Update on Harvard

So it's real. The Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club, a student group affiliated with Harvard Extension School, is hosting a black mass. Why? So they can "learn and experience the history of different cultural practices." The "performance," says the club "is part of a larger effort to explore religious facets that continue to influence contemporary culture."

Putting aside, the moment, the absurdity of hosting this event for any reason, can it really be said that the black mass (and the distorted worldview of which it's a part) really influence contemporary culture? Which part of culture, and which part of culture of any significance? What's the evidence of this so-called influence? I don't see it. To be clear, I'm not saying that evil doesn't influence contemporary culture; but the black mass? Really?


On so many levels this is so . . . weird, so obviously the product of a system that is rudderless, a system that is adrift and (probably) unreachable. Some might worry about the demonic, but it seems to me less demonic than adolescent, as if the club's trying to see who will get scared first and flip on the lights.  

Nevertheless, this stuff is no joke, no child's play. In the interest of spiritual precaution, I applaud the reaction of the Archdiocese of Boston, which published the following on its Facebook:

The Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Boston expresses its deep sadness and strong opposition to the plan to stage a “black mass” on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge.

For the good of the Catholic faithful and all people, the Church provides clear teaching concerning Satanic worship. 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.

In a recent statement, Pope Francis warned of the danger of being naïve about or underestimating the power of Satan, whose evil is too often tragically present in our midst. We call upon all believers and people of good will to join us in prayer for those who are involved in this event, that they may come to appreciate the gravity of their actions, and in asking Harvard to disassociate itself from this activity.


Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.


The latest from america

If I had ever managed to find time to take the divinity school course on “Troubling New Testament Texts,” I would have lobbied to include today’s Gospel passage on the syllabus.
Elizabeth Kirkland CahillDecember 12, 2018
Why is bad news so much easier to believe than the good?
Terrance KleinDecember 12, 2018
The cardinal is the most senior churchman yet to be convicted of historical sexual offenses. His conviction is a grave blow not only to the church in Australia but also to Pope Francis.
Gerard O’ConnellDecember 12, 2018
Pope Francis has terminated the services of three cardinals who for the past five years were members of his council of nine cardinal advisors.
Gerard O’ConnellDecember 12, 2018