Christ Is the Hope of Harvard (And Everywhere Else)

David Oatney Catholic Blogs, New Evangelization, Prayer

harvard-crimson-classic-pennant-3352660The Harvard Extension School Cultural Studies Club dropped its sponsorship of a “Black Mass” yesterday after initially removing it from campus to a nightclub called the Middle East. However, that club said that “negotiations had fallen through” and that no Black Mass would be held there. Members of the New York-based “Satanic Temple” were due to preside over the blasphemy, and were reported to have held a something-like-Black-Mass event at a restaurant near the Harvard campus Monday night. Whatever took place, about 50 people were reported to have attended it, according to the Harvard Crimson. The Boston Globe reported in today’s edition that the entire event had been called off, and that the members of the Satanic Temple at the Asian restaurant, the Hong Kong, may have been just drinking at the bar. One of the members of the Satanic group told a reporter from the Globe that members of the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies club apparently didn’t expect the blowback that they received:

“Everyone involved, outside of the Satanic Temple, got really scared,” Greaves said. “And I don’t necessarily blame them, because I understand that they were getting a lot of vitriolic hate mail, and I don’t think they expected it.”

Obviously, here at Life At 25 and the Diocese of Knoxville, we don’t condone sending hate-filled screed to anyone. However, I can’t help but wonder if the reaction that this fellow is talking about had far less to do with hate mail and more to do with the Archdiocese of Boston’s very unique form of protest.

Lee_blkmassresponse4_met-13670A couple of thousand people (at least) parading through the streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts along with Our Risen Eucharistic Lord is enough to catch the notice of anyone who might think that some planned Satanic ritual is going to slip under the radar. I would also be willing to hazard a guess that the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club also wasn’t expecting St. Paul’s Church to be packed to the rafters as over 2,000 people attended the Holy Hour there called in opposition to the planned devil worship, as documented by this picture and others from Matthew Lee and the staff of the Boston Globe. Rather than hold a real “Black Mass,” reports out of Cambridge seem to paint a picture that the Satanists from New York, left without sponsorship or a place for their public act of eucharistic debasement, were left to the ritual of drinking and carousing at the bar of a Chinese restaurant across from the Harvard campus. Instead of a Black Mass, these folks went to Harvard for dim sum and sake.

As I said in our earliest post about the proposed doings of the Devil on the Harvard campus, both the Satanists who were going to preside at this terrible display and the students of the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club need our prayers. I remain convinced that many of them still don’t know or understand the kind of crucifixspiritual darkness that they are summoning. Some of them say that they don’t even believe in either God or Satan, that they are simply wanting to make light of religion, but they are doing far more than that. There is a reason that Lucifer is called the Father of Lies. If you are going to take the time to put together an exercise mocking and desecrating the Holy Eucharist and essentially worshiping the Devil, then you show that you not only believe in him in your heart, but if it is him that you worship and serve, then you believe in his adversary, God Almighty, and in desecrating the Holy Eucharist (or even wishing to), you show that you believe in Jesus Christ and are acting in opposition to Christ (anti-Christ), whether you fully understand that or not.

There is a reason that the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club and the Satanic Temple honestly believed that they could have this kind of an affair without much notice from the rest of the world. All forms and kinds of wickedness and evil take place on our college campuses in America each and every day without being hidden at all, often with either the implicit allowance or the explicit consent of university officialdom. If you are reading this and you think that I am exaggerating, you probably haven’t been to college in the last 30 years or so. All sorts of things which promote and encourage sin occur on our campuses on a daily basis under the watchful eyes of administrators, and these things usually are allowed to happen in the namStudent Center Signe of tolerance and inclusion. Unless the administration of a particular university is very deeply committed to what we might call a traditional Christian worldview, there is very little of the pleasures and pursuits of this world and the Prince of this World that would not be seen as acceptable or at least tolerable in many a campus environment, if not most of them.

That is why what happened at Harvard in response to this shows us that there is real reason for hope. Keep in mind that this is a part of the country which, while filled with nominal Catholics, is helping to drive the engine of increasing secularism. Yet when Jesus was so obviously and visibly under attack, the whole community ultimately came, either directly or indirectly, to Christ’s defense. In their hearts people still yearn for Truth, and they still want to love Jesus when the Gospel is presented to them, no matter what their background or where they come from. That is why our love, our compassion, and our witness for Jesus Christ is so needed and so important in our communities and in our world today.