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Et tu, Jenkins?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 05, 2006

Well, it was a nice hope while it lasted.

Declaring that Catholic teaching has nothing to fear from engaging the wider culture, the Rev. John I. Jenkins announced today that he will not ban future student performances of "The Vagina Monologues" at the University of Notre Dame. ...

Jenkins attended a performance of "The Vagina Monologues" on campus in February, and an academic discussion panel that followed the performance.

"These panels taught me and perhaps taught others that the creative contextualization of a play like 'The Vagina Monologues' can bring certain perspectives on important issues into a constructive and fruitful dialogue with the Catholic tradition. This is a good model for the future," Jenkins wrote.

I suppose it was too much to expect him not to crack under the pressure. But it's the "creative contextualization" line that hurts.

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Show 27 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Laity1 - Apr. 07, 2006 7:21 AM ET USA

    Now knowing that "there is room for expressions not in accord with Church teaching" where will the slippery slope go? A "good model" for the future?Why not a play titled "Satan Monologues" wherein EVERY Catholic teaching is opposed? Jenkins said "faculty and departments MUST explore controversial issues". Jenkins said " a Catholic University is where the Church does its thinking" (might be news to the CDF). Jenkins even threw in "no suppression or neglect of the Gospel". What a guy!

  • Posted by: - Apr. 06, 2006 8:39 PM ET USA

    Rev. John I. Jenkins is going to be very disappointed when he finally realizes what a lack of reciprocity he will encounter from the so-called liberals who have a different content but the same-ole same-ole mentality of "my way or the highway". I respect his willingness to try but he will realize eventually that the people who talk such a good game about "tolerance" and "mutual understanding" are really just speaking a code like the Communists did about "peace": freedom for me but not for you.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Apr. 06, 2006 3:30 PM ET USA

    hUmpTy Dumpyitis -- please get back on the wall. Have witnessed the vulgare de squat myself. I prescribe 50 pushups for the penitent.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 06, 2006 2:26 PM ET USA

    Jeers,jeers, for old Notre Dame...while her loyal sons are marching on a downward trajectory!

  • Posted by: hUMPTY dUMPTY - Apr. 06, 2006 1:44 PM ET USA

    oUTSTANDING TO SEE SO MANY TAKE A STAND AGAINST A WORK THEY HAVE NEITHER SEEN NOR READ. bLIND LEADING THE bLAND

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Apr. 06, 2006 10:08 AM ET USA

    "The Vagina Monologues" on campus in February, and an academic discussion panel " Waitaminute. A discussion is a dialogue. This is all about "monologuing" as Syndrome said in The Incredibles. To have a dialogue on a monologue is to oppress the monologuer. We need to talk. Or not.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 06, 2006 9:26 AM ET USA

    Pope Benedict XVI's latest announcement should supercede dialogue with those that clearly deny the faith. A decree relieving Notre Dame of its Catholic identity would cement his plea.

  • Posted by: abigail - Apr. 06, 2006 8:49 AM ET USA

    Bishop John D'Arcy 1103 S Calhoun Fort Wayne, IN Please let hime hear from you!

  • Posted by: Te_Deum - Apr. 06, 2006 5:18 AM ET USA

    Does anyone know under which diocese and bishop Notre Dame falls? He should be flooded with mail. I think the Papal Nuncio should be flooded with mail. I also think the Congregation for Education (or whatever it's official name is) should be flooded, as well as the CDF. It's time for Catholics to pile on the letters and take back Holy Mother Church!

  • Posted by: - Apr. 06, 2006 2:43 AM ET USA

    Notre Dame ceased being a Catholic university years ago, and will continue to change with the Zeitgeist. Jenkins is a weakling.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 06, 2006 12:28 AM ET USA

    The presentation of the Vagina Momologues on Catholic campuses is a disgrace. I contacted 7 college presidents and suggested they cancel. Each deferred the issue to others, or begged off on the issue of academic freedom.Evidently, one must wallow in filth to understand what it is like. At least according to current educational thinking. This type of thing could never happen at "AVE MARIA." Even the devil can quote scripture for his purpose. Are most catholic colleges now really secular?

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Apr. 06, 2006 12:08 AM ET USA

    V for Vendetta.

  • Posted by: seewig - Apr. 06, 2006 12:07 AM ET USA

    Quadratus says: "An increasingly feminized, relativistic, touchy feely church has to honor the Vagina Monologues, since its lacking in its male counterpart atributes... " (sic!) Good point! This "academic" perverted catholic culture doesn't have any maleness in it, and Rev. Jenkins probably does neither. So how could he (they) judge the whole thing from a "male" point of view, if they are missing the male part? Thanks, Diogenes for the "Brute" reference. Very adroit.

