** UPDATE: The group announced Monday afternoon it was canceling the black mass. **

Harvard is facing a fierce outcry over a satanic "black mass" that is set to be held on campus.

Here's more from FoxNews.com:

Harvard’s satanic “black mass” will go on, despite widespread condemnation from religious and educational leaders who say the event is an affront to the faithful.

The event, organized by the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club and the New York-based Satanic Temple, is to take place at an on-campus bar and is being billed as part of a "larger effort to explore the religious facets" that influence contemporary culture, organizers from the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club say. The ceremony has traditionally been performed by satanic cults to parody the Catholic church, and officials at the Archdiocese of Boston are furious that such an event could be held on the Ivy League school's hallowed grounds.

“I would say that the event is an attack on the Eucharist, regardless of what the organizers state,” archdiocese spokesman Terry Donilon wrote FoxNews.com in an email. “The event is offensive to Catholics and people of good will.”

The archdiocese called last week for the event to be canceled.

“For the good of the Catholic faithful and all people, the church provides clear teaching concerning satanic worship,” the archdiocese said in a statement. “This activity separates people from God and the human community, it is contrary to charity and goodness, and it places the participants dangerously close to destructive works of evil.”

Monday's event is not scheduled to include a ritual of sacrilege of the Catholic host, or the sacred bread used in the Eucharist, a common component of black masses. Still, the event, which will be held at Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub at Memorial Hall, puts participants “dangerously close to the destructive works of evil,” according to the Boston Archdiocese.

Robert Neugeboren, dean of students and alumni affairs at Harvard Extension School, said the “deeply disturbing” event is offensive to many at Harvard and should be canceled.

“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,” Neugeboren said in a statement. “To that end, the Harvard Extension School has worked with the club’s student leaders to address specific concerns that have been expressed.”

Archdiocese officials have scheduled at least two events in response to the black mass, including a Eucharistic procession in Cambridge.

"The best way to combat hateful speech is to overwhelm it with loving and prayerful speech, and that is what we intend to do," Rev. Luther Zeigler, president of the Harvard Chaplains, wrote FoxNews.com in an email.

The student club, meanwhile, said in a statement that the performance’s purpose is not to denigrate any religion or faith, but instead to “learn and experience” the history of different cultural practices.

In a statement to the Harvard Crimson, the university’s student newspaper, the cultural club said the event does not silence anyone.

“The complaints are founded metaphysical concerns, and there is simply a disagreement with regards to how this faith is practiced,” club organizers wrote The Harvard Crimson. “The flawed assumption seems to be that because Satan is the representation of evil incarnate for some faiths, that Satanist[s] are part of a hate group and their practice devoted toward denigrating Catholicism … The point of this event is to challenge the stigmatization of marginalized groups.”

Nearly 400 Harvard students and 100 alumni have reportedly signed a petition opposing the event.

Father Jonathan Morris, a Fox News contributor, sat down with Bill Hemmer this morning, and called the event a "provocation."

Morris said black masses have traditionally been an "anti-Catholic activity," saying the event "makes a mockery of the most sacred element, which is the eucharist."

In this case, he believes Harvard is acting weakly by allowing the event to be held on campus. The university said in a statement it doesn't endorse the views any student organization, but supports freedom of speech and assembly.

"What would they do if a Koran were being burnt as an expression of whatever? ... Respect is part of a civil society and Harvard should be not only be protecting that, but they should be teaching it to their students," Morris argued.

Watch the full discussion above.


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