A student group at Harvard had a devil of a time holding a planned Satanic "black mass" yesterday. The Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club, in tandem with the NY-based Satanic Temple, had originally scheduled the event—a parody of the Catholic Mass—to take place at 8pm on campus. (The Harvard Crimson noted they were going to omit the use of a consecrated host.) But uproar ensued, and while the group made clear that Harvard didn't give it the boot, it noted that "misinterpretations about the nature of the event" led it to shift the event off-campus, the Crimson later reported. Except the group then withdrew its sponsorship after it failed to secure an agreement with a Harvard Square bar to host the event.
But about 50 would-be celebrants, including what the Crimson describes as “four individuals in hoods and one man in a white suit, a cape, and a horned mask" assembled at nearby Chinese restaurant the Hong Kong around 10pm for what seemed to be a black mass. Harvard President Drew Faust earlier issued a statement saying that the university would not prohibit the black mass but "will vigorously protect the right of others to ... address offensive expression with expression of their own." She wrote that she would attend a holy hour at St. Paul's Church to reaffirm her "respect for the Catholic faith," and was joined there by 1,500 others, who marched to the church in a Eucharistic procession that began at MIT, the Boston Globe reports. Almost 60,000 students, faculty, and alumni signed a petition opposing the black mass.