  • Posted by: Meg Q - Apr. 05, 2006 11:25 PM ET USA

    So, ah, Jack, you did get that last memo from Benny, right? Just checking.

  • Posted by: Gino - Apr. 05, 2006 9:42 PM ET USA

    "The play's sexuality OPPOSES Catholic teaching." Praytell what is it doing on a "CATHOLIC" campus. He can now let abortion, euthanasia, pedophelia, etc. be portrayed on his campus even though they oppose "CATHOLIC" teaching. Has Father Jenkins considered jouning the Jesuits? He now qualifies!

  • Posted by: Clorox - Apr. 05, 2006 8:20 PM ET USA

    As a male, I feel excluded from full participation in the Vagina Monologues. This insensitivity is more hurtful than any failure in creative contextualization.

  • Posted by: Quadratus - Apr. 05, 2006 8:03 PM ET USA

    An increasingly feminized, relativistic, touchy feely church has to honor the Vagina Monologues, since its lacking in its male counterpart atributes...

  • Posted by: Moreman - Apr. 05, 2006 7:24 PM ET USA

    In answer to the question of Judas, the answer is quite clear -- the local bishop has the responsibility to "police the trademark." As stated in section 116 of Veritatis Splendor, "Bishops are never relieved of their own personal obligations. It falls to them, in communion with the Holy See, both to grant the title 'Catholic' to Church-related schools,universities, health-care facilities and counselling services, and, in cases of a serious failure to live up to that title, to take it away."

  • Posted by: mumof5 - Apr. 05, 2006 7:16 PM ET USA

    Has anyone checked the Notre Dame bookstore for Hustler and Playboy? If the V-monologues is artistic expression Larry Flynt is an author of great literature. Maybe he'll be invited to N.D. What do you think the odds are that Ann Coulter will be invited any time soon?

  • Posted by: Remigius - Apr. 05, 2006 6:02 PM ET USA

    What also hurts, Uncle Di, is the appearance of that suspicious expression "the Catholic tradition." Catholicism universities are supposed to teach Catholicism. "The Catholic tradition" can mean just about anything, depending upon the "contextualization". And since when is dialogue the proper approach to guiding youth in confronting immorality and ilbertinism in popular culture? Debased vulgarity should not enjoy any official sanction, but I guess the fear of offending liberals won the day.

  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Apr. 05, 2006 5:18 PM ET USA

    Father Jenkins speaks with a mouth full of marbles--and what he has to say about the "contextualization" amounts to a tale told by an idiot...signifying nothing. The guy traded in his Catholicism, undercut his university, and caved into shadows looming in his head. Too bad. It seemed that he had promise.

  • Posted by: R. Spanier (Catholic Canadian) - Apr. 05, 2006 4:46 PM ET USA

    “During the past few years the opinion was held in some Catholic universities that a better answer could be given to questions posed by man and by the world by weakening their own distinctive Catholic characteristics. …result? We witnessed a gradual weakening & dilution of Christian values, putting in their place a humanism which might more properly be called “secularisation”. …today more than ever before, the Church needs Catholic universities. Woe to us should we ever forget it!” Pope Paul VI

  • Posted by: - Apr. 05, 2006 4:06 PM ET USA

    More dissembling. *If* this play were an authentic artistic expression, Fr. Jenkins might have a point. Obvious to any honest observer is the fact that V.M. is just another instance of "transgressive" art. It exists to corrode established values and traditions.Engaging the culture cuts both ways. What have the V.M. fans, or innocent bystanders, taken away from Catholic teaching during this particular cultural engagement?

  • Posted by: Ross Dee - Apr. 05, 2006 3:37 PM ET USA

    Where is the teaching of purity and holiness? I think that teaching "purity" would be a much better model, don't you think. Father? Holiness is a requirement to get into Heaven. Sounds like this whole "creative vagina thing" is promoting impurity. A real Catholic parent would remove their child from a school, that not only allowed this play, but gives an attempted "spin" explanation; that it has an educational purpose and quality about it. If this was not so tragic, I would call it a joke.

  • Posted by: Coemgen - Apr. 05, 2006 2:59 PM ET USA

    "Jenkins said he still believes that the play's portrayals of sexuality oppose Catholic teachings, but that there must be room in a university for expressions that do not accord with the church's teachings." Isn't this reason enough to ban it at a Cathlic college? At the very least they should follow up with a panel discussion of where the play is in error. But, I fear that by even giving it that much credit it only undermines the truths of our faith.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 05, 2006 2:45 PM ET USA

    So...who is responsible for removing ND's designation as a Catholic college?

  • Posted by: - Apr. 05, 2006 2:31 PM ET USA

    From another CWN story today: "The Catholic Church must defend the truth, and break sharply with those who deny the faith, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) told his weekly audience on April 5." Query whether the Holy Father and Father Jenkins belong to the same church.

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