Last week in the bulletin for the St.
Augustine Church which is the
Catholic Student Center for the University of Florida.
MAGDALENE PLAY AT ST. AUGUSTINE!!
St. Augustine is pleased to sponsor a very special theater presentation
on the first Friday of Lent, February 8, 2008. This will be
an original play providing a perspective on Jesus life, death, and
resurrection as seen through the eyes of Mary Magdalene. In
the play, an angel appears to tell Mary Magdalene her life on earth is
near its end, and she offers her reflections on what she has come to
know of Jesus and the early Christian community. It is a
one-woman production by Thelma Ann Jones who has traveled across the
United States and Europe. Read more about the production on
the bulletin board across from the office. Tickets are on
sale in the parish office for $5.00 per person. This will be
only, and promises to be a unique way to begin our Lenten
season! Buy your tickets now! Child care will be
provided in the main nursery.
This week this blog reports that
bulletin is a notice from my bishop Victor Galeone.
Bishop Galeone has decided that the
Magdelene Play should be canceled. In his opinion, certain lines of
the monologue call into question the Churchs position on two
sacraments. Accordingly, such a performance in a Catholic setting would
be a counter-witness to important Church teaching.
I don’t know what exactly what was in the
script since there is really no information available about this play,
but you can probably guess since the hosting parish is not exactly
known for orthodoxy and their celebration on the feast day of St. Mary
Magdelene is a hotbed of women’s ordination supporters. Regardless
thanks to Bishop Galeone for stepping in.
I go to St. Augustine’s right now, the play mocks the Eucharist and Holy Orders. In the last scene Magdalene is holding up bread and wine and says “This, in symbol, is the body and blood of my Beloved”. The whole time she refers to Our Lord as her “Beloved”. The script reads like a romance novel, she lusts over Jesus. The play was described as “not suitable for children under 14”. If 13 year olds can’t handle it, why is it even being held at a church? This whole situation has given everyone at the parish a lot of grief.
“In his opinion” makes it sound rather like they’d prefer not to have to listen to the Bishop.
Well, it seems Bp. Galeone is now batting .500!
I was very pleased to see this announcement in my Gainesville parish’s bulletin last night. If there is a problem with the play, I’d like to know before taking friends to see it. Right on, Bishop Galeone, for your leadership.
Joe, what do you mean by “batting .500”?
Here’s a “review”, but read at your own risk…
Anyone wanna guess which two sacraments?
After reading the “review” I would guess ordination and confession.
“We want to restore her good name.”
This thinking confounds me. I am not upset about Mary Magdalen having been “maligned”, but distressed over the confusion of her character for other reasons. I chose her name in the process of committing to the Dominican third order BECAUSE of Bethany. There were obstacles in that process, (my spiritual father’s Parkinson’s got in the way)and I have yet to complete it.
Given now the knowledge that the two Marys were NOT the same person, where does that leave anyone who took the name Magdalen because of the Anointer at Bethany? What should their name be? Bethany? ‘Mary’, alone, doesn’t distinguish between the THREE Marys.
In any case, it is ironic that Jesus said Mary of Bethany would always be remembered, and here we are making sure that Mary Magdalen doesn’t have to wear the “stain” of the Anointer’s history. How oddly un-Catholic that seems.
“I don’t know what exactly what was in the script since there is really no information available about this play, but.. Regardless thanks to Bishop Galeone for stepping in.”
never let an investigation of the facts get in the way of making a judgment.
Apparently Bishop Galeone had seen/read the play and could give guidance.
This used to be my parish while I was at the University of Florida several years ago. I’m sad to say that the parish IS somewhat squishy. The pastor there has called for a reconsideration of priestly celibacy from the pulpit, and the director of the RCIA is a liberal progressive (I should have gotten an I SURVIVED RCIA tee-shirt after my confirmation).
Another thing they do on Easter week is a Jewish seder supper.
There are plenty of traditional Lenten and Easter devotions which are ignored—why not drop the funny business and bring them back?
A few months back, Bp. Galeone had issued what at the time seemed like VERY restrictive guidelines for the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in the Diocese of St. Augustine. (I am not sure how that panned out, but I suspect the restrictive guidelines remain in place.)
Those guidelines struck me as being against both the spirit and letter of Summorum Pontificum.
That’s why I said that.
Now, I am VERY pleased with His Excellency for his handling of this case.
“Now, I am VERY pleased with His Excellency for his handling of this case.”
You are VERY pleased that he has suppressed a play that you have no information as to its script?
Are you familiar with the script?
Thanks, Joe. I had not heard of that.
The old challenge If you havent seen/read it, you have no right to comment… is merely a weak deflection aimed to prevent works of low artistic merit or questionable content from being criticized. Allow me a slight digression. If a trusted friend tells me I should avoid a certain restaurant due to reports of food poisoning, I will trust his judgment without having tasted the rotten food for myself. I do not need to sample a meal or a book in its entirety in order to know whether or not it is worthy of consumption. I can rely on reports by credible critics who, having demonstrated a qualified knowledge of a work, deem a work to be unsuitable. Not knowing a great deat about plumbing, I can, when in need of a plumber, trust the recommendation of friends who have previosly contracted a certain plumber and know him to be reliable. A bishop is a successor to the Apostles. He is charged with shepherding the flock of Christ. Unless he has been given false or inaccurate information, we must respect a bishops counsel regarding faith and morals. We can trust another persons opinion on the basis of the persons qualifications to give an opinion.
You beat me to it Warren and put it more eloquently than I could have. We ought to be pleased when a bishop is looking out for his flock. Now, there is sometimes a possibility that a bishop is acting rashly, but the burden of proof is on those making that assertion. Of course that would mean that they would have to do homework. Heaven forfend! So much easier to dive down the haven’t-seen-it-shut-up escape hatch.
“If a trusted friend tells me I should avoid a certain restaurant due to reports of food poisoning, I will trust his judgment without having tasted the rotten food for myself.”
Yes, you have every right to trust his judgment and behave accordingly. You do not, in justice, have the right to publically state that restaurant serves poison food. In fact, you don’t have the civil right either and could be guilty of defamation.
What do you know about the details of this play by an anonymous author? Can you say that this play is one hundred percent in conformance with the teaching Magisterium of the Church? That it doesn’t at all call into question two sacraments of the Church?
If so please explain to us what the Bishop might have seen as problematic and why those elements are totally in conformance with Church teaching?
I know nothing about the details of the play and therefore would withhold public comment, as I would expect of others, except for charitable comments towards all parties concerned.
Katherine- An food critic could report about bad food in the press and not have this considered defamation.
In the statement it says: “In his opinion, certain lines of the monologue call into question the Churchs position on two sacraments.”
This indicates the Bishop has read the play for himself. That’s enough for me.
For me too, Melody.
And there you have it. We trust a person, a bishop, and not some goofy everything-gets-a-hearing pseudo-egalitarian meme.
You or your pastor could ask Bishop Galeone for details.
If it were in my diocese and the bishop was against it, even personally, I’d avoid it. After all, it’s just a play. Nothing essential. Why risk disobedience, dissent, and all manner of distraction for something trivial?
If I WROTE the play, on the other hand, I’d be drowning in tears at this very moment. Which reminds me, the author could surely use some prayers.
Couldn’t have said it better, Joanne. I’m perfectly willing to accept the Bishop’s authority to give moral guidance. I could use more of it!
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