The Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club and a Satanic Temple from New York have teamed up to hold a satanic mass at an on-campus bar at Harvard University. The organizers are call it a "larger effort to explore the religious facets" that impact their culture.
The even has caused outrage with the Archdioceses of Boston. They asked for the mass to be cancelled saying "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 the charity and goodness, and it places the participants dangerously close to destructive works of evil."
The dean of students at Harvard University, Roberty Neugebore, has addressed the issue saying "While we support the ability of all our students to explore difficult issues, we also encourage them to do so in ways that are sensitive to others. To that end, the Harvard Extension School has worked with the club's student leaders to address specific concerns that have been expressed."
The Harvard Crimson, the university's newspaper, printed the student's point of view on the event. In the statement, the cultural club said "The complaints are founded metaphysical concerns and there is simply a disagreement with regards to how this faith is practiced. The flawed assumption seems to be that because Satan is the representation of evil incarnate for some faiths, the Satanists are part of a hate group and their practice devoted toward denigrating Catholicism…The point of this event is to challenge the stigmatization."
The organizers have decided to continue with the event despite all the criticism. The students maintain the reasoning behind this ritual is to explore other cultures and religions, therefore, getting a deeper understanding of others. In a statement, the club's founder said Satanists "actively embrace their outsider status" and are just misunderstood people.