Thousands of young Catholics made reparation last night. The "black mass" was cancelled. The Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club has done nothing but make a case for Catholicism. To quote Aleteia:
Even if the only thing you knew about Catholicism was that its central form of worship, the Mass, was the target of Satanic ire, you would already have good reason to believe that Catholicism was the true religion. But taken with all of the other evidence for the truth that the Eucharist is Jesus, that the Mass is a Sacrifice instituted by God, and that the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ, Satan is just one more (unwitting) witness for the truth of Jesus Christ and His Church. (Read more.)The Washington Post reports:
The first recorded black mass, Melton said, dates back to the court of Louis XIV of France. Seeking to use black magic to preserve his love for his mistress, Françoise Athénaïs, he enlisted the help of a renegade Catholic priest who drew upon lingering notions of pagan magic to perform the dark ceremony. [CORRECTION: It was Athénaïs who held the black mass in order to hang on to Louis.]
The secret sauce: a consecrated host or Eucharist (which Catholics believe is the body of Christ) and a murdered infant, Melton said.
“They sacrificed a baby in the first black mass,” he said.
The ceremony was believed to combine “old ritual traditions and surviving ideas about magic” with ceremonies from the church, based on the belief that “there were things you could do to mystically align the universe in your favor,” Melton said.
Until the 1960s, the references to black masses in historical documents were usually few and far between. And the rituals usually involved doing something fairly illegal in some way — using blood, desecrating the church or, at the very least, stealing a consecrated Eucharist, Melton said.
In the 1960s, probably the best known satanist of recent years, Anton LeVey, created his own interpretation of the black mass, which, according to Melton, didn’t typically involve illegal acts — just sex.
“Instead of centering it on a host or a sacrifice or doing something with blood, he simply had a nude female for an alter,” Melton said. “It became something that was sexually oriented rather than something that was related to blood or evil.”
Either way, the Satanic Temple managed to infuriate Catholics by initially suggesting that they would use a consecrated host — the highest form of blasphemy.
Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Graves managed to quickly walk that back, but not without a dose of snark:Share
“While Black Masses are supposed to utilize a consecrated host, ours is merely representative of a consecrated host,” Greaves told CNSNews.com. “It is not consecrated. We neither believe in nor invoke the supernatural.”
But Catholics are probably right to question the suggestion that omitting a consecrated host makes the event any less intended to be a mockery of their faith.
According to the Cultural Studies Club: “Our purpose is not to denigrate any religion or faith, which would be repugnant to our educational purposes, but instead to learn and experience the history of different cultural practices.”
Representatives for the cultural studies club declined to identify themselves and answer questions for this story.
Asked whether black masses historically had any component to it that involved actual religious practice, Melton said, “not really. It’s much more of a parody of a religion than anything else.”
Though Catholics believe that black masses are central to the practice of Satanist sects and cults, Melton suggested that Satanism in general and the practice of black masses in particular are far less common.
In fact, since they first appeared in the 16th and 17th centuries, the recorded examples of the ceremonies being practiced are limited, he said. When they did come up, it was rarely in an organized or consistent way.
“I like to say that Satanism is the largest religion in the world that doesn’t exist,” Melton said. (Read more.)