"The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has condemned plans by an independent student group of the Harvard Extension School to stage a historical reenactment of a satanic ritual that mocks the Catholic Mass.
The group, the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club, says its reenactment of the so-called black mass is intended as an educational activity to provide history, context, and the origin of the ritual as part of a student-led series exploring different cultures. The group said the event, planned for Monday, is not designed to insult religious traditions.
That reassurance did not mollify the archdiocese, which on its Facebook page issued a statement expressing “deep sadness and strong opposition to the plan to stage a ‘black mass’ on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge.”
“For the good of the Catholic faithful and all people, the church provides clear teaching concerning satanic worship,” the archdiocese said. “This activity separates people from God and the human community, it is contrary to charity and goodness, and it places participants dangerously close to destructive works of evil.....”"This performance is part of a larger effort to explore religious facets that continue to influence contemporary culture."
"......... A black mass is an often obscene mockery by satanic cults of the Mass performed in the Catholic Church. The ritual, for example, might substitute the bare back of a woman for an altar. To complete the desecration, the black mass generally uses a consecrated host, the bread or wafer blessed at Mass that Catholics believe is the body of Christ.
The Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club said its re-enactment will use a piece of bread, but not a consecrated host. [But see here]
“Our purpose is not to denigrate any religion or faith, which would be repugnant to our educational purposes, but instead to learn and experience the history of different cultural practices,” the students’ statement said. “This performance is part of a larger effort to explore religious facets that continue to influence contemporary culture.”
The archdiocese, in its statement, asked the university to disassociate itself from the reenactment. While stopping short of endorsing the event, the Harvard Extension School said that it supported “the rights of our students and faculty to speak and assemble freely....”
Of course it is....
The time was when the aficionados of these kind of perverted, dangerous and sacrilegious activities were rightly fearful of public exposure, and confined their activities to the relative privacy of their own lonely forest clearings and bat-haunted caves. Now, it seems, they form part of 'cultural studies' on the campus of one of the world's most prestigious universities.
Although ..... the one crumb of comfort we can take away from this bizarre story of social progress is that rather disingenuous statement from the Harvard Extension School that it upholds “the rights of our students and faculty to speak and assemble freely.” Given the ambivalent, if not actively hostile, attitude of many academic establishments in the West towards those who take a stand against contemporary cultural trends, that statement is well worth remembering for the future ....