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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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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