According to this ABC News article, preparations are ongoing for a satanic black mass in Oklahoma City.
First, although it would be very understandable for Christians–and decent people of any faith or no faith–to be disgusted and angered by this, since the ceremony is admittedly not so much an act of worship but a mockery of Catholic worship, it is even more important to remember that the people doing this are souls in deep, deep trouble. They either believe in satanism, or they are so brutally cynical and willing to shock that they want to do this for no other reason than to lash out at people whose beliefs they do not share. In either case, it would be a good thing to pray for them.
Even more important, however, what they are planning is an offense against God (although they may be too deluded to know that). Therefore, it would be a good thing to do some acts of reparation. Since they are doing this on a Sunday (September 21), Catholics fulfilling their Sunday obligation could pray at Mass in particular for the intention that God be glorified instead of mocked. If we can, we might attend an additional mass–either on the Saturday before or Monday after–as an act of reparation.
This event also should caution us about excessively unguarded, dogmatic assertions of the principle of religious liberty. Religious liberty is, of course, a very good thing among a fundamentally decent people who, while religiously diverse, nevertheless agree on the important principles of morality. But should it be extended to the naked worship of evil? Of course, the satanist might deny that this is a fair characterization of satanism. But this would not really solve the problem, because even if that were true, it would not be long before some other sect came along, determined to press the envelope, and admitting openly that it was a religion based on the naked worship of evil.
If you read the article, you see that there is something rather chilling going on here. These people do not talk like, say, unbelievers who are trying to make fun of and trample on the beliefs of religious people. They talk like people who actually believe in God and are in willful rebellion against Him. Hence their call for “renunciation of God.” Hence the so-call satanic exorcism which is to “draw the Holy Spirit from the follower’s body.”
Finally, there is an element of the absurd to it that would be laughable if this were not so serious. One of the event’s organizers says that part of the purpose is to “debunk the Hollywood-projected image of our beliefs.” Yet these people originally intended to use a consecrated host for the ceremony, so they could desecrate it by stomping on it and spitting on it. They have to use vinegar instead of urine for the ceremony to comply with local health laws. The woman they plan to have lying on an altar has to be wearing lace instead of being, as they would prefer, naked, so they don’t violate obscenity laws. And a local official felt it necessary to assure the public that health laws would be observed and there would be no “bloodletting” during the ceremony. All this makes it sound like in this case the Hollywood stereotype is pretty accurate.