Tim Drake

12 Catholic colleges to host obscene play The Vagina Monologues this year

Tim Drake
By Tim Drake

February 12, 2013 (CNS) - The Cardinal Newman Society has confirmed that at least 12 Catholic colleges and universities will be hosting on-campus productions of the play The Vagina Monologues in 2013. That number is up from nine last year.

Proceeds from performances at the University of San Francisco will support a group that advocates “reproductive justice” and homosexual rights. The V-Day organization reports that students at Marquette have plans for a performance benefiting Planned Parenthood.

Catholic bishops and college presidents have pointed out that The V-Monologues distorts human sexuality and celebrates sinful behaviors, including lesbian activity and masturbation. One scene even declares a lesbian rape of a teenage girl her “salvation” which raised her into “a kind of heaven.”

In 2004, the late Bishop John D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend wrote in protest against the University of Notre Dame’s performance of the play:

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.

This play violates the truth about women; the truth about sexuality; the truth about male and female, and the truth about the human body. 

In 2006, Providence College President Father Brian Shanley, O.P., explained his opposition to the play:

A V-Day presentation of The Vagina Monologues is not appropriate for a school with our mission. Far from celebrating the complexity and mystery of female sexuality, The Vagina Monologues simplifies and demystifies it by reducing it to the vagina. In contrast, Roman Catholic teaching sees female sexuality as ordered toward a loving giving of self to another in a union of body, mind and soul that is ordered to the procreation of new life. The deeper complexity and mystery lies in the capacity of human sexuality, both male and female, to sacramentalize the love of God in marriage.Any depiction of female sexuality that neglects its unitive and procreative dimensions diminishes its complexity, its mystery and its dignity. Moreover, to explore fully the dignity of woman requires not only a consideration of female sexuality, but also of the capacity of women for intellectual, artistic, moral and spiritual activity; none of these dimensions are featured in The Vagina Monologues.

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But some on Catholic campuses disagree.

“I think the ability to pursue truth and discuss things is important,” said Nick Kaplan, contact person for the play and assistant professor of Spanish at Michigan’s Siena Heights University, where a student group is sponsoring two performances of the play.

The play is often promoted as supporting the end to violence against women, and is used as a fundraiser by many schools to support women’s shelters.

But for more than a decade, The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) has opposed performances as inappropriate vehicles for fundraising, even for a worthy cause.

“The dirty dozen Catholic colleges that are hosting The V-Monologues this year are out of step with the rest of American Catholic higher education,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “The play is vile and corrosive, with no academic value.”

CNS has monitored the internet and campus publications for evidence of Catholic colleges and universities hosting The V-Monologues since 2001.The number of campuses with performances of the play reached a high of 32 in 2003.

CNS has contacted each of the colleges and asked them to confirm whether or not the The V-Monologues are indeed taking place. In the end, CNS confirmed that 12 Catholic colleges and universities have been identified as hosting the play.

The following Catholic institutions were listed either on the website VDay.org or elsewhere online, and/or confirmed to CNS on the phone or via email as hosting The V-Monologues in 2013:

Bellarmine University has the play on both March 23 and March 24 at Hilary’s in Horrigan Hall. The calendar for the Office of Multicultural Affairs says that the performance is independently funded by the performers themselves.

“Bellarmine University does not sponsor or host the event,” said Arielle Danielle Clark, the contact for the play. “A group of students who happen to attend Bellarmine University perform the production every year. Bellarmine University does not endorse, and is not in any way connected to The Vagina Monologues. In our advertisements, our production is known as ‘The Vagina Monologues at Bellarmine University’…so that people who are interested in seeing the monologues know the location of them.”

The College of the Holy Cross’ Women’s Forum is sponsoring performances on Feb. 25 and 26 in the Hogan Campus Center Ballroom. Cristal Steuer, manager of Communications and Media Relations, confirmed that the performance is taking place.

Dominican University is hosting a student-directed production of the play on Feb. 14 in the Priory Campus Auditorium, sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies Program. Daniel Armstrong, public relations manager, confirmed the performance.

The Georgetown University website lists at least four performances between Feb. 21 and 24 presented by Georgetown University Take Back the Night.

In addition, Georgetown University Law Center also has a showing pending on Feb. 21.The Vagina Monologues funds were allocated by the Student Bar Association to the Law Students for Reproductive Justice.

Loyola University Chicago’s V-Day Club is planning performances on March 15 and 16 in the Mundelein Auditorium. The performances are being sponsored by the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership, according to Steve Christensen, communications manager.

