Bill Donohue

Christopher Durang died on April 2nd. In its obituary on the homosexual anti-Catholic playwright, the New York Times predictably treated him with admiration, saying he had an “impish wit.”

Durang was an only child who grew up in a home with an alcoholic father and a mother who suffered from depression. He attended a Catholic elementary school and, like so many gay Catholics, he turned his anger at the Church, calling its teachings on sexuality “pathological” and “unhealthy.” He never explained why, if gay sex is not unhealthy, so many homosexuals die prematurely of sexually transmitted diseases.

The most anti-Catholic, and celebrated, play that Durang ever wrote was “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You.” The Times obit branded it “an absurdist lacerating one-act” play. It said not a word about its vicious portrayal of Catholicism.

The obit mentions that when the play opened, Frank Rich, the longtime arts critic for the Times, said, “Only a writer of real talent can write an angry play that remains funny and controlled even in its most savage moments.” It omitted what Rich said two sentences later. In his 1981 review, he wrote that the play “goes after the Catholic Church with a vengeance.”

There were many other prominent non-Catholics who labeled the play anti-Catholic.

In 1983, the Anti-Defamation League called it “offensive, unfair and demeaning.” The American Jewish Committee agreed. In 1985, the National Conference of Christians and Jews said it was “a travesty of Catholic teaching.” In 1990, an editorial in the Los Angeles Times noted that the play “takes a brutal, satirical look at Catholic dogma.” A theater critic for the Dallas Morning News commented in 1998 that it was “the most virulently anti-Catholic play in American theater.” And in 2001, the  Phoenix New Times labeled it “unmistakably anti-Catholic.”

None of these organizations and media outlets overreacted. Here is what I previously wrote about Durang’s masterpiece.

“The play features a malicious nun who is confronted by four of her former students. All of them are obviously dysfunctional, a condition directly traceable to their Catholic upbringing. The play not only manages to mock virtually every Catholic teaching, it goes after Jesus with a vengeance—from the Nativity to the Crucifixion; the Virgin Mary is similarly disparaged. In the end, the nun shoots and kills two of her ex-students.”

The New York Times knows all about the anti-Catholicism that marks “Sister Mary Ignatius,” but it is not offended. This explains why it never mentioned anything about Durang’s bigotry in its obit. It is not the same  newspaper it once was—on many fronts—having become the voice of the most left-wing activists in the country.

Contact the paper’s obit editor, William McDonald:

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