MANASSAS, VA, February 12, 2008 ( – Making a strong statement against the annual performances of The Vagina Monologues on Catholic college campuses, the United States bishops’ Committee on Doctrine moved a theological seminar – which was scheduled to start today, February 11, at the University of Notre Dame – to a nearby convent.

Bishop John D’Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who is not a member of the doctrine committee, issued a statement describing the action as a direct response to the planned Monologues performance at Notre Dame on March 26-28.  In previous years, Fort Wayne Bishop John D’Arcy has publicly stated that the lewd play is “offensive to women” and “antithetical to Catholic teaching.”

The move comes just weeks before Pope Benedict XVI visits the United States, including an April 17 address to the presidents of all American Catholic colleges that many anticipate will repeat the Vatican’s calls for the renewal of Catholic education.

The Committee on Doctrine has seven members: Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., who is Chairman; Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio; Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio; Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Education; Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, N.J.; Bishop Allen Vigneron of Oakland, Calif.; and Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh.  The committee’s consultants include Cardinal Francis George of Chicago and John Cavadini, Chairman of Notre Dame’s theology department.

“Faithful Catholics nationwide are immensely grateful for the public witness of these bishops against this terrible scandal,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society.  “The message is clear: The Vagina Monologues has no place on a Catholic campus.”

The Notre Dame performance will follow performances planned at 18 other Catholic colleges and universities across the country.  The Notre Dame event is especially upsetting to faithful Catholics, because it is the sixth year since 2002 that the nation’s most well-known Catholic university has hosted performances of the Monologues.

In the seventh year of the Cardinal Newman Society’s efforts to rid Catholic colleges of the obscene and offensive Monologues, the number of performances has declined to 19, from a peak of 32 in 2003.

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 performances make a mockery of Catholic teachings on life, love and sexual ethics.