Voices standing up for the truth do matter, it seems. This morning, Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust released a public statement saying that the “Black Mass” would be allowed to go ahead as planned at the Queen’s Head pub on Harvard Campus, bowing to the idea that this was an exercise , but she was none too pleased.
“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.”
In an editorial in the Harvard Crimson, Father Francis Clooney, who is the Parkman Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, blasted the university itself for showing what appeared to be a serious lack of understanding about what a “Black Mass” is really all about.
“This is, after all, a practice that, as far as its murky history reveals, seems often to have included the inversion and blaspheming of Catholic sacramental practice, as well as actual worship of Satan. Will these dimensions be present in Monday’s enactment? And what’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…If only the University had managed to show that it recognizes the potentially great differences between ‘a Shinto tea ceremony,’ ‘a Shaker exhibition,’ and this black mass.”
The editorial page of the Crimson is littered with apparent universal condemnation of the planned devil worship, some of it coming from quarters which certainly can’t always be seen as “friends of the Church.” The response of the Harvard Extension School Cultural Studies Club is to announce as of approximately 6:00 pm tonight that the “Black Mass is being moved off campus. Originally it was being relocated to a place called the Middle East Nightclub, but the folks at the Middle East have told the Crimson that there will be no smells and bells for the Adversary coming from their establishment tonight.
But Clay S. Fernald, the general manager of The Middle East, said Monday evening that the nightclub will not host the event, and that negotiations with the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club had fallen through.
Fernald declined to comment on why negotiations had ended.
…And we don’t really need to know Mr. Fernald, but this decision makes me want to encourage Life At 25 readers to visit your club for a pint the next time they have reason to be in Boston just because y’all have better things to do than give quarter to Satanists.
To be sure, people offend God every day, and we all have, it is called sin. The answer to sin, however, is the Truth, and the Truth is a person, Jesus Christ. A “Black Mass” defiles the very One who came in love to save humanity, and it is nice to see that a few people care enough about Jesus to save him from one of the worst forms of insult the Devil can muster.
Yes, standing up for what is right can do some good.