Respect bishops’ wishes, move ‘Monologues’
Letter to the Editor | Monday, February 18, 2008
Something is wrong here. The University is planning on hosting the “Vagina Monologues” on campus at the expense of a visit from our esteemed Catholic bishops. Last year our own Bishop John D’Arcy said no to the “Monologues” and the recent actions of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) to move their theological seminar off campus reiterate what our Church has been telling us all along. The “Monologues,” despite its good intentions, “violates the truth about women, the truth about sexuality, the truth about male and female and the truth about the human body” (D’Arcy, 2005).
We hear a lot about “discussion,” but do we even stop to consider the statements of our own bishop or the actions of the USCCB? By avoiding the misconceptions and vulgarities contained in the “Monologues,” our bishops are not trying to censor but lead us into an authentic search for truth. Sam Cahill said it best in his Feb. 13 Letter to the Editor (“‘Monologues’ promote discussion”): “We are at Notre Dame to find the truth: Let’s seek it with courage and charity, trusting that God will not mislead us.” I, for one, wholeheartedly trust that God will not mislead us. Therefore, we must put our search for truth on the shoulders of God’s Word, not Eve Ensler’s “Monologues.” As such, we must find a uniquely Catholic way to end violence against women and empower men and women to live in the fullness of their sexuality. For example, the Edith Stein Project is one way that the Notre Dame community already discusses issues of human sexuality in a respectful and fruitful way. Saying no to the “Monologues” does not imply that we are saying no to women’s issues. Instead, we respect the dignity of women so much that we must deny any material that attempts to empower women through sin.
This is a wake up call, Notre Dame. If our own Church officials refuse to even step foot on our campus, something has got to be wrong. Our bishops sincerely said no to the “Monologues” because they see something that no one else apparently sees: encouraging promiscuity is not the way to end violence against women. The “Monologues” should be moved back off campus so there is no confusion on where we stand. Let’s come to our senses, listen to our bishops and help end violence against women through embracing our Catholicity, not shunning it.