Harvard Crimson Writes about Our Opposition

Harvard Crimson Writes about Our Opposition

Amid Opposition, Extension School Club Will Hold Satanic Black Mass Demonstration

UPDATED: May 11, 2014, at 2:37 a.m.

Despite condemnation by the Archdiocese of Boston, Harvard Chaplains, student religious groups, and many alumni and students on campus, an organization of Harvard Extension School students will move forward with plans to host a staging of a satanic “black mass” on campus on Monday.

A black mass ceremony is a ritual performed by satanic cults to parody the Catholic Church Mass. Historically, the ceremony features a ritual of sacrilege of the Catholic host, or the sacred bread used in the Eucharist, which becomes the body of Jesus Christ upon consecration.

The performance, which will take place Monday night at Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub in the basement of Memorial Hall, is organized by the Extension School’s Cultural Studies Club with help from the New York-based Satanic Temple.

The ceremony will model the script of the black mass articulated in novelist Joris-Karl Huysmans’ work “Là-Bas,” although a consecrated host will not be used. In addition, Christopher Robichaud, an ethics and public policy professor at the Kennedy School of Government, will speak at the demonstration to frame the event in terms of religious liberty and tolerance, according to the club.

In a statement posted to the school’s website on Friday, Extension School Dean of Students and Alumni Affairs Robert H. Neugeboren ’83 said that though the School does not endorse activities of individual student organizations, it will “support the rights of our students and faculty to speak and assemble freely.” The statement followed a similar post on the Extension School’s website on Wednesday that affirmed the club’s right to host the event.

“We do not agree with the [Cultural Studies Club’s] decision to stage an event that is so deeply disturbing and offensive to many in the Harvard community and beyond,” the statement read. “While we support the ability of all our students to explore difficult issues, we also encourage them to do so in ways that are sensitive to others.”

To address concerns about the event, the Extension School ensured that the reenactment would not make use of a consecrated host and also encouraged Cultural Studies Club student leaders to “foster a positive dialogue” with Catholic student organizations, according to Neugeboren’s statement.

The club said that the events were motivated by educational purposes only in the statement posted on the Extension School’s website Wednesday.

“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 club said.

Several on- and off-campus groups have raised objections to the event.

The Harvard Chaplains, a group of religious and spiritual leaders who, according to their website, represent a diverse array of spiritual and religious practices, expressed concern about the event, which they said is a reenactment of a ritual that mocks foundational beliefs held by many Christians about the importance of Holy Communion.

“Just because something may be permissible does not make it right or good,” Reverend Luther Zeigler, President of the Harvard Chaplains, wrote in a statement to The Crimson on behalf of the Chaplains. “Whether or not these students are ‘entitled’ to express themselves through the ceremony of a ‘black mass’ as a matter of law or University policy is a distinct question from whether this is a healthy form of intellectual discourse or community life. We submit it is not.”

The Archdiocese of Boston, which oversees Catholic churches and schools in the area, also denounced the event.

“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,” the Archdiocese wrote in a statement earlier in the week.

In response, the Cultural Studies Club wrote in an email to The Crimson that its reenactment should not be seen as offensive.

“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,” the club wrote.

“The flawed assumption seems to be that because Satan is the representation of evil incarnate for some faiths, that Satanist[s] are part of a hate group and their practice devoted towards denigrating Catholicism,” the organization’s statement continued. “The point of this event is to challenge the stigmatization of marginalized groups.”

With the event scheduled for Monday, some groups have made efforts to try to cancel the event or demonstrate against it.

A petition opposing the event, organized by Matthew R. Menendez ’14, has, according to Menendez, received the signatures of 370 Harvard students and 100 alumni. The petition demands that the University prevent the event from taking place because it “offends all who have faith in Christ” and “promotes contempt for the Catholic faith.”

Menendez, a member of the Harvard Catholic Student Association, said that many Catholics like himself are offended by the event, which he deems hateful and unproductive.

“We found that this is embarrassing to the Harvard community and not only attacks our religion as Catholics in a very direct way, but in no way promotes an open intellectual dialogue,” Menendez said. “There are other ways to educate, and it does not seem that having something that is so hateful fits the mission of Harvard. It is unfair to portray this as an educational or cultural event, when it is a mockery.”

Menendez said that, due to the demonstration, he is not planning on donating to the Senior Gift. He also said that he thinks that the event will have lasting implications for University community.

