A student group is scheduled to host a Satanic ‘Black Mass’ on Harvard University’s campus on Monday.
The planned ceremony by the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club has attracted widespread controversy from religious groups in Boston, particularly the Archdiocese of Boston.
Organizers of the sold out event have said that it is not meant to offend others.
“We don’t want to throw it in their faces,” said black mass organizer Lucien Greaves in an interview with WFXT.
Harvard President Drew Faust said in a statement posted online that she does not approve of the event but will allow it to go in the spirit of academic inclusion. Faust will attend a Catholic vigil at St. Paul’s Church during the black mass at Queen’s Head Pub in Harvard’s Memorial Hall.
“The decision by a student club to sponsor an enactment of this ritual is abhorrent; it represents a fundamental affront to the values of inclusion, belonging and mutual respect that must define our community. It is deeply regrettable that the organizers of this event, well aware of the offense they are causing so many others, have chosen to proceed with a form of expression that is so flagrantly disrespectful and inflammatory,” said Faust in a statement.
The chaplains of Harvard University issued a statement condemning the black mass. “We hasten to add that we do not think the issue presented here is primarily one of ‘academic freedom.’ Just because something may be permissible does not make it right or good,” said the unsigned statement posted on the Harvard Chaplain website.