The Harvard Extension Club embraces Anti-Catholic Culture: MANY Harvard Black Mass UPDATES

by Datechguy | May 7th, 2014

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The Harvard Extension Club embraces Anti-Catholic Culture: MANY Harvard Black Mass UPDATES

When Eliz­a­beth Scalia linked to this post that claimed Har­vard was host­ing a black mass it didn’t faze or shock me. Given the dis­dain for Catholic Belief in acad­e­mia why would any­one expect them to act otherwise?

But when I saw this update to the story:

Fol­low­ing up on this post, I have made a cou­ple of phone calls to the The Cam­bridge Queen’s Head where Made­lyn, an events man­ager, first promised to “research this”, say­ing that her com­put­ers were down. Dur­ing a sub­se­quent con­ver­sa­tion, sound­ing very flus­tered, she and told me she had no com­ment to offer at the moment. Con­firm­ing that she is the Events man­ager, she promised a response later today.

She did con­firm to another caller that the Har­vard Cul­tural Exchange is hav­ing an event there, on May 12.

UPDATE: I just spoke to Priya Dua, PR direc­tor for The Satanic Tem­ple and she has con­firmed that yes, they have obtained and will use a Con­se­crated Host dur­ing this “re-​enactment”. She is hope­fully putting me in touch with some­one who will answer my ques­tions about how the Host was obtained, what they think they’re doing by using a Con­se­crated, as opposed to uncon­se­crated Host, and more.

my jaw dropped.

A con­se­crated host is the actual body of Christ. For a cer­e­mony des­e­crat­ing it being hosted on Har­vard would seem to cross sev­eral lines, lines that I sus­pect would never be crossed if such an event was being hosted that des­e­crated a holy object asso­ci­ated with a cer­tain Reli­gion of Peace™.

But not to worry, Har­vard Uni­ver­sity being a bas­tion of tol­er­ance and respect for the reli­gious sen­si­tiv­i­ties would surely in their offi­cial capac­ity put out a strong offi­cial response to such an event and action by a club bear­ing the schools name to make it very clear that such an act of intol­er­ance would not be sanc­tioned or tol­er­ated by any group bear­ing the Har­vard name...

Offi­cial Response to Cul­tural Stud­ies Event

May 072014

An inde­pen­dent stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion, the Har­vard Exten­sion Cul­tural Stud­ies Club, plans to host a con­tro­ver­sial stu­dent event involv­ing a his­tor­i­cal reen­act­ment of a black mass cer­e­mony that has a nar­ra­tor pro­vid­ing his­tor­i­cal con­text and background.

Stu­dents at Har­vard Exten­sion School, like stu­dents at col­leges across the nation, orga­nize and oper­ate a num­ber of inde­pen­dent stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions, rep­re­sent­ing a wide range of stu­dent interests.

Har­vard Exten­sion School does not endorse the views or activ­i­ties of any inde­pen­dent stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion. But we do sup­port the rights of our stu­dents and fac­ulty to speak and assem­ble freely.

In this case, we under­stand that this inde­pen­dent stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion, the Cul­tural Stud­ies Club, is host­ing a series of events — includ­ing a Shinto tea cer­e­mony, a Shaker exhi­bi­tion, and a Bud­dhist pre­sen­ta­tion on med­i­ta­tion — as part of a student-​led effort to explore dif­fer­ent cultures. 

Media inquiries should be directed to Jeff Neal, jeff_​neal@​harvard.​edu, in the Har­vard Uni­ver­sity Pub­lic Affairs and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Office. 

…or not.

I would note this is an OFFI­CIAL response from the offi­cial Har­vard .edu site.

I gave them a call at 6174954024, they referred all inquires to Mr. Neal of Har­vard Pub­lic Affairs at the e-​mail above but would not give me a phone num­ber so I did a google search and found this site and called the num­ber listed for the vice pres­i­dent for pub­lic affairs and com­mu­ni­ca­tions at 617.495.1585 I was told by a very polite lady that Mr. Neil was in a meet­ing and that if I was on dead­line I should send an e-​mail marked URGENT.

