May 13, 2014 08:25 AM EDT
Harvard Student Club Cancels Satanic “Black Mass” Event for Failing to Find New Location (UPDATE)
The Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club's scheduled re-enactment of the Satanic Black Mass ritual at the Ivy League on Monday night was canceled after organizers were unable to find a new location, both on and off campus.
About an hour before the event at the Cambridge Queen's Head Pub was to begin, the dean of student affairs at Harvard's Extension School said in a statement that the ceremony was shifted to an off-campus location, TIME reports. The Club officially called-off the event as they couldn't obtain a spot outside the campus as well, My Fox Boston reports.
"Given that no other location has been willing to intercede, we will no longer be sponsoring this Black Mass," the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club said, LA Times reports.
The student group said that despite strong protests, hundreds of people expressed interest in attending the event. Opponents of the black mass ritual that historically mocks the Roman Catholic Church included the university's President Drew Faust and Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston.
"It's very repugnant. There's a great fascination with evil in the world, but you know, it doesn't lead to anything good," said Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston, Boston Herald reports.
The event by the New York-based Satanic Temple was part of a series exploring different cultures by the Cultural Studies Club. It also included a Shinto tea ceremony, a Shaker exhibition and a Buddhist presentation on meditation.
The club said that the re-enactment of the historic ritual was purely educational. It is "profoundly disturbing to see an entity erroneously labeled as a hate group because people do not share their faith or take the time to understand their beliefs or the meanings behind their rituals," the club said.
Lucien Greaves, spokesperson of the Satanic Temple, said that the Catholic hostility to the ceremony was hypocritical and insulting as the event was not an attempt to ridicule the Church or to provoke the Devil.
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