The opinions expressed in the letter below are solely those of the two undersigned individuals.
Dear Fr. Leahy,
The Women’s and Gender Studies Program’s recent production of The Vagina Monologues– a play that has been widely performed on Catholic campuses despite its controversial exploitation of human sexuality – undermines the mission of this university as a Jesuit, Catholic institution of higher learning. The play’s immorality and concomitant affront to our religious principles regarding the dignity of the human person, especially in relation to the female body, are an overwhelming cause for concern.
Having viewed the play ourselves, we have come to the conclusion that the campus of a Catholic university is not the appropriate venue for such a production. We respectfully request that you again examine this issue, for we are aware that this play has been performed on this campus for the past ten years and, therefore, presume that you have made prior evaluations of it and are thus familiar with its contents.
Two points of particular concern to us, among the very many problematic components of the play, are (1) the radical reduction of the female person to her sexual organs and (2) the lauding of the statutory rape of a sixteen-year-old girl as not simply good, but in fact salvific and heavenly for her. In the light of recent Church history, it is incomprehensible how a play that praises sexual intercourse involving a minor can be permitted to continue on this campus.
We now leave you to consider these words of the Servant of God, Pope Paul VI:
“We take this opportunity to address those who are engaged in education and all those whose right and duty it is to provide for the common good of human society. We would call their attention to the need to create an atmosphere favorable to the growth of chastity so that true liberty may prevail over license and the norms of the moral law may be fully safeguarded.
“Everything therefore in the modern means of social communication which arouses men’s baser passions and encourages low moral standards, as well as every obscenity in the written word and every form of indecency on the stage and screen, should be condemned publicly and unanimously by all those who have at heart the advance of civilization and the safeguarding of the outstanding values of the human spirit. It is quite absurd to defend this kind of depravity in the name of art or culture* or by pleading the liberty which may be allowed in this field by the public authorities” (Humanae Vitae, 22).
Christopher J. Canniff Ethan Mack
A&S Honors Program, 2014 A&S 2015
Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor
The Observer at Boston College The Observer at Boston College
*Cfr. Conc. Vat. II, Decr. Inter mirifica, nn. 6-7: A.A.S. LVI (1964) p. 147.
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