I’ll be send­ing the e-​mail updat­ing this story as I get responses but I can’t help but remem­ber this Mark Steyn piece from 2012:

Pamela Geller was struck by that ad The New York Times ran the other day, “It’s Time To Quit The Catholic Church“, an “open let­ter to ‘lib­eral’ and ‘nom­i­nal’ Catholics”. So she sent in her own ad, “It’s Time To Quit Islam“, an “open let­ter to ‘mod­er­ate’ Mus­lims”. Anal­o­gous art­work, same pitch, only dif­fer­ence being the intended tar­get. The Times’ Senior Vice-​President for Cor­po­rate Hog­wash called to tell Miss Geller that – sur­prise! surprise! – they were way less eager to rush this one into print:

Bob Christie, Senior Vice Pres­i­dent of Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions for the New York Times, just called me to advise me that they would be accept­ing my ad, but con­sid­er­ing the sit­u­a­tion on the ground in Afghanistan, now would not be a good time, as they did not want to enflame an already hot sit­u­a­tion. They will be recon­sid­er­ing it for pub­li­ca­tion in “a few months.”

So I said to Mr. Christie, “Isn’t this the very point of the ad? If you feared the Catholics were going to attack the New York Times build­ing, would you have run that ad?”

Thus the courage of the sec­u­lar left: If you’re going to be “provoca­tive”, it’s best to do it with peo­ple who can’t be pro­voked. Pamela is right. If you want to be treated with respect by The New York Times and the rest of the mul­ti­c­ulti estab­lish­ment, make it clear you’re will­ing to kill them. That’s an inter­est­ing mes­sage to send.

As Glenn Reynolds has repeat­edly put it: May they have joy of the incen­tive sys­tem they’re creating.

Update: Just saw this from the Anchoress who has had fur­ther response from the Satanic Temple:

Dur­ing our exchange, Greaves remarked that his group “had never brought up the idea of using a con­se­crated host” in their pub­lic mate­r­ial, and seemed puz­zled to be asked about it. “It wouldn’t make a dif­fer­ence. We don’t believe in any super­nat­ural power. Con­se­crated or uncon­se­crated, it’s just a cracker.” He and his group are, he said, “Satanist/​Atheists” who have never before hosted a Black Mass before.

If this is the case then I would ask why they are being hosted by the Har­vard Cul­tural Stud­ies group. After all if they are not “true Satanists” and are sim­ply a group out to make a point where is the cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance? She continued

I asked if obtain­ing a Con­se­crated Host through stealth — and using it for an “intel­lec­tual” exer­cise that would con­sti­tute grave abuse to believ­ing Catholics — would pose an eth­i­cal dilemma for them which could affect their cred­i­bil­ity. Greaves won­dered whether any­one con­nected with the group “would waste time going to all that trou­ble. The odds are almost zero.”

Trou­ble, given that there are masses cel­e­brated all over the area every sin­gle day and given that many peo­ple receive com­mu­nion in the hand rather than on the tongue there would be lit­tle “trouble” involved it get­ting a host.

He didn’t seem to have the same sen­ti­ments in his inter­view with Cam­pus reform from the 6th:

Greaves con­firmed the rit­ual will use a “host” although as the group doesn’t believe in the “super­nat­ural ele­ments,” he couldn’t call it a “con­se­crated host” as Catholics do.

Con­se­crated or not, it means noth­ing to us,” he said.

Appar­ently it meant some­thing in terms of PR because Eliz­a­beth Scalia got a fol­low up call

Oddly enough after that con­ver­sa­tion, sur­prise, sur­prise Eliz­a­beth got a call back from the Satanic Temple

Not long after our con­ver­sa­tion ended, Priya Dua called me again say­ing that there has been a “mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion” between mem­bers of the orga­ni­za­tion and that “there will not be a Con­se­crated Host used at the Black Mass.” She had no fur­ther infor­ma­tion for me on how the mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion had occurred, and could not tell me what sort of uncon­se­crated bread would be used, or from where it would be obtained.

Strangely enough he seemed

How about that!

Ok so let’s get this straight then:

The Har­vard Cul­tural Stud­ies group is host­ing an event on cam­pus that includes a Satanic Black Mass from a group that claims not to actu­ally believe in Satan never per­formed a Black Mass and when called on to explain the university’s posi­tion equated a Black Mass to a Shinto tea cer­e­mony and Bud­dhist meditation.

FYI if you google “diver­sity & “tol­er­ance” at har­vard this is the gum that comes up from the Har­vard School of Pub­lic Health

we are com­mit­ted to tol­er­ance, sen­si­tiv­ity, under­stand­ing, and mutual respect every­where within our com­mu­nity, and we hereby affirm our promise to pro­vide a wel­com­ing place for one and all. 

