Once again, controversy is dividing the University of Notre Dame.
Catholics everywhere applauded Bishop John D’Arcy’s recent condemnation of the crude “V-Monologues” at Notre Dame, hoping it would convince university officials to ban the feminist play. After all, the production betrays Notre Dame’s Catholic identity, tramples upon the Sixth Commandment, exalts sin, promotes lesbianism, and gives scandal.
However, ignoring the bishop’s call to cancel the play, university president Fr. John I. Jenkins has again allowed it to disgrace the campus of Our Lady for the seventh time, opening a swath of controversy, disappointment and shame.
TFP Student Action members could not remain silent. Traveling from Pennsylvania to Indiana, they distributed a flyer which echoed Bishop D’Arcy’s statement at the gates of Notre Dame on Tuesday morning. Their respectful message urged Fr. Jenkins to ban the immoral play at Notre Dame forever. As the demonstration unfolded, students, alumni and faculty proved that the V-Monologues is being rejected. “Some of us will walk out of the hall when the show begins tonight,” said one student.
A Catholic priest driving through the front entrance of campus, read a TFP banner, paused, pointed to his Roman collar and gave his blessing twice.
Passing cars responded enthusiastically to the “Honk against the V-Monologues at Notre Dame” and “Purity is the Answer” signs. Many gave effusive thumbs up and shouted “thank you” from their cars. “I’m sure the Pope will speak out against this on Catholic campuses. It’s horrible! Catholic schools need to teach Catholic doctrine,” said one student, adding, “Give me more flyers. This is wonderful!”
A single counter-demonstrator wearing a professor’s black robe held a flimsy sign saying, “Men grow up” claiming TFP Student Action had no female support. The longer she stood on the sidewalk the more she saw how mistaken she was. In a few minutes, over 18 women alone honked against the performance. After she left, an additional 85 women honked in support of traditional moral values. Ironically, a pedestrian who called for “dialogue” shouted “No!” when courteously offered our flyer.
Back on the sidewalk, a local resident and Notre Dame Alumnus joined the protest: “The lack of good leadership is acute. We need leaders who won’t cave in to feminist pressure. We need them to preserve our Catholic identity,” he remarked. Others added: “Thank you very much, we are so disappointed in Fr. Jenkins,” “The bishop should kick out Fr. Jenkins,” and one driver pulled over, got out of his car and said, “I want to thank you, I’m horrified by this play.” Several cars that stopped at the intersection for a flyer, heard the slogan “Reject the V-Monologues” and replied “I already do.”
In reaction to the “Purity is the Answer” sign, a student began to cry, visibly moved by TFP Student Action’s message. As the TFP flyer spread throughout campus, some students walked long distances to pick up copies and ask questions about the protest.
Strict Control on Free Speech
As TFP volunteers demonstrated at the intersection of Notre Dame Ave and Edison Rd., two members went to the quad where they distributed flyers titled “Reject the lewd ‘V-Monologues!’” The flyer contained a summary of Bishop’s D’Arcy condemnation of the play. Then trouble came.
While TFP member Cesar Franco shared fliers with students, Associate Vice President for Residence Life, Mr. William Kirk, approached saying: “You can’t do that! Stop handing those out now. Are you a student? Show me your identification.”
Not knowing who this gentleman was, Mr. Franco said he would be happy to show his I.D. to a security officer. The comment did not go over too well and Mr. Kirk immediately got his cell phone and called the police. Meanwhile, he closely followed Mr. Franco everywhere he went. After about fifteen minutes, a campus police officer arrived. Mr. Kirk told him Mr. Franco was aggressive and arrogant. When Mr. Franco attempted to greet the police officer and show him his I.D., Mr. Kirk said: “No. Be quiet. Go over there. Don’t even try to speak.” Then, turning to the police officer, he said: “If he’s a student, write him up.”
The police officer was polite. On the way to the Notre Dame police station, Mr. Franco inquired: “Does Notre Dame have a free speech area?” A little puzzled, the police officer replied, “Yes, the whole university is a free speech zone. You just can’t hand out flyers.”
After Mr. Franco’s photo was taken, he was given a trespass notice, which in part reads:
“…you are not wanted on university property. The university official named below is providing you with written warning that you must leave, and not return to any property owned by the university. If you should be found on university property in the future, you will be arrested for criminal trespass.”
As Mr. Franco read the notice, he wondered if university officials would have acted with equal sternness towards someone passing out flyers promoting the immoral play.
Pray for Notre Dame
Let us redouble our prayers for the restoration of Notre Dame’s Catholic identity. May its leadership follow the Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church, the directives of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, and reject veiled or open efforts to normalize sins that violate divine and natural law. May its students have the fortitude not to succumb to the pervasive dictatorship of relativism, and have the courage to continue rejecting the V-Monologues and other events which subvert moral values.
Consider contacting Fr. Jenkins with your concerns. Be firm, polite and courteous.
University of Notre Dame
Fr. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Phone: (574) 631-3903
Email: [email protected]