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?

Advertisement

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.

Amen.

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

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

 Pope Francis arrives in procession to celebrate Mass marking the feast of Pentecost in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 20. The pope at his "Regina Coeli" announced that he will create 14 new cardinals June 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Eleven of the new cardinals are under the age of 80 and so have the right to vote in the next conclave.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 20, 2018
Images: AP, Wikimedia Commons
Bishop Curry described Teilhard as “one of the great minds, great spirits of the 20th century.”
Angelo Jesus CantaMay 19, 2018
Both men were close to each other in life, and both are much revered by Pope Francis.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 19, 2018
The Gaza Nakba demonstrations this week have done nothing to advance the situation of Palestinian refugees, nor did they provide relief to the people of Gaza, who dwell in an open-air prison, hemmed in and oppressed at every turn.