Mean­while we are fur­ther told that the Satanic Tem­ple does not only doesn’t actu­ally believe in Satan, really isn’t going to use a con­se­crated host after con­firm­ing that they were and it’s all just a mis­un­der­stand­ing that wasn’t meant to offend any­body even though the claim a it’s no big deal either way.

Maybe it’s just me but these peo­ple don’t seem trust­wor­thy. In fact I seem to recall a expert on Satan not­ing some cred­i­bil­ity issues con­cern­ing those who fol­low Satan in the past:

You belong to your father the devil and you will­ingly carry out your father’s desires. He was a mur­derer from the begin­ning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in char­ac­ter, because he is a liar and the father of lies.

As Har­vard has a divin­ity school I trust they can fig­ure out the source of this quote.

It’s in moments like this that I really miss hav­ing Michael Gra­ham around here.

Update 2: The posts just keep coming:

Dea­con Greg: What the Hell is Har­vard Thinking

A reader on Face­book was quick to point out that, tech­ni­cally, the Exten­sion School isn’t quite the same as the uni­ver­sity; it uses its name, but not much else.

But that name still counts for some­thing. Doesn’t it?

Read a cur­sory sum­mary of Harvard’s his­tory on its web­site. It begins with a bap­tism, when John Har­vard joined the church at St. Saviour’s Church in Lon­don in 1607. It con­tin­ues with John Har­vard will­ing his library and estate to the school in 1638. It men­tions promi­nently the school’s first pres­i­dent, Rev. Henry Dun­ster, and the leg­endary preacher Increase Mather, Harvard’s first Doc­tor of Divin­ity. It notes that eight Har­vard alumni signed the Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence. And on and on, through pres­i­dents and prize win­ners, across the cen­turies.
The school’s roots are in reli­gion, and in Truth; it’s one word motto, “Ver­i­tas,” says it all.

But now it finds itself inex­plic­a­bly linked to a splin­ter Satanic cult which, using the name of Har­vard, intends to enact a rit­ual that will des­e­crate the Body of Christ.

Rebecca Ham­li­ton

It turns out that yes indeed, Har­vard is play­ing host to the black mass folks, and at least one of them is claim­ing that they’re man­aged to pro­cure a con­se­crated host to use in this lit­tle alter­na­tive cul­ture extrav­a­ganza. Oth­ers of them aren’t so sure they have a host, and after think­ing it over (and get­ting flak from The Anchoress) they’ve announced that, even though they have — or don’t have, depend­ing on who’s doing the talk­ing — a con­se­crated host, they won’t be using it (if they do have it) at their shindig.

Of course, Satan is the father of lies, and these are his dis­ci­ples, so who knows if they have a con­se­crated host or not? Who knows if they’ll use it?

In an inter­view on Mobile Move­ment, the leader of this hardy band of the damned first says that they do, in fact, wor­ship Satan. Then, he goes off on a riff about lit­er­ary con­structs, ref­er­enc­ing Mil­ton and Ana­tole France. Since, as I said ear­lier, Satan is the father of lies, I don’t think it mat­ters all that much what this guy says. Believe it or don’t, as you it suits you. But, if you’re smart, don’t bet any­thing valu­able on it.

Mean­while Dea­con Greg has heard back from these guys:

I am writ­ing on behalf of The Satanic Tem­ple to relay that there will NOT be a con­se­crated host at the Black Mass. This was a mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion on our part and want to let you know that we respect all reli­gions and don’t want any­one to feel offended. We under­stand the pow­er­ful role that the Eucharist plays in the Chris­t­ian reli­gion and in no way want to appear as though we don’t respect your tra­di­tions. Eliz­a­beth Scalia of Patheos is in the process of mod­i­fy­ing her arti­cle to rep­re­sent this. Please remove the cur­rent arti­cle you have posted and replace it with the one that will soon be available.

Please REMOVE? not update, Remove?

That e-​mail con­firms this is now offi­cially a PR dis­as­ter for Har­vard and appar­ently the Satanic Tem­ple as well. It will become more so one once promi­nent Catholic alums, The Arch­dio­cese of Boston and Nancy Pelosi’s office are asked about it.

Mark Shea absolutely nails it:

Demon­strat­ing once again the back-​handed com­pli­ment that the devil always pays to Jesus Christ, the blas­phemy is directed, not toward Zeus, Quet­zel­coatl or Mars, but toward the one true God. In turn, blas­phemy always destroys, not God, who can­not be harmed, but the blas­phemy, who makes him­self utterly small when God desires to exalt him and give him joy.

