The Satanic “black mass” that was scheduled to take place on Harvard’s campus Monday night will relocate to an off-campus site.
The Harvard Crimson reported that the Harvard Extension School Cultural Studies Club, which is hosting the event, said in an e-mail, “Misinterpretations about the nature of the event were harming perceptions about Harvard and adversely impacting the student community.”
The Cultural Studies Club also said that they plan to hold the mass at Cambridge’s Middle East nightclub at 9:00 p.m Monday, but Clay S. Fernald, the nightclub’s general manager, said that it will not host the event and that negotiations with the club had fallen through.
The student club emphasized that Harvard had not asked them to move their event off campus. A club representative wrote in an email: “Harvard always demonstrated that it understood its responsibility to defend protected student speech. That was always made clear to us.”
In response to the event’s relocation, Terrence Donilon, secretary of communications for the Archdiocese of Boston, said that the Catholic Church still condemns any reenactment of the Satanic ritual, regardless of setting. “We recognize that we’re a country that allows free speech, but we’re also a country that shares in the common good,” Donilon said. “There’s nothing good that comes out of desecrating the central element of the Catholic Church, which is the Eucharist.”