The Saint Mary’s College of California Women’s Resource Center boasts that its Feb. 15 presentation of the play in The Soda Center is its 10th annual.

Seattle University’s Society of Feminists student group is putting on a performance of the play on March 1, 2, and 3, in the University’s Pigott Auditorium. It is the fifth time the play has been presented at Seattle University, though Stacy Howard, media relations specialist, said that it is neither “hosted or sponsored” by the university.

A sorority at Siena Heights University in Michigan is sponsoring a performance on April 19 and 20. Nick Kaplan, assistant professor of Spanish at the university, who is listed as a contact for the play, confirmed that the performances are taking place.

The University of Detroit Mercy’s Women and Gender Studies Program and Theatre Department are co-sponsoring a production on Feb. 28 in the Student Center.

University of San Francisco’s The College Players plan to perform the play, which they describe as an “annual tradition,” on April 27 and 28 in the McLaren Complex. College Players’ student Terazia Jeanne confirmed the performances would be taking place. They will benefit the Alliance for Girls, a San Francisco organization that among other things promotes "reproductive justice" and homosexual rights. The keynote speaker for the Alliance's Feb. 28 conference will be Kate Kendall of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which works to legalize same-sex "marriage." And an upcoming Alliance luncheon with the ACLU of Northern California will celebrate "reproductive justice" including "a woman's right to choose."

Anne-Marie Devine, senior director of media relations at USF, said that she could not confirm the information.

“There is talk The College Players have selected that play, but it is not set in stone,” said Devine.

Xavier University of Ohio’s student group, Students for Women’s Progress, is sponsoring a production April 2 at Xavier’s Kelley Auditorium. “University administrators are working with faculty and SWP to ensure that information and viewpoints from an appropriate range of different perspectives will be presented, allowing students to pursue truth, all within the context of Xavier as a Jesuit Catholic University,” said Kelly Leon,director for strategic communication.

In addition to the 12 confirmed, three additional showings were either in the planning process or being performed off-campus by a campus student group. They include: 

Una – The Feminist Voice at SLU, a sanctioned student club at Saint Louis University, is sponsoring an off-campus performance on March 7 and 8.

As of publication date, the student group Empowerment at Marquette University had submitted a request to perform the play April 5 in the AMU Ballroom, but The Cardinal Newman Society was told by Andy Brodzeller, media relations specialist, that the request had not yet gone through the University’s approval process, and that it “would not be approved as submitted.” According to V-Day, the intended beneficiary is Planned Parenthood.

“As Marquette has done in the past, we will require that any production be sponsored and held by an academic program or department and not a student organization,” said Brodzeller. “This ensures any production is performed in an academic context,with appropriate discussion allowing multiple viewpoints to be heard, including the relevance of Catholic teaching to the issues raised.”

Finally, it’s not clear whether or not a performance is taking place at Loyola University New Orleans, but the V-Day website shows that someone registered for an event. Director of Public Affairs Meredith Hartley told CNS that she expected the Alpha Psi Omega national honors fraternity would be sponsoring a performance of the play again this year, as they have done in the past, but could not provide information on the dates, times, or locations of the performances. James Shields, communications coordinator, however, said that nothing is scheduled and there’s no indication the event will take place.

Reprinted with permission from The Catholic Education Daily.

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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

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Kasper: Cardinals defending Catholic teaching on marriage are attacking Pope Francis

Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary
By Hilary White

ROME -- Cardinal Walter Kasper, who unveiled a plan at last February’s consistory of cardinals to admit divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to Communion without receiving sacramental absolution, is claiming again in the Italian press that he has Pope Francis’ backing. Kasper said the cardinals who are opposing his plan are, in fact, targeting the pope himself.

In interviews published over the last two days in Italy and Germany, Kasper has depicted himself as a victim of an “ideological” campaign.

“They claim to know on their own what truth is, but Catholic doctrine is not a closed system, but a living tradition that develops,” Kasper said yesterday in the Italian paper Il Matino.  “Some of the next Synod want an ideological war. The doctrine of the Church is open, but they want a crystallized truth.”

Responding to the publication of a book of essays defending traditional teaching by five cardinals and other theologians, Kasper said, “The target of the controversy is not me, but the Pope.”

Asked whether he expects a “doctrinal war in the Synod” Kasper said, “I certainly don’t want it. They perhaps want it. I think of a pastoral Synod.” He added that the pope “also wants a pastoral synod.”

“I’m not naïve,” Kasper said. “I knew that there are other positions, but I didn't think that the debate would become, and now is shown to be also, without manners.”