So tragic. Pray for the poor souls who are open­ing them­selves to very dark things with this act. Also, pray for Har­vard, which would never think of allow­ing acts of blas­phemy tar­get­ing Jews or Mus­lims, but which casu­ally embraces the Last Accept­able Prejudice.

The Python skit he links is hilarious.

Update 3: Just got off the phone with the embassy of the Vat­i­can Embassy and was informed any action or response would come from Car­di­nal O’Malley’s office in Boston as Har­vard is within the Arch­dio­cese of Boston. I’ve left a phone & e-​mail mes­sage with them and will update you with any response that comes.

Update 4: The Catholic league weighs in

The state­ment did not say what was “con­tro­ver­sial” about these three events. Of greater inter­est to the Catholic League is the glar­ing omis­sion: it never men­tioned the Satanic Temple’s “Black Mass.” Yet if Shinto, Shaker and Bud­dhist pre­sen­ta­tions are so con­tro­ver­sial that they demand an expla­na­tion, why wasn’t this delib­er­ate assault on Catholic sen­si­bil­i­ties men­tioned? This was not an oversight.

On the plus side of all of this the num­ber of prayers for all of those involved is likely to be significant.

Update 5: OK it’s everywhere:

Nice Deb at

Bre­it­bart:

The Cul­tural Stud­ies Club char­ac­ter­izes the event as a “reen­act­ment” to be “per­formed” by The Satanic Tem­ple, but report­edly, the group has obtained and will be using a Con­se­crated Eucharis­tic Host — mak­ing the event as real as it gets as far as the Catholic Church is concerned.

The Black Mass is “a mag­i­cal cer­e­mony and inver­sion or par­ody of the Catholic Mass that was indulged in osten­si­bly for the pur­pose of mock­ing God and wor­ship­ping the devil; a rite that was said to involve human sac­ri­fice as well as obscen­ity and blas­phemy of hor­rific proportions.”

Accord­ing to their web­site, the Satanic Temple’s mis­sion is “to encour­age benev­o­lence and empa­thy among all peo­ple.” How mock­ing the Catholic Church accom­plishes that is anyone’s guess.

Good ques­tion.

CNS News:

A non-​consecrated com­mu­nion host will be used in the reen­act­ment, accord­ing to Lucien Greaves, spokesman for The Satanic Temple.

Is it just me or is Greaves mak­ing it up as he goes along?

The Tea Party News Network

While Har­vard claims the uni­ver­sity does not sanc­tion or con­done the event, it is being offi­cially tak­ing place on the university’s campus.

Would they react the same way to a Koran burn­ing on campus

Catholi​cism​.org

Priya Dua, of The Satanic Temple’s Pub­lic Rela­tions office con­firmed to us in an e-​mail that “Yes, there will be a con­se­crated host at the black mass.

An email? That’s con­fir­ma­tion in writ­ing isn’t it?

Lisa Grass

If you are Catholic, please con­tact Car­di­nal Sean O’Malley of Boston and ask him to do some­thing about this.

Me I’d sug­gest con­tact­ing Har­vard grads in the sen­ate and House.

Dea­con Mike

Reminder: Satan is real and so is devil worship.

Yup.

Domine, da mihi hanc aquam!

Harvard’s Puri­tan founders must be spin­ning in their graves.

In fair­ness they never cared much for the Catholic Church.

Tom McDon­ald: Real Satanists Don’t Send Press Releases

Amer­i­can neo-​Satanism is all just a big act from peo­ple who want attention.

I do believe they intended to use a con­se­crated host, because in their first response they claimed they had one. I can’t imag­ine they care at all that des­e­cra­tion of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is wicked, offen­sive, and hurt­ful to mil­lions of peo­ple. They want us to be hurt. That’s why they’re doing it: to wound peo­ple they do not even know, because in their phi­los­o­phy we are beneath con­tempt, and because they don’t believe they’re actu­ally doing any­thing at all. They obvi­ously don’t believe in the Real Pres­ence, so it’s a all a big lark to them, regard­less of the good peo­ple who will weep at the very thought of it. They want those peo­ple to weep, and in this way they are truly doing the Devil’s work.

See, they may not believe in Satan, but Satan believes in them, and he knows Use­ful Idiots when he sees them.

