What Would Touchdown Jesus Say?

Posted by Censor Librorum on Feb 20, 2008 | Categories: Arts & Letters, Lesbians & Gays

A theological seminar for Roman Catholic bishops that had been scheduled for the University of Notre Dame will be moved off campus because of a planned performance of the play “The Vagina Monologues.”

The Catholic bishops made the decision because they disagree with the university administration’s decision to allow a student performance of the controversial play.

The Eve Ensler play, based on discussions with 200 girls and women about their feelings for their anatomy, includes sections about homosexuality, orgasms and rape.vaginamonologues.jpg

The play, usually performed around Valentine’s Day, is being put on by students from about 20 Catholic schools this year, including DePaul and Georgetown Universities and Boston College. But several schools–including Providence College– have banned it saying it sends the wrong message.

“A Catholic university that sponsors a production of The Vagina Monologues would be running at odds with its Catholic mission by promoting and providing time, space and money…to a production that is so deeply anti-thetical to the way Catholics think about sex,” said the Rev. Brian Shanley, Providence College’s president.Regina Bannan, an assistant professor of womens studies at Temple University who has researched Catholic women, said the play helps spark important dialogue about women’s sexuality. “It takes a woman from an object position to a subject position, where the woman is actually expressing her own ideas about sexual experiences, ” she said.

“If the church hasn’t learned anything the last three years about stifling discussion about sexuality, that’s a shame,” she added, referring to the priestly sex abuse crisis.

One of the students who had seen the play did not believe it threatened the university’s need to maintain its Catholic character.

“I feel like part of a university atmosphere is openness about topics without feeling like there’s a boundary between expressing your Catholicism and talking about sexuality and the human body.”

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