By Heide Brandes
OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Oklahoma’s Catholic Archbishop filed a lawsuit on Wednesday to halt the use of what he said were stolen communion wafers destined for a satanic black mass ceremony to be held next month in Oklahoma City.
The lawsuit filed in Oklahoma County District Court claims the black mass is a deliberate attack on the Catholic Mass as well as the foundational beliefs of all Christians.
"I have taken a legal step to combat this blasphemous and obscene inversion of the Catholic Mass,” Archbishop Paul Coakley said in the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, the Holy Eucharist can only be distributed by an ordained minister of the Catholic Church and must be consumed immediately and never taken outside of the church.
The Angra Mainyu satanic group named in the suit as a defendant planned a countersuit claiming defamation and will go on with its black mass at the Oklahoma City Civic Center, according to Adam Daniels, the group's leader.
"I will allow the lawyers to pull that onion apart," he said, adding the communion wafers being used in the black mass were not stolen.
The Black Mass of Oklahoma has been held for several years and has faced resistance from state, and local leaders as well as setting off anger in a state where many identify themselves as deeply religious Christians.
Officials for the Oklahoma Civic Center said that since the center is a city-owned facility, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not allow for them to turn away productions based on their content.
A Black Mass involves a sacrifice to the devil, a practice known as inversion of the Christian ritual. According to the Angra Mainyu website, it is a modern form of ritual to celebrate the perversion of the Catholic Mass.
(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Eric Walsh)