You might ask, “Hey DaT­e­chGuy why haven’t you called Priya Dua or Lucien Greaves and ask them directly.

I say Why would I waste my time on peo­ple that have given dif­fer­ent answers to dif­fer­ent peo­ple both in writ­ing and over the phone over the last 24 hours? If they don’t like it then I shall give them Spock’s answer from The Alter­na­tive Factor:

Inci­den­tally Harvard’s offi­cial state­ment has been altered to include this state­ment from the Har­vard Exten­sion Cul­tural Stud­ies Club

We are host­ing a reen­act­ment of a his­tor­i­cal event known as a Black Mass. The per­for­mance is designed to be edu­ca­tional and is pre­ceded by a lec­ture that pro­vides the his­tory, con­text, and ori­gin of the Black Mass. While a piece of bread is used in the reen­act­ment, the per­for­mance unequiv­o­cally does not include a con­se­crated host. Our pur­pose is not to den­i­grate any reli­gion or faith, which would be repug­nant to our edu­ca­tional pur­poses, but instead to learn and expe­ri­ence the his­tory of dif­fer­ent cul­tural prac­tices. This per­for­mance is part of a larger effort to explore reli­gious facets that con­tinue to influ­ence con­tem­po­rary culture.

Sin­cerely,

Har­vard Exten­sion Cul­tural Stud­ies Club

It’s amaz­ing how quickly peo­ple start run­ning when the light starts to shine.

Update 6: The Anchoress updates with two killer lines, one con­cern­ing the obfus­ca­tion from the Satanic temple

If I want finess­ing and word games, I’d cover politicians.

OUCH! I don’t know who should be more insulted the Satanic Tem­ples or politi­cians. As for Har­vard which is reap­ing the whirlwind

I think it would be a very good thing if Har­vard — which is being sul­lied by asso­ci­a­tion in this exer­cise hosted by the Har­vard Exten­sion — sug­gested that this par­tic­u­lar “edu­ca­tional” per­for­mance find another, ahem,host.

That’s pretty good advice. Will they be smart enough to take it?

Update 7 I received this e-​mail from the Arch­dio­cese of Boston:

STATE­MENT OF THE ARCH­DIO­CESE OF BOSTON
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.

They invoked Pope Fran­cis, that’s bad news for Harvard.

When Elizabeth Scalia linked to this post that claimed Harvard was hosting a black mass it didn’t faze or shock me.  Given the disdain for Catholic Belief in academia why would anyone expect them to act otherwise?

But when I saw this update to the story:

Following up on this post, I have made a couple of phone calls to the The Cambridge Queen’s Head where Madelyn, an events manager, first promised to “research this”, saying that her computers were down. During a subsequent conversation, sounding very flustered, she and told me she had no comment to offer at the moment. Confirming that she is the Events manager, she promised a response later today.

She did confirm to another caller that the Harvard Cultural Exchange is having an event there, on May 12.

UPDATE: I just spoke to Priya Dua, PR director for The Satanic Temple and she has confirmed that yes, they have obtained and will use a Consecrated Host during this “re-enactment”. She is hopefully putting me in touch with someone who will answer my questions about how the Host was obtained, what they think they’re doing by using a Consecrated, as opposed to unconsecrated Host, and more.

my jaw dropped.

A consecrated host is the actual body of Christ.  For a ceremony desecrating it being hosted on Harvard would seem to cross several lines, lines that I suspect would never be crossed if such an event was being hosted that desecrated a holy object associated with a certain Religion of Peace™.

But not to worry, Harvard University being a bastion of tolerance and respect for the religious sensitivities would surely in their official capacity put out a strong official response to such an event and action by a club bearing the schools name to make it very clear that such an act of intolerance would not be sanctioned or tolerated by any group bearing the Harvard name...

Official Response to Cultural Studies Event

 
May 07, 2014

An independent student organization, the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club, plans to host a controversial student event involving a historical reenactment of a black mass ceremony that has a narrator providing historical context and background.

Students at Harvard Extension School, like students at colleges across the nation, organize and operate a number of independent student organizations, representing a wide range of student interests.

Harvard Extension School does not endorse the views or activities of any independent student organization. But we do support the rights of our students and faculty to speak and assemble freely.

In this case, we understand that this independent student organization, the Cultural Studies Club, is hosting a series of events—including a Shinto tea ceremony, a Shaker exhibition, and a Buddhist presentation on meditation—as part of a student-led effort to explore different cultures. 

