Satanic 'Black Mass' At Harvard Forced Off-Campus

The Harvard club hosting the event said the mass was intended to be educational. The event was moved to an off-campus location after public outcry.

Satanic 'Black Mass' At Harvard Forced Off-Campus
The Boston Globe / Matthew J. Lee

Apparently, the Prince of Darkness isn't welcome at Harvard. (Via Wikimedia Commons

A group of Harvard students planning what's known as a "black mass" were forced to move their satanic ritual to an undisclosed location. This after public outcry from students, school officials and the Archdiocese of Boston. (Via Harvard University, WFXT)

The mass was supposed to be a reenactment of a Satanic ritual performed by The Satanic Temple of New York. 

That's the same group that made headlines for proposing a statue of Satan be erected next to a Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma. (Via Fox News)

The student cultural club organizing the event said the mass was meant to be educational — an opportunity to teach students how the Satanic Temple holds a religious ceremony. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that didn't sit well with everyone. 

A petition to stop the mass garnered more than 60,000 signatures. (Via CitizenGo

Hundreds of people gathered for a prayer vigil in protest at a local parish. (Via WHDH

And while Harvard University President Drew Faust resisted calls to cancel the event, she did express disapproval, called it “abhorrent.” (Via The Harvard Crimson

But before we go any further, you may be wondering —what exactly is a satanic mass?​The answer depends on who you ask. ​

The National Catholic Register says the ceremonies are typically satirical and offensive in nature: “The 'Black Mass' in a nutshell is a Satanic ritual ... intended to mock Catholic belief and worship …”

The archdiocese of Boston — headed by a cardinal who even received some consideration to become pope last year — called such a mass “dangerously close to destructive works of evil." (Via The CatholicTV Network)

CARDINAL SEAN O’MALLEY: “Why people would want to do something that is so offensive to so many people in the community … it’s just very disappointing and disturbing.” (Via The Boston Globe

But in a statement obtained by CNN, the group said its purpose was not to mock or offend the Roman Catholic faith but instead to “learn and experience the history of different cultural practices.”

In an article for The Harvard Crimson, a professor of divinity at the school warned of a slippery slope should the school allowing such a performance. "The endeavor 'to learn and experience the history of different cultural practices' might in another year lead to historical reenactments of anti-Semitic or racist ceremonies."  

After a local restaurant backed out of hosting the event, The Satanic Temple told The Boston Globe a smaller version of the event was held off-campus Monday night at an undisclosed location.