Harvard University students have begun circulating an online petition against a proposed “Black Mass re-enactment” to be held next Monday night.
The petition urges the University to speak out against this event. “This form of satanic worship not only ridicules the central practice of Catholicism, the Mass, but it also mocks and offends all who have faith in Christ,” it reads.
Though the Black Mass, hosted by Harvard Extension School’s Cultural Studies Club, has awakened controversy throughout the University, the group denied any malicious motives. “This performance is part of a larger effort to explore religious facets that continue to influence contemporary culture,” the group said in a statement.
The Cultural Studies Club partnered with The Satanic Temple, a New York-based organization that notably lobbied for a “Satanist monument” at the Oklahoma state capital and applauded the “Hail Satan” signs used by pro-choice demonstrators in Austin, Texas.
In a statement, the Harvard Extension School made clear that it does not condone the Black Mass, but “we do support the rights of our students and faculty to speak and assemble freely.”
But many students at Harvard are deeply offended by the planned Black Mass and hope the university takes a stronger stance.
Harvard senior Jim McGlone helped put the petition together and is urging everyone, not just Harvard community members, to sign. “This ‘reenactment’ of a Satanic Mass is a direct insult and mockery of Catholics and all people of faith. For this reason, Harvard’s statement, affirming its students right to speak and assemble freely, is woefully insufficient,” he told the Daily Caller. “Anyone committed to tolerance, civility, and friendship across differences of opinion and belief will see clearly that this event should not be taking place.”
Those interested may view or sign the petition here.