Media inquiries should be directed to Jeff Neal, jeff_neal@harvard.edu, in the Harvard University Public Affairs and Communications Office. 

…or not.

I would note this is an OFFICIAL response from the official Harvard .edu site.

I gave them a call at 617-495-4024, they referred all inquires to Mr. Neal of Harvard Public Affairs at the e-mail above but would not give me a phone number so I did a google search and found this site and called the number listed for the vice president for public affairs and communications at 617.495.1585  I was told by a very polite lady that Mr. Neil was in a meeting and that if I was on deadline I should send an e-mail marked URGENT.

I’ll be sending the e-mail updating this story as I get responses but I can’t help but remember this Mark Steyn piece from 2012:

Pamela Geller was struck by that ad The New York Times ran the other day, “It’s Time To Quit The Catholic Church“, an “open letter to ‘liberal’ and ‘nominal’ Catholics”. So she sent in her own ad, “It’s Time To Quit Islam“, an “open letter to ‘moderate’ Muslims”. Analogous artwork, same pitch, only difference being the intended target. The Times’ Senior Vice-President for Corporate Hogwash called to tell Miss Geller that – surprise! surprise! – they were way less eager to rush this one into print:

Bob Christie, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for the New York Times, just called me to advise me that they would be accepting my ad, but considering the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, now would not be a good time, as they did not want to enflame an already hot situation. They will be reconsidering it for publication in “a few months.”

So I said to Mr. Christie, “Isn’t this the very point of the ad? If you feared the Catholics were going to attack the New York Times building, would you have run that ad?”

Thus the courage of the secular left: If you’re going to be “provocative”, it’s best to do it with people who can’t be provoked. Pamela is right. If you want to be treated with respect by The New York Times and the rest of the multiculti establishment, make it clear you’re willing to kill them. That’s an interesting message to send.

As Glenn Reynolds has repeatedly put it: May they have joy of the incentive system they’re creating.

Update:  Just saw this from the Anchoress who has had further response from the Satanic Temple:

During our exchange, Greaves remarked that his group “had never brought up the idea of using a consecrated host” in their public material, and seemed puzzled to be asked about it. “It wouldn’t make a difference. We don’t believe in any supernatural power. Consecrated or unconsecrated, it’s just a cracker.” He and his group are, he said, “Satanist/Atheists” who have never before hosted a Black Mass before.

If this is the case then I would ask why they are being hosted by the Harvard Cultural Studies group.  After all if they are not “true Satanists” and are simply a group out to make a point where is the cultural significance?  She continued

I asked if obtaining a Consecrated Host through stealth — and using it for an “intellectual” exercise that would constitute grave abuse to believing Catholics — would pose an ethical dilemma for them which could affect their credibility. Greaves wondered whether anyone connected with the group “would waste time going to all that trouble. The odds are almost zero.”

Trouble, given that there are masses celebrated all over the area every single day and given that many people receive communion in the hand rather than on the tongue there would be little  “trouble” involved it getting a host.

He didn’t seem to have the same sentiments in his interview with Campus reform from the 6th:

 

Greaves confirmed the ritual will use a “host” although as the group doesn’t believe in the “supernatural elements,” he couldn’t call it a “consecrated host” as Catholics do.

“Consecrated or not, it means nothing to us,” he said.

 

Apparently it meant something in terms of PR because Elizabeth Scalia got a follow up call

Oddly enough after that conversation, surprise, surprise Elizabeth got a call back from the Satanic Temple

Not long after our conversation ended, Priya Dua called me again saying that there has been a “miscommunication” between members of the organization and that “there will not be a Consecrated Host used at the Black Mass.” She had no further information for me on how the miscommunication had occurred, and could not tell me what sort of unconsecrated bread would be used, or from where it would be obtained.

Strangely enough he seemed

How about that!

Ok so let’s get this straight then:

The Harvard Cultural Studies group is hosting an event on campus that includes a Satanic Black Mass from a group that claims not to actually believe in Satan never performed a Black Mass and when called on to explain the university’s position  equated a Black Mass to a Shinto tea ceremony and Buddhist meditation.

FYI if you google “diversity & “tolerance” at harvard this is the gum that comes up from the Harvard School of Public Health

we are committed to tolerance, sensitivity, understanding, and mutual respect everywhere within our community, and we hereby affirm our promise to provide a welcoming place for one and all. 

