News has broken over the last few days that a student group will be holding a Satanic “Black Mass” on campus at Harvard University. This is so outrageous that it even manages to surpass my already low opinion of what passes for “tolerance” and “diversity” at my alma mater, which is supposedly the flagship of higher education in America. There has been an uproar among Catholic alumni, and deservedly so. The Archdiocese of Boston has denounced the event in a strongly-worded statement.
Here is the letter I just sent to the President of Harvard, Dr. Drew Faust:
Dear President Faust:
I am an alumnus of Harvard Law School (Class of 1984), writing to ask you to do whatever you can to stop the offensive and “Black Mass” that is scheduled to take place in Memorial Hall on May 12.
This event is deeply insulting to Catholics — it is a deliberate mockery of the Catholic liturgy, and it purports to desecrate the Holy Eucharist, which is the most sacred sacrament of our faith. This event is designed to be hurtful to Catholics. The so-called “Black Mass” displays deep contempt of Catholics, and this event is being deliberately staged and publicized in order to bring maximum public attention to its hateful message.
This cannot be justified by any appeal to “openness” or “diversity”, or by any notion of deference to the free speech of students. It is incomprehensible to me that the university would allow a student group to publicly mock the religious rites of any other faith or the deeply-held beliefs of any other group. Permitting this event to take place will create a hostile environment at Harvard for Catholics, and will send a clear signal that Catholics can be the targets of hatred and ridicule on campus, with impunity. Is that really the kind of atmosphere that you want at Harvard?
Please do whatever you can to prevent this travesty, and make a clear and strong public statement that there is no place for such hatred at Harvard.
Perhaps other Catholics, particularly Harvard alumni and alumnae, could contact the President and express their opinion about this outrageous act of hatred? Or, perhaps you could join with the Catholic students in prayer, as they hold a Holy Hour on May 12 at 8 p.m., the same time as this sacrilegious event?