“Not one of my fellow Cardinals ever spoke to me. I, instead, [spoke] twice with the Holy Father. I agreed upon everything with him. He was in agreement. What can a cardinal do, except be with Pope? I am not the target, the target is another one.”

Kasper again claimed that Pope Francis knew what he was going to propose and fully approved of his speech.

“They know that I have not done these things by myself,” he said. “I agreed with the Pope, I spoke twice with him. He showed himself content [with the proposal]. Now, they create this controversy. A Cardinal must be close to the Pope, by his side. The Cardinals are the Pope's cooperators.”

In another interview with the Tablet, a liberal Catholic magazine in the UK, Kasper said that he has the “impression” that Pope Francis is open to his idea. “I hope the bishops will listen to the voice of people who live as divorced and remarried – the sensus fidei. They should listen and then next year they should decide what is possible and what is not possible.”  

Since his consistory keynote speech, there has been a steady stream of interviews and articles by some of the Church’s highest-ranking cardinals and bishops explaining repeatedly why any change to Catholic teaching is impossible. The Church teaches, in keeping with the words of Christ in the Gospels that marriage cannot be broken unless one spouse dies, and that therefore those who divorce and remarry are living in a state of mortal sin as adulterers. Only if they pledge to change their lives and receive absolution in the sacrament of confession can they be allowed to receive Holy Communion.

But Kasper’s plan does not include any attempt to directly change Catholic doctrine on the indissolubility of marriage or the nature of the sin of adultery. Kasper himself has also said that Catholic teaching is impossible to change, coming as it does directly from the words of Christ in the Gospel. He says he merely suggests that the Church could “tolerate” a “second marriage” of which it does not approve.

On the second day of the consistory, following Kasper’s speech, Pope Francis opened the proceedings by praising Kasper’s “deep” and “serene” thoughts in theology, and asking for unity among those cardinals present. “This is called doing theology while kneeling,” Francis said.

In an interview given in New York in May, Kasper, who is one of the hierarchy’s most prominent old-school “liberal” theologians, said that couples in what the Church calls “irregular unions” who live chastely “as brother and sister” are indeed exercising “heroic” virtue, but that such heroism is “not for the average Christian.”

At the same time, Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp, known as one of Europe’s more “progressive” Catholic prelates, has published a 22-page open letter to the Synod bishops, translated into several languages. Bishop Bonny has asked for the Synod to move beyond the restrictions placed on Catholics by the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae that confirmed the Church’s ban on birth control and restore the supreme place of individual “conscience” over Catholic doctrine.

Bishop Bonny called for the Synod bishops to close the “gap” between “the moral teachings of the Church and the moral insights of the faithful.” He asked the to Synod to “restore conscience to its rightful place in the teaching of the Church.”

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He dismissed Pope John Paul II’s document Familiaris Consortio, which upheld the traditional teaching on marriage and sexuality, saying that in it “the judgment of personal conscience on methods of family planning features rarely if at all.”

“Many believers, particularly those belonging to ecclesial organisations and ‘centre field’ Christians, were no longer able to agree with the dogmatic texts and moral statements coming from Rome,” Bishop Bonny wrote of the years following Humanae Vitae’s publication. Afterwards, a “succession of documents on sexual, family-related and bio-ethical issues, and with the highest doctrinal authority, was faced with increasing incomprehension and far reaching indifference.”

He complained that the doctrine of Humanae Vitae has since been “enforced with a firm hand,” which has created “exclusion and missed opportunities.”

“This discord cannot continue,” the bishop wrote. “The bond between the collegiality of the bishops and the primacy of the bishop of Rome that was manifest during the Second Vatican Council must be restored and without delay.”

“Whenever I speak with people,” he wrote, “I’m unable to repeat certain formulations from church doctrine without appearing unjustifiably judgmental, without hurting them deeply and without giving a mistaken idea of the church.”

“What do I expect from the forthcoming Synod? That it will restore conscience to its rightful place in the teaching of the Church in line with [Vatican II document] Gaudium et Spes.”

Vatican journalist Sandro Magister wrote today that the rhetoric continues to escalate in the final days before the opening of the Synod, which will make no final decisions and be followed by another meeting of bishops in October 2015.

Magister wrote that the Synod has come to “resemble Pope Francis in one thing,” explaining that “it admits no predictions on how it will develop, far less on how it will end.”

“This is the way the pope wanted it: open to free discussion even on the most divisive points, like for example whether or not to give communion to divorced Catholics who have remarried in a civil ceremony.”

