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Satanic Mass cancelled at Harvard, continues at a Chinese restaurant

Harvard’s scheduled Satanic black Mass, which has drawn much criticism as a mockery of the Catholic faith, has been cancelled according to the Associated Press on Tuesday. The Middle East Nightclub in Central Square withdrew itself as the location for the Satanic Mass on Monday after Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub in Memorial Hall bowed out of the event. The Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club stated another site was not offered after pressure was put on the event from the Archdiocese of Boston and the university’s president, yet the ritual did occur in a Chinese restaurant later in the evening.

Gustave Doré, Depiction of Satan, the antagonist of John Milton's Paradise Lost c.1866.
Wikimedia Piotr Drabik

Harvard President Drew Faust, (Can you see the irony here?), wrote a message on the school's website that called the Satanic Mass “flagrantly disrespectful and inflammatory” and instead planned on attending a Eucharistic holy hour and benediction on the university’s campus, one of two events planned in response to the outrage. A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Boston said the Satanic Mass is an attack on the “Eucharist and offensive to Catholics and people of good will.”

The Harvard students' group that organized the event told reporters the New York-based Satanic Temple would continue with the black Mass, but didn’t disclose a location. A representative stated members of the Satanic Temple wanted to “reaffirm their respect for the Satanic faith and to demonstrate that the most powerful response to offensive speech is to shame those who marginalize others by letting their own words and actions speak for themselves."

The scheduled Satanic Mass drew outrage from the Archdiocese of Boston based upon the history of the ceremony, which traditionally mocked the Catholic Church’s representation of the Body of Christ. The black Mass is the antithesis of good according to the statement released from the diocese.

For the good of the Catholic faithful and all people, the church provides clear teaching concerning satanic worship. This activity separates people from God and the human community, it is contrary to charity and goodness, and it places the participants dangerously close to destructive works of evil.

Organizers of the Satanic Mass responded in the Harvard Crimson, which stated, “The point of the event is to challenge the stigmatization of marginalized groups,” not to “denigrate Catholicism.” They went on to defend the notion that Satanists are not members of a hate group because “Satan is the representation of evil incarnate for some faiths.”

The Satanic Temple found another location and the ritual went on as planned around 10 p.m. Monday night at the Hong Kong Restaurant and Lounge according to the Harvard Crimson. Approximately 50 worshippers attended, some in makeup and black robes. The Eucharist was reportedly not used in the Satanic Mass.

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