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The Cardinal Newman Society’s protest of “The Vagina Monologues” performances and public readings on Catholic campuses across the United States has yielded a marked decline in 2006. A record-low 22 Catholic colleges and universities hosted the “Monologues” in February and March, a significant decline from 27 performances or readings in 2005, 29 in 2004, and 32 in 2003.
The sponsoring V-Day organization (www.vday.org) announced performances of the sexually explicit and morally offensive play at 34 Catholic colleges and universities in the United States this year. Only 22 of those actually occurred, including the University of Detroit Mercy student performance held at nearby Marygrove College, also a Catholic institution. Officials at eight of the institutions persuaded or prevented students from presenting the play on campus, including Aquinas College in Michigan, Assumption College, Carlow University, the Catholic University of America, Marquette University, New York Medical College, Providence College and Seton Hall University. Four other performances announced by V-Day were canceled—at Sacred Heart University, Saint Xavier University, Siena College and the University of Scranton—but there is no indication that officials halted the events.Although the University of San Diego did not host the “Monologues,” its Women’s Center and the Associated Students at USD co-sponsored a group outing to see the play at the University of California San Diego, preceded by dinner in the USD faculty dining room and followed by a next-day luncheon to discuss reactions to the performance.
"Every year, more Catholic college and university leaders are coming to their senses about this vile play," said Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) president Patrick J. Reilly. "Still, it’s astonishing that officials could not immediately recognize a conflict with the values that are fundamental to Catholic higher education. Which of the remaining 22 institutions will be last to embrace lesbian activity, masturbation, statutory rape and extramarital perversity?"Signs of the campaign’s success in 2006 included: