Harvard Extension School's controversial black mass was moved to an off campus location last night amid on-site protests by hundreds of Catholics.
The satanic ritual was supposed to occur at the Cambridge campus' Memorial Hall, but the Satanic Temple moved the event to a Chinese restaurant in Harvard Square.
A black mass is a satanic ceremony that mocks the traditional Catholic mass. The ritual often involves desecration of the Eucharist, and inviting the devil in instead of casting him out.
The University's Cultural Studies Club, who planned the black mass and invited the Satanic Temple to campus, stated that they did not intend to offend anyone, and that the satanic ritual would have been an educational event.
"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," a statement read. "This performance is part of a larger effort to explore religious facets that continue to influence contemporary culture."
The club expressed regret when they were forced to abandon the black mass.
'We are disappointed by the self-righteousness of those who conspire to silence others simply because they claim offense," they said in a Monday statement.
Over 60,000 Harvard University students, faculty, and alumni signed a petition to protest the black mass, and the Catholic community was outraged by the planned on-campus activity.
The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts held a "Rosary of Reparation" event—a Catholic tradition where prayers and devotions are offered to forgive blasphemies.
The Archdiocese of Boston also expressed strong opposition to the satanic ritual.
"In a recent statement, Pope Francis warned of the danger of being naïve about or underestimating the power of Satan, whose evil is too often tragically present in our midst," a statement from the Archdiocese read.
The Archdiocese held a Eucharist procession last night that culminated in a holy hour at St. Paul's Church.