Despite news of a last-minute cancellation of a black mass scheduled to take place in Harvard's Queens Head Pub last night, the university's newspaper is reporting that a mass did take place around 10:00 p.m. in the lounge of an off-campus restaurant.
The Harvard Crimson is reporting that members of the Harvard Extension School Cultural Studies Club decided about 5:00 p.m. last night to move their black mass off-campus. They announced that the mass would take place at the Middle East nightclub in Central Square at 9:00 p.m. Not long after this, the general manager of the club, Clay S. Fernald, said that the mass would not be held there because "negotiations" with the club had broken down.
This was followed by another e-mail from the Cultural Studies Club saying that the event was cancelled because they were unable to find another location.
" . . . (I)ndividuals who intended to attend decided to migrate to the Hong Kong [restaurant], at which the ceremony was revived," the Crimson reports.
Members of the New York-based Satanic Temple arrived along with about 50 people, "mostly dressed in black and some wearing face makeup" who gathered in the second floor of the restaurant for the re-enactment.
"Four individuals in hoods and one man in a white suit, a cape, and a horned mask were active in the proceedings, as well as a woman revealed to be wearing only lingerie," the Crimson reports. "The ceremony began with a narration on the history underlying Satanism and the black mass ritual."
In an 11 p.m. phone interview with the restaurant's owner, Paul Lee, told the Crimson that he was unaware of the incident; however, the Temple has acknowledged it on their Facebook page.
Now being referred to as a "scaled back" version of the mass, it is a disappointing note to what originally appeared to be a happy ending to this week-long saga that galvanized Catholics from around the country to come to the defense of the Church and our Eucharistic Lord. Members of the Satanic Temple at first confirmed that they had - and intended to use - a consecrated host, then changed their story after the news sparked an angry outcry from the Church.
"For the good of the Catholic faithful and all people, the Church provides clear teaching concerning Satanic worship," said Terence Donilon, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston. " 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."
Even the University's president, Drew Faust, called the event "abhorrent" and a “fundamental affront to values of inclusion, belonging and mutual respect that must define our community.”
She added: “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.”
Sadly, Ms. Faust allowed the event to take place, citing the need to protect people's freedom of speech, something even her own faculty disagreed with.
Francis Clooney, a professor at the Harvard School of Divinity, issued a chilling warning about the allowance of such an offensive activity by the school.
" . . .(W)hat’s next? 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 familiar from Western history or parodies that trivialize Native American heritage or other revivals of cultural and religious insult. Such events would surely raise legitimate concerns among all of us at Harvard; no one should be surprised if Catholics are concerned right now."
After learning that the event had occurred at the Hong Kong restaurant, Donilon told the Crimson that the event was "disgraceful and despicable."
In spite of earlier news of cancellation, the Archdiocese continued with a planned Eucharistic procession to St. Paul Church in Cambridge where a “holy hour” was conducted to repair for the sacrilegious ritual which took place. The venue was said to have been "packed" with worshipers.
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