BROADWAY’S PROBLEM: CATHOLICISM

Catalyst October Issue 1998, Front Page

In the “Weekend” section of the September 18th edition New York Times, several plays were advertised on one page. Four of them deal with Catholicism, one way or another: “Corpus Christi”; “Tony n’ Tina”; “Nunsense A-Men!”; and “Late Nite Catechism.” Their treatment of Catholicism, as even reviewers have noted, ranges from ridicule to blasphemy.

The Catholic League issued a news release on this subject:

“The play ‘Tony n’ Tina’ features an Italian Catholic wedding in which a pregnant bride on drugs interacts with a drunken priest. ‘Nunsense A-Men!’ is an adaptation of the play ‘Nunsense,’ only this time the characters are in drag; the nuns use drugs and hawk a Blessed Virgin Mary cookbook that contains sexual innuendo. ‘Late Nite Catechism’ ridicules the pre-Vatican II church in a way that its fans would label outrageous had the script targeted ‘progressive’ nuns. ‘Corpus Christi’ is Terrence McNally’s contribution to hate speech.

      “Reporters often ask me which segment of society harbors the greatest animus against Catholicism. They frequently think I will finger the media. No, I believe it is the artistic community that hates Catholicism the most; the higher education community is a close second. Why this is so has much to do with sex: our elites sponsor a libertine notion of sexuality while the Catholic Church preaches the virtue of restraint. Want to know which version liberates? The statistics kept by courts and morgues provide the answer.”

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Written by Bill