Wednesday, March 12, 2008

School named after Our Lady presents vulgar play

The University of Notre Dame in Southbend, IND, has apparently presented the play entitled the "Vagina Monologues" for the past 2 years as a student production and is planning to present it again this year.

Fr John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame University, who approves of the presentation of this play, states he has allowed it, in order to present all viewpoints to the student body. My open question to him is whether Catholics who attend the university WANT all viewpoints (especially those considered sinful by the Catholic church) when they pay the high tuition for Notre Dame and if they did want "all" viewpoints, why wouldn't they save thousands of bucks per year and attend the public universities?

The V-monologues, apparently presents several sub-plays, some of which include chanting, singing and repeating vulgar terms for the female part, much resembling, said one article, "a Billy Graham crusade". Others have described the play as thinly veiled male bashing or reducing a woman to being a sexual object and in the CNS article, it was mentioned that alternate expressions of intimacy like lesbianism are included in the play. According to Bishop D'arcy of the diocese of South Bend Indiana, who opposes Notre Dame's decision and who has apparently studied the text of the V-monologues, one of the subplays portrays a sexual relationship between a woman and a young girl. I suspect that this play will likely be openly or covertly anti Catholic as most of this type of stuff is.

I think that it's a student production, is even worse than were it a professional production because in learning the lines and practicing for the play, won't the students LEARN what the play wants to teach which seems diametrically opposed to Catholic teachings?

Fr Jenkins' feels the student production of the monologues is appropriate because it is presented in a classroom setting, no admission is charged and because "people MAY debate the pro's and con's of Catholic teachings" after the play. I asked the president's office whether one could assume that the students putting ON the play AGREED with what the play preached and she said "yes, we can assume that." I also asked her what would be the reason parents would SEND their kids to a school like Notre Dame if they wanted "all viewpoints" because they can get THAT in a public university at state tuition fees. There was no official answer to that question.

I also informed them that Patrick Reilly of the Cardinal Newman Society has published a book of Catholic Colleges which still DO uphold traditional Catholic teachings and that though the bottom line on allowing this "Play" may be to not annoy the students advocating it, (so they do not choose another school) that the decision might hurt them in the long run where Catholic parents WILL choose other schools, such as those listed in Patrick Reilly's book of colleges.

I asked for Fr Jenkins' email address and she gave it to me...
(this is not listed on the website by the way).

You can express your concern to Bishop D'Arcy of SouthBend Diocese, using the following email address of his secy asking her to forward the letter to him.

Bishop D'Arcy is very much against the presentation of this play at Notre Dame and wrote for a recent editorial in "Today's Catholic" their diocesan newspaper:
"The Vagina Monologues is offensive to women; it is antithetical to Catholic teaching on the beautiful gift of human sexuality and also to the teachings of the church on the human body relative to its purpose and to its status as a temple of the Holy Spirit. The human body and the human person, in the tradition of the church, must never be seen as an object. "
Bishop D'arcy also wrote:
"The theme, however, finds no place in the text in question. In that text, the physical is separated from the spiritual. The body is separated from love. The woman is separated from the man and is even placed in opposition to him. There is nothing of beauty here, nothing of love. There is much here which Notre Dame has stood against and has opposed in recent times, both in administrative decisions and in pastoral work. It is especially painful that this play is being performed at Notre Dame, the school of Our Lady, as many of her graduates call her. She, who is both virgin and mother, has always drawn people in this place to the highest ideals in their respect for one another and for women. Her watchful presence over the campus and her prayerful intercession for Notre Dame over the years cannot be tarnished; but her presence, so often invoked in this place, gives special responsibilities on the rest of us who love her and who love her university."

I do think that Catholics should make their feelings known about this type of deviation from Catholic teachings on a Catholic campus which can mislead many students attending the school. How sad that a university named after the Blessed Mother, the exemplification of purity and virginity and authentic femininity, is presenting such a play.

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