Monologues again

Monologues again

If it’s Valentine’s Day season, then it must be time for yet another round of “Which Catholic colleges will host the V-Monologues?” The Cardinal Newman Society is compiling it’s annual naughty-nice list of Catholic colleges giving room for this deeply offensive play that includes—among other things—a depiction of the rape of a child by an adult, or as the pro-VM folks like to characterize it, the introduction of an underage teen to lesbianism by an adult woman. I happened upon a copy of this piece of ... work once and I can tell you that it’s foul stuff. This isn’t about the empowerment of women; it’s about their degradation.

Locally, the CNS is focusing on three Catholic colleges: Boston College, Holy Cross, and Providence Regis. Rather than address the substance of the complaint, BC’s spokesman chooses to attack the messenger:

But BC spokesman Jack Dunn downplayed the significance of the Cardinal Newman group, calling it a “self-appointed watchdog” bent on spreading misinformation. He said the group “uses this play as an opportunity to solicit conservative donors” and “has been admonished by the Catholic Bishops Conference for using misinformation and scare tactics.”

I’ve gotten to know the CNS guys on a professional basis in recent years and let me tell you that they are aboveboard and are doing the work of the angels here.

In loco parentis and red herrings

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  • “He said the group “uses this play as an opportunity to solicit conservative donors” and “has been admonished by the Catholic Bishops Conference for using misinformation and scare tactics.” “

    Admonished by the Catholic Bishops Conference?  You mean the USCCB’s Bishops’ and Presidents’ Committee, two of whose members are the priest/presidents of Boston College and the University of San Francisco, both of which are set to host the Vagina Monologues?  What a joke this group is!

    Show me the USCCB committee that has made a public denouncement of either Call to Action or VOTF.  You’ll never find it. 

    In fact, didn’t a stink made by the Catholic blogosphere not too long ago get a Call to Action event removed from the bishops’ website?

    Institutional dissent = no cash from me.

  • It is outright false that the Cardinal Newman Society has ever been admonished by the U.S. bishops’ conference.  We have never even heard a complaint from the USCCB.  Dunn is probably referring to a certain bishop on the USCCB education committee who was misinformed by certain educators and then sent a private letter echoing their complaints to several other bishops.  The author of the letter never shared it with the Cardinal Newman Society, and he certainly never admonished us.  America magazine’s editors later published a misinformed editorial that quoted the misguided letter.  “Misinformation and scare tactics”… by whom?

    As usual, Domenico’s analysis is is right on the mark.  Thank you!

  • As a student at the University of Notre Dame, I would ask that you all pray for our president, Fr. John I. Jenkins, CSC, our faculty, and our students so that this “play” may not be performed here again this year. As some of you may know, we were embroiled in an academic freedom/Catholic character debate over the VM last year which did not end well, i.e. Fr. Jenkins ended up moving the “play” to a classroom, but it was still allowed to continue. In my opinion, the best way to avoid this dichotomy is to attack the “play” on a strictly academic basis. The play has no redeeming qualities which merit its performance even once as an “academic event,” much less every year. Using reason alone, the “play’s” annual performance cannot be justified. Ultimately, I’m convinced that it’s a tool of social engineering designed to relax our already wanton morals. The college campuses of today, after all, are the places where this can most easily be done.

    Thanks to Dom’s blog, I learned of the Project Sycamore website back in September. Basically, it’s a group of alumni and friends who want to see ND’s real Catholic identity restored. I encourage you all to explore the site (keeping in mind the vulgar subject matter of these events). Two weeks ago, the project notified its email list that the VM will be performed again this spring. This fact has been confirmed but has been significantly downplayed. The average student may not yet know what is in the works. One cause for hope is Fr. Jenkins’s assertion last year that such events would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If the wrong decision was made last year, hopefully, the right decision can be made this year. Currently, the project is collecting signatures for a petition that will be sent to Fr. Jenkins urging him to stop the performance of the VM. I would encourage all of the readers here to sign it, even if you are not affiliated with ND. As others have done, you can put “Concerned Catholic” or some other note in the “Other” box.

    Actually, Dom, if you could, perhaps, put the petition link into a new post and give it greater exposure, that would be great. I thank you all for all of your kind help and prayers.

    P.S. If anyone is interested in learning more about some of the great Catholic clubs at ND and the activities we sponsor, feel free to email me. We hope that, someday, under the patronage of Our Lady, Notre Dame will be a Catholic bastion once again.


  • “The Vagina Monologues” continues at Boston College, although the situation is interesting.  The V-Day website does not have BC listed as a school with a performance.  However, yesterday the student senate voted in favor of funding/sponsoring the production.  A Dignity of Women week (taking its name of John Paul the Great’s encyclical) is taking place the same week.  Of course, the campus media is trying to silence any mention of that week.  In addition, the cast of the play wants to have a “discussion panel” about the play and its merits after the performance. 

    Since I do frequently run into the president of our university, next time I will ask him if he has ever read the script.

  • For anyone who doesn’t read the linked article, it does not say that PC is showing the play. It does say that PC banned it last year. (Hurray!) There were V Day activities, but they involved awareness of abuse victims, prayer, and Mass. Both men and women were invited and it was said to be an eye-opening, community building event. People got to share stories and ask questions and no one had to suffer from obscenity or degradation.

  • Actually, the article not only says PC is not showing the play, it gives Regis, not Providence, as the third targeted college.

  • “Locally, the CNS is focusing on three Catholic colleges: Boston College, Holy Cross, and Providence.”  That’s incorrect.  Providence banned the show, Dom.

  • No, recheck it.  “The Cardinal Newman Society is calling for the curtain to close on performances of the play at Boston College, the College of the Holy Cross, and Regis College.”

  • Dear Fr. Martin Fox,

    A group of students here at UDayton shut down the performance with, conveniently, a week of events at the same time to respect women.  (The Monologues were performed in the past during “respect women week”)