.- Archbishop of San Francisco George Niederauer has ordered a parish to cancel the performance of a âgay-friendlyâ play directed at teens. The play was to be performed by students from a Catholic preparatory school.
Archdiocesan spokesman Maurice Healy told the California Catholic Daily that Most Holy Redeemer Church had canceled the play âBe Still and Knowâ at the request of the archbishop.
The parish bulletin said the play, based on the 2007 book âThe God Box,â explores âthe subject of homosexuality within a Christian, adolescent context.â
The book on which the play is based won an award from the homosexual advocacy organization the Lambda Literary Foundation. It was praised by the Episcopalian Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, who said it opens up âlong-abused biblical passages often used as proof texts to denigrate homosexuality.â
The play was first performed on Jan. 30 at the Campbell Theatre for the Performing Arts on the campus of Sacred Heart Preparatory School in Atherton, California. According to a school press release about the play, it âexplores the Bibleâs view on homosexuality and the struggle adolescents have with their sexual identity and their identity as Christians.â
John Loschmann, drama director at the preparatory school, adapted the book for the stage.
The California Catholic Daily quoted the account of one teenage participant in the play. She said on a blog that the play âdoes a beautiful job of defending homosexuality with the Bible, the very thing most commonly used to condemn it.â
According to her report, the play links the condemnation of homosexual acts with the condemnation of shellfish, a common talking point used by advocates of homosexuality, which confuses the ritual purity codes with the moral condemnations conveyed in the book of Leviticus.
âThe show is smart, and powerful, and will cause many people to reconsider their beliefs about homosexuality,â the teenage girl wrote.
Most Holy Redeemer, located in San Franciscoâs Castro District, has repeatedly been in the news for its attendeesâ homosexual advocacy. The parish once hosted the transvestite âSisters of Perpetual Indulgenceâ fundraising bingo games and used to send a contingent to San Franciscoâs âgay prideâ parade.
Despite its friendliness to homosexual causes, the church was targeted by vandals suspected to be protesting the passage of Proposition 8, Californiaâs same-sex âmarriageâ ban. In January, the vandals painted on the church building black swastikas and the words âRatzingerâ and âNiederauer,â the respective last names of the Pope and the Archbishop of San Francisco.