Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bishop D'Arcy Responds to Notre Dame

Below is a portion of Bishop John M. D'Arcy's statement in response to Fr. John Jenkins' decision to allow performance of The Vagina Monologues at Notre Dame:
... Some claim that a performance of the play followed by a panel will “engage the culture” and that out of such a discussion the “truth will emerge.” Sadly, “Ex Corde Ecclesiae” is even cited in defense of this position. But what makes a Catholic university distinctive is the conviction that in the search for truth, we do not start from scratch; we start from the truth that has been revealed to us in the Word of God, the person of Jesus Christ, and the teaching of his church. The notion that truth will emerge from a discussion in which many points of view are represented both disrespects revealed truth and separates the search for truth from the certainty of faith; instead, as Pope John Paul II stated in “Ex Corde Ecclesiae”: “A Catholic university’s privileged task is ‘to unite existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the fount of truth.’” — John Paul II, Discourse to the Institut Catholique de Paris, June, 1, 1980, cited in “Ex Corde Ecclesiae,” 1.

For these reasons, I believe that the performing of this play, even with one or more persons willing to present Catholic teaching, is in direct opposition to both the spirit and letter of “Ex Corde Ecclesiae.” Also, because it depicts and endorses sinful sexual acts in direct opposition to church teaching, I believe its performance to be pornographic and spiritually harmful. This judgment is made after prayer, reflection and dialogue and after preparing several statements over many years.

Because of this pastoral finding, of which I am convinced, and keeping in mind primarily the spiritual welfare of our young students, the good name of Notre Dame and her well-earned position of academic and Catholic leadership, and the blessed Easter week — I remain hopeful that Father Jenkins will reconsider his decision for this year and future years. A decision not to sponsor the play is not only consistent with academic freedom but is a right use of such freedom for it shows respect for the truth, for the common good and the rights of others. (ef. “Ex Corde Ecclesiae,” 12)

[Read the whole thing]

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Notre Dame President Approves Vagina Monologues - Performances to Coincide with Feast of Annunciation [UPDATED]

Catholic Bishops Seminar Won’t Meet at Notre Dame Because of "Vagina Monologues"

No Monologues on Notre Dame Campus This Year

Backing Down at Notre Dame - Selling Our Kids' Souls for Job Security

Weigel: A Golden Dome Opportunity Missed

An Open Letter to the Notre Dame Community Regarding Catholic Identity [UPDATED AGAIN]

Bishop D'Arcy Issues "Pastoral Response" to Father Jenkins' "Closing Statement"

Rape Survivor (ND Graduate) "Shocked" and "Depressed" by Father Jenkins' "Closing Statement"

Bishop D'Arcy Denounces Notre Dame Policy

Some GOOD Things Happening at Notre Dame, Too

The "Scooby Doo" Ending to the Academic Freedom Debate at Notre Dame

An Open Letter to the Notre Dame Community Regarding Catholic Identity [UPDATED]

Father John Jenkins, Moral Coward

More of the Same at Our Lady's University?

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