Magister said that Francis started the speculation by allowing the Synod’s preparatory questionnaire to be distributed to the laity in parishes – “on all the questions concerning the family, from contraception to communion for the divorced, from de facto couples to marriage between homosexuals.” This, he said, was taken up by the German episcopate, “igniting expectations of liberalization in the discipline of the Church.”

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Don Feder

The only way to beat our demographic crisis is to confront the Sexual Revolution

Don Feder
By Don Feder

Editor’s Note: The following address was delivered by Don Feder, communications director for the World Congress of Families, at the International Forum: Large Family and the Future of Humanity in Moscow September 10-12, 2014.

If current trends continue, we won’t run out of energy or other natural resources in the foreseeable future. We will run out of people. This global catastrophe will be the result of rapidly declining fertility, known as Demographic Winter.

In 1960, worldwide, the average woman had 5 children. Now, that number is 2.6 and falling – in other words, a decline of almost 50 percent in a little more than 50 years. Today, 59 countries with 44 percent of the world’s population have below-replacement fertility. Many developed nations have fertility rates of 1.5 or lower, with 2.1 needed just to replace current population.

This didn’t happen spontaneously. Demographic Winter is the direct result of the Sexual Revolution – which first became noticeable in the late 1960s, not coincidentally, about the time birth rates began to fall.

The dogma of the Sexual Revolution – which has become ingrained social wisdom in the West -- might be summarized as follows:

  1. Sex is the most important aspect of existence;
  2. When sex is consensual, it’s always good;
  3. The primary purpose of sex is pleasure, not procreation or the physical expression of love;
  4. The primary purpose of life is pleasure;
  5. Inhibitions lead to neuroses and must be overcome;
  6. Sex has nothing to do with morality; and
  7. Sex should not only be guilt-free, but free of consequences -- hence contraception, hence abortion, hence abandonment of marriage.

The prophets of the Sexual Revolution include Sigmund Freud,  “researchers” like Alfred Kinsey and Masters and Johnson, pornographers like Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, and feminists like Margaret Sanger, Betty Friedan, and Simone de Beauvoir.  In the United States, the Sexual Revolution is spearheaded by groups like Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women, the (homosexual) Human Rights Campaign, and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS).

The impact of the Sexual Revolution on fertility cannot be overstated.

For the first time in history, just under half the world’s population of child-bearing age uses some form of birth control. By 2015, the global contraceptives market will generate an estimated $17.2 billion annually.

Overwhelmingly, this is financed by governments, businesses or international aid agencies. Other species have become extinct. Ours may be the first to finance its own extinction.

Worldwide, there are approximately 42 million abortions a year.  That’s more than twice the number of military deaths in World War II.

From a demographic perspective, we’re not just losing 42 million people annually, but also their children, grandchildren and other descendants down through the ages. We are, quite literally, aborting our future.

The flight from marriage has affected fertility even more profoundly than contraceptives. In France, in 2010, more people began living together than married.

In the United States, in 1960, 59 percent of 18-to-29-year olds (those in their prime childbearing years) were married , compared to only 20 percent today.

Once a central reality of existence, marriage is increasingly optional. In its place have come cohabitation, casual liaisons and out-of-wedlock births. Not surprisingly, fewer marriages – especially early marriages -- result in fewer children.

Just as Demographic Winter is the result of the Sexual Revolution, the latter is the result of something called Cultural Marxism – a movement associated with Antonio Gramsci, the Frankfurt School and Herbert Marcuse.

Cultural Marxism was their answer to the failure of worldwide revolution after the First World War. Gramsci believed family and church gave workers what communists called a “false class consciousness” that made them immune to the appeals of Marxism.

The solution, then, was to destroy the family and religion – and what better way to do that than to foster sexual license and a society oriented toward mindless pleasure and away from hearth and home.

While there’s no proof that dramatically declining fertility is what Cultural Marxists wanted, it’s the natural consequence of creating a highly eroticized society where family is viewed as an obstacle to self-fulfillment and children as a burden.

We won’t find our way out of the forest of Demographic Winter until the Sexual Revolution is overthrown -- its prophets exposed and its dogma debunked.

Ultimately, the Sexual Revolution is about death – abortion, contraception, sexually-transmitted disease, pornography and promiscuity, in place of marriage, fidelity, procreation, and responsibility.

To combat both the Sexual Revolution and Demographic Winter, we must embrace a philosophy of life. For does not the Bible tell us: “I have set before you this day life and death, blessing and curses. Therefore, choose life so that you may live – you and your children.”

