“The Cardinal Detoxes,” an anti-Catholic play by Thomas M. Disch, opened on September 24 at the Tribeca Playhouse in New York City. The play, which ran until October 18, is a 35-minute monologue by a character who plays a cardinal. The cardinal is an alcoholic who runs down and kills a pregnant woman while driving drunk. He attacks the Church for its teachings on women and sexuality and is ultimately poisoned by a monk when he confesses his plan to expose the problems of the Church.
The play was the source of some controversy in 1990 when it opened in a building that was owned by the Archdiocese of New York.
The Catholic League news release on this play was given a front-page story in the performing arts weekly, Back Stage. Here is what we said to the press:
“Jeff Cohen, the director and producer of ‘The Cardinal Detoxes,’ said that one of the reasons he brought back the play now was due to the initial decision of the Manhattan Theatre Club to cancel Terrence McNally’s play, ‘Corpus Christi.’ This is quite an admission: to think that Cohen is competing with McNally and for the honor of being known as New York’s biggest anti-Catholic bigot is something. This means that there is now a three way race going on, the third entry being Khalid Muhammad.
“One reviewer of Disch’s autobiography described the playwright’s life as ‘full of dead-ends, back-roads, breakdowns, detours.’ This sheds needed light on why Disch is determined to renew his hate speech. Some things never change.”