A new Off-Broadway play that insults Catholicism opened to negative reviews this past summer. “Avow” is the work of Bill C. Davis and it centers on a radical priest who refuses to bless a homosexual union; the priest eventually has his celibacy tested when he falls in love with the sister of one of the gay men (she is pregnant out of wedlock).
When the play opened, newspaper reports said that the biggest laugh of the night came when the mother of these two declares, “Here I am with my gay son and my unmarried, pregnant daughter.”
Catholic League president William Donohue was invited to see the play on Tuesday, August 1, at 8:00 pm. Scott Walton, marketing director for the play, extended the offer; he also asked Donohue to join a panel discussion at 10:00 pm. Donohue explained to the press his decision not to accept the invitation:
“It has been almost two decades since Davis wrote his first anti-Catholic play, ‘Mass Appeal.’ In 1984, a few years after the play appeared, he publicly aired his distaste for his Catholic upbringing (e.g., talk about hell was ‘scary’), thus making intelligible his animus. Unfortunately for Davis, the plays that he has written since that time have all bombed, and this explains why he is going back to the well one more time: it is just possible that his faithful fans in the anti-Catholic community can jump start him one more time. But when even the New York Times, which gleefully touts the play for ‘ridiculing the attitudes of the Catholic Church toward gays, unwed mothers and priestly celibacy,’ concludes that the play ‘covers little new ground and offers no insights,’ it looks like the well has gone dry.
“Perhaps the bad reviews explain why I have been invited to see the play and participate in a panel discussion. But I avow not to see ‘Avow.’ Why? Because I do not believe in having a dialogue with those who are hell bent on trashing my religion. This bit about the Church and sex is getting a little old anyway. Why these guys just can’t move on and get a life, I do not know. In any event, I have a dentist appointment Tuesday evening, and as much as I hate sitting in a dentist’s chair, it’s still preferable to sitting through ‘Avow.’”
We hope they got the message.