic procession, and Benediction beginning at 3 p.m. We will prayerfully bear witness to our faith as an expression of our solidarity and in reparation for acts of blasphemy.
I am aware that other groups are planning to show their opposition to the blasphemous event that evening at the Civic Center. I urgently ask everyone to avoid confrontations with those who might oppose them. Our witness ought to be reverent, respectful, and peaceful. I urge those who might plan to attend the black mass in order to pray or to protest not to do so! Please do not enter the venue. It would be presumptuous and dangerous to expose oneself to others to these evil influences.
Finally, let us demonstrate our faith in the power of the Lord’s grace by praying for the conversion of those who are perpetrating this sacrilege and are bound by the Evil One. “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust” (Matt. 5:44, 45).

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Here To Praise And To Adore

Praised be Jesus Christ! It is my great privilege to welcome you to St. Francis of Assisi Church and to spend this hour together with the Lord in prayer and adoration. Thank you for being here. Your presence is a powerful witness of faith in the midst of what has been a particularly challenging time for our community.
I would like to gratefully acknowledge the participation of our Catholic people from around the [Oklahoma City] Archdiocese but also those of you who have come from near and far to join us today. I am especially grateful for the presence of my brother bishops (and their support), Archbishop [Eusebius] Beltran, Bishop [Edward] Slattery of Tulsa, Bishop [Carl] Kemme of Wichita, and so many priests, deacons, and religious women and men. It is a special blessing to recognize here so many Christian leaders and believers from other churches and ecclesial communities who have come to join us in prayer as well.
We gather today in the presence of our Eucharistic Lord who is the source of our unity, imperfect though it might be, and our bond of charity. We just heard our Lord proclaim: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
For Catholics these words from the sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel are the very heart of our understanding and appreciation of the Holy Eucharist. Jesus does not speak metaphorically when He says, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” It is truly Jesus whom we encounter and receive in the Holy Eucharist.
At times, Christians have argued over the theological significance of these words. Satan, on the other hand, hears these words and trembles. The Eucharist has been at the heart of the current controversy over the so-called black mass (which to our shame as a city) is being allowed to proceed this evening at the Civic Center Music Hall.
That blasphemous and sacrilegious ritual is a mockery of the Catholic Mass that requires for its consummation the corruption and desecration of the Eucharist. Why? Because Satanists, and their master, know who is present. They acknowledge the Real Presence of the Lord Jesus, not to adore Him, but only to mock and to scorn in hatred.
I think many people in our community haven’t understood the persistence of our efforts nor the depth of our outrage over this blasphemy largely because they do not share our faith. They do not understand, or accept, what we believe to be true. They do not share our faith in what we Catholics (and many other Christians) acknowledge to be the greatest gift that the Lord has entrusted to the Church: the gift of His own Body and Blood in the Blessed Sacrament. The Eucharist, instituted by the Lord at the Last Supper and entrusted to the apostles is truly the Lord’s abiding Presence among us.
It is really and substantially spiritual food for our pilgrim journey and the pledge of future glory in the Heavenly Banquet. It is the bread of angels given to men.
We are not here, however, to protest. Let us put aside, for the moment, our outrage. We are here to praise and to adore. We are here to give thanks for the gift of our faith and the priceless treasure of the Lord’s abiding presence with us in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood. We are gathered before our Eucharistic Lord to listen to His holy Word and open ourselves to the promptings of His Spirit so that we might become more faithful and authentic witnesses of His love and mercy in the midst of our broken and suffering human family.
We are also here to offer our petitions to the Lord, that He might deliver us from the power of sin and, yes, from all demonic influences. We are here to offer our prayers in reparation for the blasphemous outrages being committed against our Lord, against His Church and the Eucharist in these days.
Our city has also been the target of these dark forces of hatred that seek not to build up, but only to destroy. We beg the Lord’s protection through the intercession of His holy angels and saints.
We are gathered as witnesses to hope at a time when darkness seems to be gaining ground both here and around the world. We know that Christ is victorious! He has conquered Satan. He has destroyed the reign of sin and the power of death through His holy Cross and glorious Resurrection. Through faith and Baptism we already share in His victory. The war has been won, though skirmishes will continue until Christ comes again in glory to reign forever.
In the meantime we have been enlisted to bear the standard of the Cross and our share of the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His Body, the Church.
We gather here in prayer. We gather to adore, to praise, and to give thanks, to beg the Lord’s mercy on our city, our nation, and our world. We pray for our own continuing conversion that we might be holy and courageous witnesses.
Our faith is not meant to be (and cannot remain) contained within the walls of this beautiful church. Our Eucharistic Procession through the neighborhood beyond these walls which will follow in a few minutes is a reminder that we, the Church, are present in the world as light, as salt and as leaven to bring hope and the offer of Christ’s salvation to all we meet.
Let us pray that we might embrace our mandate to live as missionary disciples in the midst of the world so that we might draw all people to Jesus Christ and to safe harbor in His Church.

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