Catholics at Harvard have come out with a good statement on the Black Mass that had been scheduled for last night but, apparently due to the public outcry, was cancelled. The op-ed piece in the Crimson, the university’s student newspaper, gives details about how the Body of Christ is desecrated during the Satanic rite and draws parallels to the burning of a Quran.
Historically, black masses have involved desecrating the Eucharist, which Catholics believe is the real body of Jesus Christ, by placing it on the genitals of a naked woman, urinating on it, and slitting an infant’s throat to pour blood over it.
Early reports from Patheos stated that the Cultural Studies Club “have obtained and will use a consecrated host during this ‘re-enactment’” based on a conversation with the group’s PR director. This would need to have been obtained illicitly from a Catholic church for their purposes. However, the most recent statement released by the Extension School has recanted and assured the public that the ritual will involve an ordinary piece of bread. Conflicting reports have continued to emerge. On Wednesday Undergraduate Chaplain Fr. Matthew Westcott urged parishioners at St. Paul’s to consume the host in front of the priest and ministers to ensure the safety of our most precious religious practice. Actions intended to inspire such fear among the Catholic community have no place among our tolerant and “welcoming” Harvard.
Even if the members of the Satanic Temple do not employ a consecrated host, there are a number of problems with the desecration of Catholics’ most important sacrament. As some alumni have been bold enough to mention, Harvard would never allow a reenactment of the burning of the Quran for the sake of religious or free expression, or even education.