William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, attended the preview last night of the off-Broadway play, Late Night Catechism, and issued the following remarks today:
“Late Night Catechism continues the artistic assault on Roman Catholicism by ridiculing virtually every aspect of Catholicism. Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Saints, the sacraments, Catholic schools, Catholic customs–nothing is considered too off-base to merit derision. In particular, the Virgin Mary is held up to disparagement in a most offensive way. Every caricature imaginable about Catholics finds its way into this play.
“This is an interactive play, meaning that members of the audience get a chance to vent their own experiences and feelings about Catholicism. Predictably, the crowd is only too willing to add to the tenor of the play by contributing nuggets of scorn. The sexual statements that the play makes about Catholic beliefs and practices are unusually coarse.
“What is perhaps most offensive about the play is its venue: St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. That a Lutheran church would host a play that mocks another religion is not only irresponsible, it rips at ecumenical dialogue. It is a telling commentary that advertisements about Late Night Catechism simply say that it appears at St. Luke’s Church on W.46 Street. If the play’s sponsors and the church’s pastor were honest, they would not hesitate to emphasize that it is a Lutheran church that is hosting this attack on Catholicism.”
The Catholic League is the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization. It defends individual Catholics and the institutional Church from defamation and discrimination.