A reader sent me more on the
story I posted on earlier this
week about the action of my bishop.
A scheduled performance of
“Magdalene,” a traveling one-woman play about the often controversial
Catholic saint Mary Magdalene, was banned from St. Augustine Catholic
Church this week after a University of Florida student appealed to the
bishop of the diocese.
According to a statement published in St. Augustine’s weekly bulletin,
Bishop Victor Galeone decided to cancel the performance on the grounds
that portions of the script “call into question the Church’s position
on two sacraments.” Hosting the play in a Catholic setting, Galeone
said, “would be a counter-witness to important Church teaching.”
Galeone’s decision came days after an 18-year-old member of St.
Augustine’s parish, Jonathan Knox, submitted a letter outlining his
concerns about the church-sponsored performance, which was being
promoted as a theatrical representation of Jesus’ life through
“I found excerpts online that really disturbed me,” Knox said,
specifically pointing to the show’s final scene, when, according to his
research, the actress lifts bread and wine to mimic the sacrament of
Eucharist performed only by ordained Catholic priests.
Knox said he interpreted the scene as an attack on the current Catholic
stance against ordaining women as priests.
“From this scene alone, I fear scandal will be brought about and a
great mockery will be performed against Christ in the Eucharist and
against the priesthood,” Knox wrote in his letter to Galeone.
… In response, Galeone banned the performance from St. Augustine’s
all other local Catholic facilities, but left it up to organizers to
decide whether they wanted to reschedule the performance at a different
Much like recent depictions of Magdalene in novels such as “The Da
Vinci Code,” Knox said the script also alludes to a romantic
relationship between Magdalene and Jesus.
The play is by an anonymous author and is
now going to show at The United Church of Gainesville instead.