Aug 15, 2019

Archbishop Prendergast decries Satanic black mass in Ottawa

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast says the black mass planned for Aug. 17 Ottawa is “hateful.”
Catholic register
August 13, 2019

OTTAWA -- A ritual Satanic black mass planned in Ottawa Aug. 17 is hateful towards Catholics and risks desecrating what they hold most precious, says Ottawa’s archbishop.

“My concern is for the faith of our people and the offence that this brings to their love of and reverence for the Eucharist,” said Archbishop Terrence Prendergast in an e-mail interview.

The black mass, sponsored by the Satanic Temple in Canada, will take place at 10 p.m. at The Koven, a heavy metal bar and restaurant only a few blocks from Notre Dame Cathedral and Basilica.

Nicholas Marc, the national co-ordinator for the Satanic Temple in Canada, and organizer of the event told Global News he believes the event will “be the first organized public black mass in Canadian history.”

“Essentially, it involves using traditional symbols and inverting them to create a ritual that is meant to be the opposite of traditional mass,” Marc told Global News.

“To tamper with and mock the Mass — which is what this satanic ritual does — is hateful and will affect more than those who participate in it,” said Prendergast. “It will say loudly that the central belief of Christians should not be shown respect, as we would expect respect to be shown to the Jewish Torah, to the Muslim Koran and to the sacred objects of other faiths.

“Such a ritual sends the wrong message that we’re tolerant of what is in effect hate speech, which this has become by the widespread publicity being given to it,” the archbishop said.

The leader of Ottawa’s Catholics said inquiries were made as to whether organizers were using a consecrated host for the ritual, and organizers said none would be used. The archbishop expressed relief at this news and urged priests and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to be vigilant that communicants consume the host as soon as they receive communion.

“The Blessed Sacrament is given to those with faith in Christ’s presence in the Eucharistic host so that they may, by consuming it, achieve communion with Our Lord,” said the archbishop, pointing out the Catholic faith teaches the consecrated bread and wine in Communion are not mere symbols, but Christ’s “Real Presence” in the Eucharist.

A recent Pew Research study that revealed 70 per cent of American Catholics believe the bread and wine used in Mass are only symbols of Jesus.

For Catholics who regularly attend Mass at least weekly, however, only 37 per cent are confused about this central teaching, the Pew study showed.

“Catholic tradition has developed a special terminology — ‘transubstantiation’ — to express that the appearances of bread and wine are only that — appearances — and that the reality, the substance, is now truly the Body and Blood of Our Lord, who gives Himself to us as food on the journey to eternal life,” the archbishop said.

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