Harvard president calls satanic Mass offensive

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) Harvard University's president says a satanic Mass planned by a club there is abhorrent and offensive, but she defends the organizers' right to free expression.

President Drew Faust says in a message on the university's website the origin of the black Mass was to denigrate the Catholic Church, mocking a sacred event in Catholicism. She says the decision by the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club to stage the event Monday evening is "flagrantly disrespectful and inflammatory."

Faust says she plans to attend a Eucharistic holy hour and benediction on the Harvard campus Monday evening.

The Harvard Extension School says the club has moved the event off campus. The student organizers say their intent is purely educational.

The Archdiocese of Boston last week said the black Mass mocks the Catholic Mass.