Harvard Student Group to Mock Catholic Mass

Monday, 12 May 2014 11:41 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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A "satanic black mass" being put on Monday night by Harvard University’s Extension School’s Cultural Studies Club has drawn the ire of student groups, Harvard chaplains, and the Boston Archdiocese, according to Fox News.

While the event is billed as "a ritual performed by satanic cults to parody the Catholic Church Mass," according to the Harvard Crimson, it models the script of the black mass from French novelist Joris-Karl Huysmans’ "Là-Bas" and mocks Catholic teachings and presents a sacrilegious takeoff of the Catholic host.

Editor's Note: Can Prayer Heal You? Dr. Crandall Discovered the Truth

Though Harvard has officially denounced the black mass, the Extension School dean of students and alumni affairs said in a statement to the Crimson that will it "support the rights of our students and faculty to speak and assemble freely."

Harvard Kennedy School of Government Ethics and Public Policy Professor Christopher Robichaud is scheduled to speak at the event, framing his involvement as addressing "religious liberty and tolerance," according to the club, the Crimson reported. The event will be performed by the Satanic Temple.

The Boston archdiocese voiced strong opposition in a statement, according to Fox News.

"We call upon all believers and people of good will to join us in prayer for those who are involved in this event, that they may come to appreciate the gravity of their actions, and in asking Harvard to disassociate itself from this activity."

The Extension School has said a consecrated host – the sacred bread signifying the Eucharist during the Holy Communion ceremony of a Catholic Mass – will not be used in the black mass. Further, the Cultural Studies Club said the event "does not promote hate or incite violence, and it does not silence anyone. The complaints are founded metaphysical concerns, and there is simply a disagreement with regards to how this faith is practiced."

More than 350 Harvard students and 100 alumni have signed a petition organized by Matthew Menendez, a member of the Harvard Catholic Student Association.

The petition asks the university to stop the event, which Menendez characterized as "embarrassing to the Harvard community," "offends all who have faith in Christ," and "promotes contempt for the Catholic faith."

"It exposes other groups to the possibility of similar hateful speech, and we do not think this is the kind of thing that is conducive to having an intellectual dialogue," Menendez said.

In response to the satanic event, a prayer vigil by the archdiocese and a "holy hour" by the Harvard College of Faith and Action will take place Monday night, Harvard student Olivia Krusel told the Crimson.

According to The Weekly Standard, a Harvard graduate posed the question: "Can you imagine them using a Koran or Torah and getting away with this?"

Editor's Note: Can Prayer Heal You? Dr. Crandall Discovered the Truth

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