Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Notre Dame President Approves Vagina Monologues - Performances to Coincide with Feast of Annunciation [UPDATED]

I received an email today from The Cardinal Newman Society containing this press release:
University of Notre Dame President, Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., announced yesterday, March 10, that he has approved campus performances of the lurid play The Vagina Monologues on March 24-26. It will be the sixth year since 2002 that Notre Dame has hosted the play.

The Vagina Monologues is a sexually explicit and offensive play that favorably describes lesbian activity, group masturbation, and the reduction of sexuality to selfish pleasure. In one scene, the lesbian seduction of a teenage girl is described as the girl’s “salvation” that “raised her into a kind of heaven.”

“The announcement comes as a grave disappointment given the status Notre Dame holds as America’s most prominent Catholic university—albeit not the most consistent in its Catholic identity,” said Patrick Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “This play is a scandal in every sense of the term.”

For seven years, The Cardinal Newman Society and its more than 20,000 members have urged Catholic colleges to ban The Vagina Monologues, resulting in a significant decline from 32 Catholic campus performances in 2003 to just 19 this year.

Father Jenkins released the statement only weeks prior to the much-anticipated visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States, including an address to the presidents of America’s 213 Catholic colleges and universities on April 17. The statement also comes after the U.S. bishops’ doctrine committee snubbed Notre Dame by moving a February 11 meeting off campus, because Father Jenkins would not assure Bishop John D’Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend that plans for The Vagina Monologues would be canceled.

“By approving performances of the Monologues, Notre Dame is in blatant defiance of Catholic morals and basic civility,” Reilly said. “Given the imminent arrival of Pope Benedict next month, the refusal of the U.S. bishops’ doctrine committee to meet at Notre Dame, and Bishop D’Arcy’s repeated condemnation of this play at a Catholic institution, this decision amounts to a public thumbing of the nose to our Catholic leaders.”

A Notre Dame policy, “The Common Proposal of the Chairs of Arts and Letters and Fr. Jenkins,” makes allowances for almost any event on campus, so long as “a knowledgeable presentation of Catholic teaching is included.”

In the March 10 statement, Father Jenkins said: “Notre Dame’s policy on controversial events rests on the conviction that truth will emerge from reasoned consideration of issues in dialogue with faith. …[I]t is, in my judgment, the action that best serves the distinctive mission of Notre Dame.”

Reilly countered: “Reasonable consideration of issues—even of perversity—can hardly mean that a Catholic university should put perversity on display and scandalize its students. Catholics have been discussing and lamenting this play for seven years. It’s time to move on to both a new discussion and much better campus entertainment.”
(emphasis added)

My Comments:
Surprisingly, the press release does not point out that these performances at Our Lady's University are scheduled to coincide with the Feast of the Annunciation of the angel to Our Blessed Lady, which is on 25 March.

I suppose charity demands that we give benefit of the doubt to those scheduling the play that it's concurrence upon the day commemorating the conception of Our Lord by the Holy Spirit is merely an oversight and not done purposefully.

Nevertheless, as if the performances themselves aren't bad enough, to have the play performed in such a location and on the Feast of the Annunciation is beyond provocative in the extreme. This "oversight" should be remedied.

Regular Guy Paul points out that the Feast of the Annunciation has been moved this year from its usual date of 25 March to 31 March.

Nevertheless, we're still talking about performances of the play during Easter Week. They should put it off another week until April Fool's Day.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
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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At 3/11/2008 9:48 AM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

Great news! Like St. Patrick's Day, he Feast of the Assumption has been moved off the March 25th date.

Not that Notre Dame likely knew when the Feast of the Assumption was, anyway.

At 3/11/2008 10:02 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Ah, yes, I see that it's been moved to 31 March. Thanks for pointing that out, Paul.

At 3/11/2008 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay, Maybe your readers would like to read this open letter from my husband, Tom O'Toole, an ND alum, in regard to the V-Monologues.

Open Letter to Jenkins


At 3/14/2008 11:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, Notre Dame decides to bestow upon pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage activist Martin Sheen its highest lay honor.

Now a scandalously obscene and anti-Catholic play --abhorrent to everything that the Virgin Mary represents -- is approved for performance on the campus of a school that purports to be "Our Lady's University." How wretchedly ironic.

What's going on at Notre Dame under the "leadership" of President Jenkins is a sad, sad disgrace.


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