“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 “black mass” demonstration, the Archdiocese announced Friday that it plans to hold a prayer vigil on Monday followed by a Eucharistic procession to St. Paul Church, which will subsequently hold a “holy hour.” Harvard College Faith and Action has also scheduled a prayer event in response to the reenactment, according to Olivia J. Krusel ’15, the organization’s vice president.

Despite repeated requests for comment, the Cultural Studies Club has not responded to questions about its leadership or membership, although it did say that its formulation required 10 members.

—Staff writer Theodore R. Delwiche can be reached at theodore.delwiche@thecrimson.com. Follow him on twitter @trdelwic.

—Staff writer Alexander H. Patel can be reached at alex.patel@thecrimson.com. Follow him on twitter @alexhpatel.

Crimson Coverage

Amid Opposition, Extension School Club Will Hold Satanic Black Mass Demonstration

Despite condemnation by the Archdiocese of Boston, Harvard Chaplains, student religious groups, and many alumni and students on campus, an organization of Harvard Extension School students will move forward with plans to host a staging of a satanic “black mass” on campus on Monday.

A black mass ceremony is a ritual performed by satanic cults to parody the Catholic Church Mass. Historically, the ceremony features a ritual of sacrilege of the Catholic host, or the sacred bread used in the Eucharist, which becomes the body of Jesus Christ upon consecration.

The performance, which will take place Monday night at Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub in the basement of Memorial Hall, is organized by the Extension School’s Cultural Studies Club with help from the New York-based Satanic Temple.

The ceremony will model the script of the black mass articulated in novelist Joris-Karl Huysmans’ work “Là-Bas,” although a consecrated host will not be used. In addition, Christopher Robichaud, an ethics and public policy professor at the Kennedy School of Government, will speak at the demonstration to frame the event in terms of religious liberty and tolerance, according to the club.

In a statement posted to the school’s website on Friday, Extension School Dean of Students and Alumni Affairs Robert H. Neugeboren ’83 said that though the School does not endorse activities of individual student organizations, it will “support the rights of our students and faculty to speak and assemble freely.” The statement followed a similar post on the Extension School’s website on Wednesday that affirmed the club’s right to host the event.

“We do not agree with the [Cultural Studies Club’s] decision to stage an event that is so deeply disturbing and offensive to many in the Harvard community and beyond,” the statement read. “While we support the ability of all our students to explore difficult issues, we also encourage them to do so in ways that are sensitive to others.”

To address concerns about the event, the Extension School ensured that the reenactment would not make use of a consecrated host and also encouraged Cultural Studies Club student leaders to “foster a positive dialogue” with Catholic student organizations, according to Neugeboren’s statement.

The club said that the events were motivated by educational purposes only in the statement posted on the Extension School’s website Wednesday.

“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 club said.

Several on- and off-campus groups have raised objections to the event.

The Harvard Chaplains, a group of religious and spiritual leaders who, according to theirwebsite, represent a diverse array of spiritual and religious practices, expressed concern about the event, which they said is a reenactment of a ritual that mocks foundational beliefs held by many Christians about the importance of Holy Communion.

“Just because something may be permissible does not make it right or good,” Reverend Luther Zeigler, President of the Harvard Chaplains, wrote in a statement to The Crimson on behalf of the Chaplains. “Whether or not these students are ‘entitled’ to express themselves through the ceremony of a ‘black mass’ as a matter of law or University policy is a distinct question from whether this is a healthy form of intellectual discourse or community life. We submit it is not.”

The Archdiocese of Boston, which oversees Catholic churches and schools in the area, also denounced the event.

“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,” the Archdiocese wrote in a statement earlier in the week.

In response, the Cultural Studies Club wrote in an email to The Crimson that its reenactment should not be seen as offensive.

“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,” the club wrote.

“The flawed assumption seems to be that because Satan is the representation of evil incarnate for some faiths, that Satanist[s] are part of a hate group and their practice devoted towards denigrating Catholicism,” the organization’s statement continued. “The point of this event is to challenge the stigmatization of marginalized groups.”

With the event scheduled for Monday, some groups have made efforts to try to cancel the event or demonstrate against it.

petition opposing the event, organized by Matthew R. Menendez ’14, has, according to Menendez, received the signatures of 370 Harvard students and 100 alumni. The petitiondemands that the University prevent the event from taking place because it “offends all who have faith in Christ” and “promotes contempt for the Catholic faith.”

