Diocese of Lansing, Mich. Bishop Earl Boyea used an April 4 Facebook post to explain his moral objections to The Vagina Monologues. As originally reported by The Cardinal Newman Society, the production is being performed April 19-20 at Catholic Siena Heights University. Bishop Boyea described the production as being "completely contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church."
Bishop Boyea wrote:
I recently had occasion to read the script of The Vagina Monologues. Oh my. This production is a train wreck on multiple levels. Most fundamentally, it is anti-woman, reducing her God-given genius and dignity to a bizarre emphasis on one physical aspect of her person.
It struck me that the operative word in the title doesn't start with "V" - the operative word is "Monologue." The script is a series of narcissistic speeches about the physical appearance of female sexual organs, masturbation, lesbian coupling, and other topics that are equally dismissive of the true worth of a woman. As one might sadly expect, there is no suggestion anywhere that a woman might find happiness in a loving marriage.
We live in a world that too often treats women like disposable creatures who exist for sex and little else. While purporting to be part of an effort to oppose violence to women, this theatrical event actually embraces the dismissive outlook on women that leads to violence and exploitation of our sisters in Christ. There is nothing redeeming in this "play" and certainly it contains multiple teachings which are completely contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church as well as violations of human dignity.
The bishop's post has received more than 1,200 "likes," and supportive comments from nearly 50 individuals and alumni.
"Bishop Boyea decided to use Facebook for his opening salvo," Michael Diebold, director of communications for the Diocese of Lansing, told The Cardinal Newman Society. "He wanted to be on the record in some fashion about what he feels about the play himself, and implicitly how he feels about it being at Siena."
Diebold said that it's likely that Bishop Boyea will release a more formal statement later.
"He's received tremendous support and is being encouraged to spread that message farther and wider," explained Diebold. "It's likely that he will use his monthly column in Faith magazine."
Students have asked University President Sister Peg Albert to cancel the performance. Michael Diebold confirmed that Bishop Boyea had spoken with Sister Albert.
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