10 August 2008

Weigel on V-Monologues

In the latest update from Project Sycamore--which has petitioned Notre Dame University to end Eve Ensler's ridiculous play "The Vagina Monologues" on campus--George Weigel makes a worthy suggestion:
Whether or not to produce Eve Ensler's "Vagina Monologues" - a "play" that mocks the settled teaching of the Catholic Church - has become a tedious annual ritual on many Catholic campuses. Prominent among them is Notre Dame: to the public mind, the flagship among U.S. Catholic institutions of higher education. There, the university's president, Father John Jenkins, CSC, has allowed Ensler's 'play' on campus, acquiescing to the demands of some Notre Dame faculty while rejecting the counsel of other distinguished faculty members and the arguments of the local bishop.

In the patristic period, disputes within and among local churches were submitted to the Bishop of Rome for adjudication. So here's my proposal and my test-case: Let Father Jenkins send Pope Benedict XVI a copy of Ensler's 'play,' asking the Pope whether he considers this material appropriate for production or useful for discussion on a Catholic campus.

The answer, I predict, will not please the spin machine.
Fr. Jenkins's decision is cloaked behind the mantle of academic freedom, but one wonders whether it accords with the Holy Father's understanding of the same:
I wish to reaffirm the great value of academic freedom. In virtue of this freedom you are called to search for the truth wherever careful analysis of evidence leads you. Yet it is also the case that any appeal to the principle of academic freedom in order to justify positions that contradict the faith and the teaching of the Church would obstruct or even betray the university's identity and mission: a mission at the heart of the Church's 'munus docendi' and not somehow autonomous or independent of it.
A number of Catholic universities have already dropped the play, but Notre Dame stubbornly persists in its refusal to listen to the local bishop on this matter.

You can add your name to Project Sycamore's petition here.

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