Menendez, a member of the Harvard Catholic Student Association, said that many Catholics like himself are offended by the event, which he deems hateful and unproductive.

“We found that this is embarrassing to the Harvard community and not only attacks our religion as Catholics in a very direct way, but in no way promotes an open intellectual dialogue,” Menendez said. “There are other ways to educate, and it does not seem that having something that is so hateful fits the mission of Harvard. It is unfair to portray this as an educational or cultural event, when it is a mockery.”

Menendez said that, due to the demonstration, he is not planning on donating to the Senior Gift. He also said that he thinks that the event will have lasting implications for University community.

“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 “black mass” demonstration, the Archdiocese announced Friday that it plans to hold a prayer vigil on Monday followed by a Eucharistic procession to St. Paul Church, which will subsequently hold a “holy hour.” Harvard College Faith and Action has also scheduled a prayer event in response to the reenactment, according to Olivia J. Krusel ’15, the organization’s vice president.

Despite repeated requests for comment, the Cultural Studies Club has not responded to questions about its leadership or membership, although it did say that its formulation required 10 members.

—Staff writer Theodore R. Delwiche can be reached at theodore.delwiche@thecrimson.com. Follow him on twitter @trdelwic.

—Staff writer Alexander H. Patel can be reached at alex.patel@thecrimson.com. Follow him on twitter @alexhpatel.

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/5/11/black-mass-extension-school/?page=single

UPDATED Statement from the Extension School- No Response from Faust Yet

Updated: Official Response to Cultural Studies Student Club Event

The following statement was issued by Robert Neugeboren, dean of students and alumni affairs at Harvard Extension School:

Students at the Harvard Extension School, like students at colleges across the nation, organize and operate a number of independent student organizations, representing a wide range of student interests. The Harvard Extension School does not endorse the views or activities of any independent student organization. But we do support the rights of our students and faculty to speak and assemble freely.

In this case, we understand that this independent student organization, the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club, is hosting a series of events—including the reenactment of a “Black Mass”—as part of a student-led effort to explore different cultures.

We do not agree with the student group’s decision to stage an event that is so deeply disturbing and offensive to many in the Harvard community and beyond. While we support the ability of all our students to explore difficult issues, we also encourage them to do so in ways that are sensitive to others.

To that end, the Harvard Extension School has worked with the club’s student leaders to address specific concerns that have been expressed. For instance, we have ensured that no consecrated host will be used as part of the reenactment. Also, in an effort to help broaden the educational nature of this series, the Harvard Extension School has urged the Cultural Studies Club’s student leaders to reach out to Catholic student organizations on campus to foster a positive dialogue about the Catholic faith. The club’s student leaders have agreed to this proposal. 

We hope these efforts and this dialogue will help address some of the most severe concerns about the event, while also helping students in the Cultural Studies Club better understand the perspective of many Catholics on these and other issues.

Questions about the event should be directed to the Cultural Studies Club at culturalstudiesclub@gmail.com.

 

 

Acts of Reparation and Prayers

An Act of Reparation for this sacrilege

“O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners.”

2. A Divine Mercy Chaplet for those participating the black Mass

http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm

3. A Prayer to Saint Michael to Combat the Effects that this Invocation may Induce

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen..

4. EXAMINE your own conscience about the Role of the Eucharist in Your Life

 

Crucifixion_by_Josse_Lieferinxe_3

 

Harvard Satanic Mass Organizers: Catholic Outcry, Paranoid, Intolerant

The father of modern Satanism, Anton Lavey, called the “Black Mass” a “parody” of Catholic worship, but a Harvard student club says it is not mocking Catholic belief by holding the event on campus

 05/09/2014 Comment
Wikimedia Commons

Harvard University campus

– Wikimedia Commons

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A Harvard student group organizing a re-enactment of a satanic “Black Mass” on campus has dismissed its Catholic critics, calling their views arrogant and their objections to the ritual ignorant and intolerant.

“Satanists have a ritual that they perform for their own affirmative reasons,” the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club told CNA May 8, adding that these reasons “currently have absolutely nothing to do with Catholicism beyond the symbols themselves.”

“Offense is anachronistic and based on intolerance and ignorance about the practice [of] Satanism.”