Meanwhile we are further told that the Satanic Temple does not only doesn’t actually believe in Satan, really isn’t going to use a consecrated host after confirming that they were and it’s all just a misunderstanding that wasn’t meant to offend anybody even though the claim a it’s no big deal either way.

Maybe it’s just me but these people don’t seem trustworthy. In fact I seem to recall a expert on Satan noting some credibility issues concerning those who follow Satan in the past:

You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies.

As Harvard has a divinity school I trust they can figure out the source of this quote.

It’s in moments like this that I really miss having Michael Graham around here.

Update 2: The posts just keep coming:

Deacon Greg: What the Hell is Harvard Thinking

A reader on Facebook was quick to point out that, technically, the Extension School isn’t quite the same as the university; it uses its name, but not much else.

But that name still counts for something. Doesn’t it?

Read a cursory summary of Harvard’s history on its website. It begins with a baptism, when John Harvard joined the church at St. Saviour’s Church in London in 1607. It continues with John Harvard willing his library and estate to the school in 1638. It mentions prominently the school’s first president, Rev. Henry Dunster, and the legendary preacher Increase Mather, Harvard’s first Doctor of Divinity. It notes that eight Harvard alumni signed the Declaration of Independence. And on and on, through presidents and prize winners, across the centuries.
The school’s roots are in religion, and in Truth; it’s one word motto, “Veritas,” says it all.

But now it finds itself inexplicably linked to a splinter Satanic cult which, using the name of Harvard, intends to enact a ritual that will desecrate the Body of Christ.

Rebecca Hamliton

 

It turns out that yes indeed, Harvard is playing host to the black mass folks, and at least one of them is claiming that they’re managed to procure a consecrated host to use in this little alternative culture extravaganza. Others of them aren’t so sure they have a host, and after thinking it over (and getting flak from The Anchoress) they’ve announced that, even though they have — or don’t have, depending on who’s doing the talking — a consecrated host, they won’t be using it (if they do have it) at their shindig.

Of course, Satan is the father of lies, and these are his disciples, so who knows if they have a consecrated host or not? Who knows if they’ll use it?

In an interview on Mobile Movement, the leader of this hardy band of the damned first says that they do, in fact, worship Satan. Then, he goes off on a riff about literary constructs, referencing Milton and Anatole France. Since, as I said earlier, Satan is the father of lies, I don’t think it matters all that much what this guy says. Believe it or don’t, as you it suits you. But, if you’re smart, don’t bet anything valuable on it.

 

Meanwhile Deacon Greg has heard back from these guys:

 

I am writing on behalf of The Satanic Temple to relay that there will NOT be a consecrated host at the Black Mass. This was a miscommunication on our part and want to let you know that we respect all religions and don’t want anyone to feel offended. We understand the powerful role that the Eucharist plays in the Christian religion and in no way want to appear as though we don’t respect your traditions. Elizabeth Scalia of Patheos is in the process of modifying her article to represent this. Please remove the current article you have posted and replace it with the one that will soon be available.

 

Please REMOVE? not update, Remove?

That e-mail confirms this is now officially a PR disaster for Harvard and apparently the Satanic Temple as well. It will become more so one once prominent Catholic alums, The Archdiocese of Boston and Nancy Pelosi’s office are asked about it.

Mark Shea absolutely nails it:

Demonstrating once again the back-handed compliment that the devil always pays to Jesus Christ, the blasphemy is directed, not toward Zeus, Quetzelcoatl or Mars, but toward the one true God. In turn, blasphemy always destroys, not God, who cannot be harmed, but the blasphemy, who makes himself utterly small when God desires to exalt him and give him joy.

So tragic. Pray for the poor souls who are opening themselves to very dark things with this act. Also, pray for Harvard, which would never think of allowing acts of blasphemy targeting Jews or Muslims, but which casually embraces the Last Acceptable Prejudice.

The Python skit he links is hilarious.

Update 3:  Just got off the phone with the embassy of the Vatican Embassy and was informed any action or response would come from Cardinal O’Malley’s office in Boston as Harvard is within the Archdiocese of Boston.  I’ve left a phone & e-mail message with them and will update you with any response that comes.

Update 4:  The Catholic league weighs in

The statement did not say what was “controversial” about these three events. Of greater interest to the Catholic League is the glaring omission: it never mentioned the Satanic Temple’s “Black Mass.” Yet if Shinto, Shaker and Buddhist presentations are so controversial that they demand an explanation, why wasn’t this deliberate assault on Catholic sensibilities mentioned? This was not an oversight.