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Cardinal Dolan greets worshipers and guests on the steps of Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan after Easter mass on April 8, 2012 in New York City. Lev Radin / Shutterstock.com
Lisa Bourne

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Catholic leaders criticize Cardinal Dolan’s defense of gay group at St. Patrick’s Parade

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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New York Cardinal John O'Connor on the cover of the New York Post on January 11, 1993. http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan defended his decision to serve as grand marshal for the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Wednesday, in the wake of widespread criticism from Catholics after he praised the organizing committee for allowing a homosexual activist group to march.

“If the Parade Committee allowed a group to publicize its advocacy of any actions contrary to Church teaching, I’d object,” Dolan stated in his weekly column. On the contrary, he argued, “The committee’s decision allows a group to publicize its identity, not promote actions contrary to the values of the Church that are such an essential part of Irish culture.”

Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, was not impressed with the cardinal’s argument. This is precisely about publicizing advocacy contrary to Catholic teaching,” he said.

“As a Catholic father I find there is rapidly contracting space where this shameful agenda is not stuck in the faces of my children,” Ruse told LifeSiteNews. “The Church should be protecting our children rather than abetting those who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of innocent souls."

Pat Archbold, a popular blogger at the National Catholic Register and who runs the Creative Minority Report blog, lambasted Dolan for suggesting the embrace and promotion of “gay identity” can be separated from the sin of homosexuality.

“This identity is not a morally-neutral God-given attribute such as male or female, black or white,” he said. “The identity is with the immoral choice to engage in immoral behavior.”

“The best that can be said in this situation is that these people choose to proudly identify themselves with an intrinsic disorder.  But in reality, it is worse than that,” he continued. “The people find their identity and pride in sin.  Either the Cardinal knows this or he doesn't, either way Cardinal Dolan reveals himself unequal to his responsibility as a successor of the Apostles.”

The parade committee changed its longstanding policy on September 3 after decades of pressure from homosexual groups. Upon being announced as the parade’s grand marshal later the same day, Cardinal Dolan said he had no trouble with the decision at all, calling it “wise.”

The organizers had never prohibited any marchers, but did not ban issue-focused banners and signs, whether promoting homosexuality or the pro-life cause.

Cardinal Dolan stated in his column Wednesday that he did not oppose the previous policy.

“This was simply a reasonable policy about banners and public identification, not about the sexual inclinations of participants,” he explained.

“I have been assured that the new group marching is not promoting an agenda contrary to Church teaching,” he said as well, “but simply identifying themselves as ‘Gay people of Irish ancestry.’”

The homosexual activist group that will march is called OUT@NBCUniversal, which describes itself as the employee resource group for LGBT & Straight Ally employees at the media giant.

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The network held the broadcast contract for parade coverage. Reports indicated the contract was about to expire, and that NBC joined in pressuring on parade officials.

Cardinal Dolan conceded in his column there were many thoughtful reasons for criticizing the parade policy change, and noted that he shared some of them.

“While a handful have been less than charitable in their reactions, I must admit that many of you have rather thoughtful reasons for criticizing the committee’s decision,” he said. “You observe that the former policy was fair; you worry that this is but another example of a capitulation to an ‘aggressive Gay agenda,’ which still will not appease their demands; and you wonder if this could make people think the Church no longer has a clear teaching on the nature of human sexuality.” 

However, he said, the most important question he had to ask himself was whether the new policy violated Catholic faith or morals.

In stressing that homosexual actions are sinful while identity is not, Cardinal Dolan said, “Catholic teaching is clear: ‘being Gay’ is not a sin, nor contrary to God’s revealed morals.”

Making opinion paramount, the cardinal offered that the parade committee “tried to be admirably sensitive to Church teaching,” and even though the original policy was not at all unfair, the committee was “realistic in worrying that the public perception was the opposite, no matter how often they tried to explain its coherence and fairness.”

“They worried that the former policy was being interpreted as bias, exclusion, and discrimination against a group in our city,” Cardinal Dolan wrote. “Which, if true, would also be contrary to Church teaching.”

When the decision was announced and Cardinal Dolan named the parade’s grand marshal, Philip Lawler, director of Catholic Culture and editor for Catholic World News, called it a significant advance for homosexual activists, and a significant retreat for the Catholic Church.

Pointing out in his column that the media will be correct to concentrate on that narrative at next March’s event, Lawler identified what he said is almost certain to be the result of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“Next year there will be only one story-line of interest to the reporters who cover the annual parade in the world’s media capital: the triumph of the gay activists,” Lawler wrote.

“Photographers will be competing for the one ‘money’ shot: the picture of the contingent from OUT@NBCUniversal marching past the reviewing stand at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, under the benign smile of Cardinal Timothy Dolan.”

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