The Cultural Studies Club has faced controversy since it announced its plans to host a re-enactment of a Satanic “Black Mass” on campus May 12. It described the ceremony as an educational event that is part of a larger series exploring various cultural practices.

The group said objections that have been raised to the event are “closed-minded,” arguing that it is “paranoia” to think the Satanic rituals and practices are designed to degrade the Catholic faith.

A “Black Mass” is a sacrilegious ceremony structured as a parody of the Catholic Mass. Connected to witchcraft and demonic worship, it invokes Satan and demons, often in Latin, with the desecration of the Eucharist as the focal point.

Early media reports included apparent confirmation from Priya Dua, a spokesperson for the Satanic Temple, which is staging the event, that a consecrated host would be used. However, both the Temple and the Cultural Studies Club later backtracked and said Dua’s previous statement was inaccurate and only a plain piece of bread would be used.

A Satanic Temple spokesman, however, told the National Catholic Register that, while no one has gone to any effort to obtain a consecrated host, “it would make no difference to our ceremony” if someone had — “it’s a piece of bread.”

Announcements of the event prompted a deluge of complaints from Catholics, who argued that the event is not educational, but sacrilegious and disrespectful.

The event has drawn strong opposition from the Archdiocese of Boston and many individuals in the Harvard community. Critics argued the university would never permit a student organization re-enacting a Quran burning or lynchings of African-Americans and should similarly refuse to allow a sacrilegious ceremony mocking the Catholic faith.

 

Satanic Temple Talking Points

In a general email responding to numerous questions presented about the event, the Cultural Studies Club said that it was not seeking to offend people, but instead hoping to “work towards diminishing misconceptions” about Satanists, whom it described as misunderstood and marginalized.

“The Black Mass began as a propagandistic literary device to justify brutal purges against alleged witches. This conspiracy of witches, or Satanists, has never actually existed,” the group asserted. “The idea originated with the Church itself and has become a staple of the mythology concerning Satanism. The Black Mass has been adopted as a symbolic revolt against arbitrary authority, not a focused assault upon Catholic faith.”

However, the Cultural Studies Club appears to be regurgitating the talking points of the Satanic Temple, as the Register received the above response for its own story — word-for-word minus one sentence — from the Temple’s spokesman Lucien Greaves in an email interview for its own story.

The group acknowledged that the “Black Mass” is “inspired by, or derivative of” the Catholic Mass, but insisted that it is not intended as a mocking or “hateful display.” Rather, it said, the Satanic “Black Mass” is “an affirmation of a set beliefs whose intent is not to marginalize anyone, nor incite violence, nor intimidate others.”

However, the Cultural Studies Club’s assertions are contradicted by modern Satanism’s founder, Anton Lavey, author of the Satanic Bible, who himself stated, “A Black Mass is essentially a parody on the religious service of the Roman Catholic Church.”

 

Student Club: Satanists Don’t Believe in Satan

The Cultural Studies Club told CNA that “there is no formal doctrine” in Satanism, which allows “for a wide range of behavior” and is largely defined by its “outsider status” and ideas of individualism.

However, it also argued that “it is an outright lie to claim that the Black Mass ceremony as currently performed by Satanists, in general, is done with the intent of mocking Catholicism.”

“That position is arrogant and egocentric,” the group charged, suggesting that the “Black Mass” “has constructive meaning for the people who perform those actions” and that the offense of Catholics is not justification for stopping the event.

While there is “no one set of Satanic beliefs,” the club asserted, Satanists do not believe in Satan as an actual person, like many religious organizations do, but, rather, believe that “Satan is a metaphorical construct who represents the struggle against tyrannical authority.”

The source of Catholics’ offense, the group suggested, “is founded on differing interpretations of symbols and an insistence that one’s own interpretation is universal.” The group insisted that it “is presumptuous and inaccurate to insist that this event is designed as an expression of ridicule.”

In response to the “Black Mass,” the Catholic community at Harvard has announced that it is holding a Eucharistic Holy Hour on the evening of May 12 to correspond with the scheduled Satanic event.

Senior chaplain Father Michael Drea said this will allow students to “focus on the goodness of our Eucharistic Lord” and seek the grace to be true “defenders of our faith and the sacramental life.

Alejandro Bermudez contributed to this report.

The National Catholic Register also contributed to this report.


Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/harvard-satanic-mass-organizers-catholic-outcry-paranoid-intolerant/#ixzz31GBsFba0