“A Comfortable Truth: The Story of a Boy and His Priest” opened January 24 in the West Hollywood Lee Strasberg Creative Center; it runs through February 22. The play’s website says the work addresses “the controversial subject of juvenile molestation in the Church.”
Written and directed by Mark Kemble, and produced by David Lee Strasberg, the play was reviewed favorably by Joel Hirschhorn in Daily Variety. Hirschhorn credits the actor who plays the boy for delivering “each church-crucifying zinger masterfully,” and takes particular note of the scene where the boy screams “eat my brains.” To demonstrate that the boy has been traumatized by the molesting priest, the kid is depicted playing in a rock group by the name “Fourth Reich Vatican Nazis.” Thus do Kemble and Strasberg take another shot at the Catholic Church.
William Lobdell of the Los Angeles Times said, “The play’s set looks like a cross between a church and a bombed out train station with a few religious icons, including a busted Madonna fallen to the floor…a crucifix disguised as a piece of junk—scraps of wood and metal topped by an upside-down milk pail with the spout serving as Christ’s nose.”
Here’s what Catholic League president William Donohue said about it:
“When asked about his work, Mark Kemble said the play was about ‘the danger of blind faith in the leaders of any religious organization.’ But this is not true—there is no disparagement of any religion save Catholicism. Of the homosexual scandal in the Church, he says, ‘I don’t think it’s an aberration.’ Nor do I think it’s an aberration that the people responsible for this play are from Hollywood.
“In a time when Catholic and Jewish elites are about to suffer cardiac arrest over Mel Gibson’s film, it is instructive to note that none has said a word about this portrayal of a gay molesting priest. Nor will they—they are too busy instructing Mel how to portray Jews in ‘The Passion.’”