Oscar, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize winner John Patrick Shanley, who just last year lambasted the Catholic Church, excoriated Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and wrote against the Church’s teaching on ordination in the pages of the New York Times, recently visited Merrimack College as part of the Catholic College’s production of his play “Doubt,” according to the College’s website.
At the time of Pope Benedict’s announcement that he was resigning from the papacy last year, Shanley wrote in the New York Times, “Pope Benedict XVI quit. Good. He was utterly bereft of charm, tone-deaf and a protector of priests who abused children. He’d been a member of the Hitler Youth. In addition to this woeful résumé, he had no use for women.”
But his abuse wasn’t directed only at Pope Emeritus Benedict. On the issue of women’s ordination, Shanley wrote in the Times:
The Roman Catholic Church, which in so many ways has been a great boon to the City of New York, has been choked and bludgeoned into insignificance by a small group of men based in Italy.
Priests cannot marry. Why? I will tell you why. Priests cannot marry because they would have to marry women. Women cannot be priests.
Why? Women cannot become priests because of a bunch of old men. These old men justify their beliefs with a brace of ridiculous arguments that Jesus would have overturned in a minute. “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” What about that is hard to understand? If you can become a priest, I can become a priest. Period. Equality.
Shanley wrote, “I have little reason to hope that the Church of Rome will suddenly realize that without women, the Catholic Church is doomed, and should be doomed.”
The writer also stated that money given to the Church has become “a subsidy for wrongdoing and a prop for the continuing campaign against women’s rights and homosexuality.”
Shanley’s play “Doubt: A Parable,” was staged by the Merrimack College’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts. Shanley participated in a panel discussion called “Doubt, Certainty, and the Nature of Public Discourse in America.”
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