The Edmond Sun

Arts & Entertainment

July 1, 2014

OKC archbishop decries Civic Center 'Black Mass'

OKLA. CITY — Archbishop Paul Coakley has called on Catholics to pray that God might change the minds of the organizers of a “Black Mass” scheduled for later this year in Oklahoma City.

On Tuesday, Coakley expressed his astonishment and disappointment at this event and called on community leaders to reconsider whether it is an appropriate use of public space.

“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,” Coakley said.

Coakley, leader of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, said for more than 1 billion Catholics worldwide and more than 200,000 Catholics in Oklahoma, the Mass is the most sacred of religious rituals. It is the center of Catholic worship and celebrates Jesus’ redeeming work through his death and resurrection, Coakley said.

In particular, the Eucharist, also known as communion, which Catholics believe to be the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus, is the source and summit of their faith, Coakley said.

“That’s why 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.

Civic Center Music Hall spokeswoman Jennifer Lindsey-McClintock said the Civic Center Music Hall is a taxpayer funded entity and in that capacity it honors and upholds relevant state and federal laws including the U.S. Constitution, which allows for the free expression of speech and equal protection among all groups and individuals.

Lindsey-McClintock said the Civic Center is a rental facility, meaning it does not produce or fund shows. It hosts more than 2,000 events and performances each year, including religious services from multiple faith backgrounds, Lindsey-McClintock said.

“We appreciate the archbishop’s concerns regarding this event as it applies to people of faith,” she said. “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.”

Lindsey-McClintock said this is the fourth time this group has held a similar production at the Civic Center and each time they have had attendance of fewer than 50 people in a theater that seats only 92.

Information on the Civic Center’s website advertised the event, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at City Space Theatre. It is being presented by Dakhma of Angra Mainyu and features musical guest Kali-Ra.

“The Black Mass has been a feared ritual and now it’s being brought into the light!” the event description on the Civic Center’s website states. “This will be not only enlightening but educational as well. This Black Mass will be conducted for the public to attend with certain adaptations to allow for a legal celebration.”

A Black Mass is an inversion or parody of the Catholic Mass. It combines belief in the devil, use of the Mass for materials and parodies of orthodox Christian ritual, according to satansheaven.com. The origin of belief in the Black — or Satanic — Mass dates to medieval magic and witchcraft, yet no one knows the early history of the magical act.

The right to assemble and protest is codified in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Coakley said if the event does move forward, Catholics will have to consider other peaceful, prayerful and respectful options to demonstrate their opposition to this publicly supported sacrilegious act.

In May, a Black Mass scheduled on the Harvard campus was canceled amid outcry, according to a Boston Globe report.

The federal Public Works Administration, created in 1933, provided dollars to fund projects across the country including money for the Civic Center, according to field records from the Historic American Landscapes Survey by the National Park Service. Plans for the complex were funded with $1.4 million from the PWA and the remaining $1.7 million from a city bond issue. Construction involved other government agencies including the Civil Works Administration.

Recent support includes the 1993 Oklahoma City MAPS project, taxpayer dollars that helped fund renovations, and the Civic Center Foundation, a nonprofit organization created in 2000 to fund other improvements.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

1
Text Only
Arts & Entertainment
  • Oliver 7-29 Good Reads

    NOTE: Email dpeery@edmondsun.com to have your name entered into a drawing for the following titles: “Oliver and the Seawigs” and/or “The Strange Maid.” Deadline is 10 a.m. Aug. 28. Winner will be notified by return email. Winner is responsible for picking up the book at The Edmond Sun at 123 S. Broadway. All entrants must be 18 or older to win.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • jc_Earp Marlin 2 - photo credit Noel Winters.jpg Shootout of a sale

    An original article of the Wild West will be made available at auction Thursday. The rifle of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp will be part of the J. Levine Auction & Appraisal’s Summer Quarterly Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
    Earp was an Arizona deputy sheriff and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Ariz. He is legendary for playing a key role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. He died in 1929 at age 80.
    Wyatt Earp collector Barry Tapp of Edmond will be selling his 1895 Wyatt Earp Marlin rifle at the auction. The rifle has an estimated value between $50,000 and $75,000. It includes authentication documentation from Tombstone Heritage Museum, according to the auction house

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Carpenter Square Carpenter Square Theatre Presents ‘Fibs’

    For two nights only, Carpenter Square Theatre presents Albert Bostick’s one-man show “Fabulous Fibs, Fables, and Folklore.”  Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 2 and 9 at the theater at 800 W. Main in downtown Oklahoma City.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Science Museum Oklahoma to exhibit Power Play

    Designed to test strength, speed, stamina, flexibility and balance, Science Museum Oklahoma’s new exhibit — Power Play — explores human physiology and the power of the human body. Power Play is now open to the public.

    July 25, 2014

  • Discard the boredom of family game night

    We’re all about families having fun together, and game night is one of the best ways to do that. But playing the same games over and over can get a little stale. So in the interests of injecting a little more fun into your family’s game night, here are some great choices that will keep you and yours engaged and laughing.

    July 25, 2014

  • OBU dance team celebrates National Dance Day

    In 2010, “So You Think You Can Dance” co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe created National Dance Day in an effort to help people embrace dance and combat obesity on the last Saturday in July.
    This year, on July 26, Oklahoma Baptist University’s dance team will host a fundraiser that allows participants to dance all day for $30. The fundraiser will be in the Noble Complex on OBU’s campus.
    Cami Gower, an OBU junior and co-captain/co-founder of the dance team, said the team’s officers have been planning for their upcoming season since April. Gower is a graduate of Deer Creek High School.
    “Since then we have been coming up with better ways to reach the community with dance,” she said. “This day of dance was a great way to do it and help the team raise funds.”

    July 24, 2014

  • Never Girls Good Reads

    NOTE: Email dpeery@edmondsun.com to have your name entered into a drawing for the following titles: “The Never Girls: A Pinch of Magic” and/or “The Secrets of Tree Taylor.” Deadline is 10 a.m. July 28. Winner will be notified by return email. Winner is responsible for picking up the book at The Edmond Sun at 123 S. Broadway. All entrants must be 18 or older to win.

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • garner4.jpg Family, friends remember Garner’s Norman roots

    Flowers started arriving at the James Garner statue at Main Street and Jones Avenue Sunday morning after residents learned of the famed actor and Norman native’s death Saturday night in California.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Banjo 1 American Banjo Museum offers look at past

    What do you call perfect pitch?  If you can throw a banjo through the window and onto the garbage truck!  My brother-in-law, a musician, told me this joke.  Boy, the banjo is the Rodney Dangerfield of instruments — it gets no respect.  Well, get ready to appreciate the banjo for its history and heritage — at the American Banjo Museum in OKC’s Bricktown. This cool museum takes you through 370 years of banjo history in eight minutes, then settles down to give you details which will keep you interested for many more.

    July 19, 2014 6 Photos

  • Enjoy affordable romance in Dahlonega, Ga.

    Nestled in the mountains of northern Georgia against the Chattahoochee National Forest lies a tiny town that offers an authentic peek at a time long past. The charm of yesteryear combined with the calm of nature, friendly locals and the fun of back country roads dotted with vineyards and tasting rooms results in the perfect getaway for couples in search of a romantic escape or honeymoon destination. Those headed to Dahlonega for an intimate weekend will want to consider the following itinerary items.

    July 19, 2014