Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
Friends of teh decanter will recall that yesterday I put up a post ranting about the Catholic-baiting “black mass” that was set to come off up at Harvard this evening? Well I was quite pleasantly surprised this morning by a statement released by the (deliciously named) President of Harvard, Drew Faust, no doubt in response to the furor that has blossomed up in response to this blasphemy. Money quote:
But even as we permit expression of the widest range of ideas, we must also take responsibility for debating and challenging expression with which we profoundly disagree. The ‘black mass’ had its historical origins as a means of denigrating the Catholic Church; it mocks a deeply sacred event in Catholicism, and is highly offensive to many in the Church and beyond. The decision by a student club to sponsor an enactment of this ritual is abhorrent; it represents a fundamental affront to the values of inclusion, belonging and mutual respect that must define our community. It is deeply regrettable that the organizers of this event, well aware of the offense they are causing so many others, have chosen to proceed with a form of expression that is so flagrantly disrespectful and inflammatory.
She goes on to state that she plans to attended Eucharistic worship and Benediction to show her sympathies to Holy Mother Church in this affair.
I am willing to giver President Faust two cheers for taking this stance in such a public manner. I’m withholding the third because of her refusal to follow through on the logic of her statement and ban the damned thing altogether, a move I’m sure she would have had no moral or intellectual problem making had the offending expression been, say, a cross- burning or the desecration of a pile of Korans. In other words, I think she’s probably acting pursuant to tactical political calculus, not conviction.
Still, this is Hahvahd, so we should be grateful to take what we can get.
UPDATE: A bit confusing, but it would seem that late this afternoon, owing to the general backlash, the organizers of the “black mass” decided to move it off campus. It seems now that, unable to find a friendly venue, they’ve cancelled the thing altogether, at least for the moment. Suck it, Screwtape!
UPDATE DEUX: Well, there’s still some confusion as to what actually happened in re some kind of “rump” black mass – it seems to have dwindled down to nothing more than a few D&D types sitting in some bar – but check out this story and teh awesome pics with it regarding the Eucharistic Procession and Holy Hour got up to combat the sacrilege. I think this is exactly the right response. Indeed, looking at those photos left me walking on air all day today. Laus Deo.