The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) claims that performances of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ are in “steady decline” after years of protest.
When the play was at its peak in 2003, performances were scheduled for 32 U.S. Catholic university campuses.
Performances for 2009 are scheduled for only 15 Catholic campuses, including DePaul University, the College of the Holy Cross, Fordham University, Georgetown University, the University of San Francisco and Loyola University Chicago.
The play is sexually explicit and favorably describes lesbian activity, group self-abuse, and the lesbian seduction and rape of a teenage girl.
CNS has often headed many protests against the play’s performances, which are sometimes linked to anti-domestic violence campaigns.
“We are hearing from more Catholic college and university officials that they are appalled by the content of the V-Monologues, but they feel compelled to allow campus productions as an exercise of academic freedom,” Patrick J. Reilly, CNS President, said in a statement. “In fact, there is no academic value to a third-rate, vile play presented to celebrate lesbian activity, objectify women and sell tickets, no matter how worthy the cause.”
“Catholic colleges and universities have a duty first and foremost to present the Truth to students,” Reilly continued. “The Holy Father has made it clear that ‘academic freedom’ can no longer be used as cover for ignoring the abuse of Catholic identity. A growing number of Catholic educators are embracing Pope Benedict’s vision for the future.”
The CNS called on its members and others concerned for “authentic Catholic identity” to contact the presidents of Catholic colleges with scheduled performances.
“CNS encourages protesters to be charitable and respectful, with the understanding that most Monologues productions are not officially sponsored by the colleges and universities but should nevertheless be prevented by policies consistent with Catholic education.”
A full list of Catholic colleges hosting performances of the play is available at the CNS website, http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org