This blog is a place for Notre Dame students and others to share their thoughts on Father Jenkins' forthcoming policy on academic freedom and Catholic identity at Our Lady's University.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Concerning the 'Vagina Monologues'

Bishop John M. D'Arcy
Bishop of Fort Wayne/South Bend
February 2006

Pope John Paul II has made clear that a Catholic university “guarantees its members academic freedom so long as the rights of the individual person and the community are preserved within the confines of the truth and the common good.” — Ex Corde Ecclesiae.

Here, Pope John Paul II, a longtime professor in a Catholic university, explains that freedom must always be linked to the truth and the common good. The same principles apply to artistic freedom. As a university professor, the future pope presented a series of lectures on human love and sexuality in which he reflected how artistic freedom must always be linked to the whole truth about human love and

Bishop D'Arcy also includes an excerpt from a letter he received:

“I have been reflecting since we spoke the other night on the fact that there is an enormous difference between exposing evil and endorsing it, and a Catholic university should be in the business of the former, not the latter. In order to expose evil, it is necessary to examine it, to analyze it, to explore its assumptions and arguments so as to be better able to refute them and to explain to others how and why they fall short of what our human dignity demands. A Catholic university should bring faith and reason, as well as human experience and reflection to bear on the issues raised by the monologues, so as to respond to them in a way that safeguards and promotes the dignity of the human person. The monologues have become, in fact, a cultural phenomenon, and a Catholic university could have a fine contribution to make in analyzing why that has happened, what the appeal of the play is, and why the answer to the desecration of women that sexual abuse and violence constitute cannot be the perhaps less obvious but more insidious desecration of women that many of the monologues depict.”
— Lisa Everett, in a letter to Bishop D’Arcy, Feb. 1, 2006.

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