FORMER MONK BASHES CHURCH ON TV
Catalyst July/August Issue 2000
MSG Metro, a cable channel owned by Cablevision, aired a program in June that drew a quick response from the Catholic League. As part of its “Unblinking Eye” series, the station featured “The Monk at the Duplex,” a play by Christopher Hennelly. Hennelly, who spent five and a half years in a Franciscan monastery, is known for his Catholic bashing. MSG Metro filmed his performance in March and aired it three months later.
In the play, Hennelly mocks the traditions and teachings of the Church; Bernard Cardinal Law of Boston is cursed at; mobster John Gotti is recommended for the papacy; The Infant of Prague is disparaged; and monks are portrayed as enemies of the homeless.
In a letter to the person handling complaints at the Metro Channel, William Donohue charged that the show was “flagrantly anti-Catholic” and that MSG Metro was helping “to promote a cruel caricature of Catholicism.” He then commented on the principal culprit: “Hennelly, who has been arrested for breaking into St. Patrick’s Cathedral disrupting Mass, has a history of bigotry targeted at the Roman Catholic Church. If someone had broken into a synagogue and disrupted services, he would properly be tagged a neo-Nazi. And there is little wonder whether any cable channel would host such a person in his creative attempt to assault the sensibilities of Jews.”
Members are urged to write to Aileen Budow, Director of Communications, Metro Channel, 481 Eighth Avenue, New York, New York 10001.