On the plus side of all of this the number of prayers for all of those involved is likely to be significant.

Update 5:  OK it’s everywhere:

Nice Deb at

Breitbart:

 

The Cultural Studies Club characterizes the event as a “reenactment” to be “performed” by The Satanic Temple, but reportedly, the group has obtained and will be using a Consecrated Eucharistic Host – making the event as real as it gets as far as the Catholic Church is concerned.

The Black Mass is “a magical ceremony and inversion or parody of the Catholic Mass that was indulged in ostensibly for the purpose of mocking God and worshipping the devil; a rite that was said to involve human sacrifice as well as obscenity and blasphemy of horrific proportions.”

According to their website, the Satanic Temple’s mission is “to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people.” How mocking the Catholic Church accomplishes that is anyone’s guess.

 

Good question.

CNS News:

A non-consecrated communion host will be used in the reenactment, according to Lucien Greaves, spokesman for The Satanic Temple.

Is it just me or is Greaves making it up as he goes along?

The Tea Party News Network

 

While Harvard claims the university does not sanction or condone the event, it is being officially taking place on the university’s campus.

 

Would they react the same way to a Koran burning on campus

Catholicism.org

Priya Dua, of The Satanic Temple’s Public Relations office confirmed to us in an e-mail that “Yes, there will be a consecrated host at the black mass.

An email? That’s confirmation in writing isn’t it?

Lisa Grass

If you are Catholic, please contact Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston and ask him to do something about this.

Me I’d suggest contacting Harvard grads in the senate and House.

Deacon Mike

Reminder: Satan is real and so is devil worship.

Yup.

Domine, da mihi hanc aquam!

Harvard’s Puritan founders must be spinning in their graves.

In fairness they never cared much for the Catholic Church.

Tom McDonald: Real Satanists Don’t Send Press Releases

American neo-Satanism is all just a big act from people who want attention.

I do believe they intended to use a consecrated host, because in their first response they claimed they had one. I can’t imagine they care at all that desecration of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is wicked, offensive, and hurtful to millions of people. They want us to be hurt. That’s why they’re doing it: to wound people they do not even know, because in their philosophy we are beneath contempt, and because they don’t believe they’re actually doing anything at all. They obviously don’t believe in the Real Presence, so it’s a all a big lark to them, regardless of the good people who will weep at the very thought of it. They want those people to weep, and in this way they are truly doing the Devil’s work.

See, they may not believe in Satan, but Satan believes in them, and he knows Useful Idiots when he sees them.

You might ask, “Hey DaTechGuy why haven’t you called Priya Dua or Lucien Greaves and ask them directly.

I say Why would I waste my time on people that have given different answers to different people both in writing and over the phone over the last 24 hours? If they don’t like it then I shall give them Spock’s answer from The Alternative Factor:

Incidentally Harvard’s official statement has been altered to include this statement from the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club

We are hosting a reenactment of a historical event known as a Black Mass. The performance is designed to be educational and is preceded by a lecture that provides the history, context, and origin of the Black Mass. While a piece of bread is used in the reenactment, the performance unequivocally does not include a consecrated host. Our purpose is not to denigrate any religion or faith, which would be repugnant to our educational purposes, but instead to learn and experience the history of different cultural practices. This performance is part of a larger effort to explore religious facets that continue to influence contemporary culture.

Sincerely,

Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club

It’s amazing how quickly people start running when the light starts to shine.

Update 6:  The Anchoress updates with two killer lines, one concerning the obfuscation from the Satanic temple

If I want finessing and word games, I’d cover politicians.

OUCH!  I don’t know who should be more insulted the Satanic Temples or politicians.  As for Harvard which is reaping the whirlwind

I think it would be a very good thing if Harvard — which is being sullied by association in this exercise hosted by the Harvard Extension — suggested that this particular “educational” performance find another, ahem,host.

That’s pretty good advice.  Will they be smart enough to take it?

Update 7:   I received this e-mail from the Archdiocese of Boston:

STATEMENT OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON
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.

They invoked Pope Francis, that’s bad news for Harvard.

DaTechGuy on DaRadio Saturday Noon EST. WBNW AM 1120 Concord WPLM 1390 Plymouth WESO 970 Southbridge, FTR Radio, the 405 Media

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