The 'black mass' had its historical origins as a means of denigrating the Catholic Church; it mocks a deeply sacred event in Catholicism, and is highly offensive to many in the Church and beyond. 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.
Nevertheless, consistent with the University’s commitment to free expression, including expression that may deeply offend us, the decision to proceed is and will remain theirs.
At the same time, we will vigorously protect the right of others to respond—and to address offensive expression with expression of their own.All of this may sound nice, but let us not forget that Satan "is a liar and the father of lies" and "the deceiver of the whole world;" he is not one to be trifled with (John 8:44, Revelation 12:9).
In a letter to President Drew Fuast, Father Roger Landry, an alumnus of Harvard University, demonstrated how "silly" such a claim is:
We all know that if there were to be a seance to communicate with the soul of Adolf Hitler, Harvard would never countenance it, first because we’re clearly dealing with conjuring evil, and second because it would be terribly injurious to Jewish members of the Harvard community and the wider community.
We also all know that if an “independent student organization” were trying to host an event in which there would be reenacting the burning of a copy of the Koran, it likewise would never be permitted, because Harvard would never associate itself with the desecration of Islam’s sacred text or allow its name or property to be used in something that would obviously outrage the spiritual sensibilities of Muslims.
A ceremony invoking Satan, mocking the Catholic Mass and desecrating what Catholics believe to be the Body of Jesus Christ — or if, implausibly, an unconsecrated host will be used, something that is at least meant to symbolize the Eucharist — should be treated in the same way.Curiously, President Faust (readers may coincidentally recall Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust), president of Harvard and a descendant of Jonathan Edwards.
At least to her partial credit, President Faust will not attend the Black Mass and will instead attend Holy Hour at St. Paul's church on the campus of Harvard University. Let us pray the Lord to touch her heart and reveal to her the gravity of what the university is allowing to take place:
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.
St Michael's stunning gold & peacock featured wings. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Latin 1156B, 15thC Hours pic.twitter.com/SOHBYR3eQdLet us also remember the words Pope Francis preached within the first Mass he celebrated as the Bishop of Rome:
— Sarah Peverley (@Sarah_Peverley) May 12, 2014
When we do not profess Jesus Christ, the saying of Léon Bloy comes to mind: "Anyone who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil." When we do not profess Jesus Christ, we profess the worldliness of the devil, a demonic worldliness.