Page 5, 28th February 2003

28th February 2003
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Page 5, 28th February 2003 — Anger over 'obscene' play
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People: Patrick Reilly
Locations: New Rochelle

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Anger over 'obscene' play

A GROUP accredited with promoting Catholic identity at Catholic colleges in America has said that universities are wrong to allow student productions of a controversial play that allegedly promotes female sexuality.

Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, said the play, The Vagina Monologues, had "no academic or social value to students at a Catholic college" and was "spiritually destructive".

The play, to be held in 42 Catholic colleges in February and March, has been described as a "celebration of female sexuality in all its complexity and mystery", and features women who represent vaginas that speak out in a series of monologues.

Early performances of the play were criticised for a positive portrayal of the rape of a 13-year-old girt by a 24year-old woman. But those sections of the script have been revised for campus productions.

Last year, more than 800 productions of the play took place on college campuses and in local communities around the country as part of V-Day, which raises money for organisations working to stop violence against women.

The College of New Rochelle in New Rochelle, New York, an independent Catholic collep founded by the UrsuIine Sisters in 1904, was scheduled to present the play this year, but college officials refused to allow it.

A spokeswoman told reporters the play was not "an appropriate vehicle for the college".




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