News is getting around that my "Alma" Mater, the University of Minnesota Theatre Department will be going ahead with a production of the execrable Dario Fo’s anti-Catholic play The Pope and the Witch.
This play is pretty vile. The Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Most Rev. Harry Flynn, protested loudly in the local paper which Minnesotans often call "The Star and Sickle" (Star/Tribune).
We must not allow ourselves to be driven from the public square by anti-Catholic bigotry.
Many are protesting the play. One site of TFP has a form you can sign and sent comments on.
This is my open comment.
To Mr. Robert H. Bruininks
President of the University of Minnesota
CC: Theatre department
1) I have lived in Rome for many years. I have read Dario Fo. It astonishes me that anyone would waste time on a production of his work.
2) I am a graduate of the University of Minnesota. I have a B.A. in THEATRE, i.e., from your U. of M. Theatre Department.
3) I am a Catholic. In fact, I am a Catholic priest.
Therefore, I believe I am fairly well-informed about the issues involved in the matter of The Pope and the Witch.
4) I now wonder how a land-grant institution, paid for by TAXPAYERS in Minnesota, can tolerate this choice, to so single out members of the Catholic Church for scheduled and then repeated insult and ridicule.
Taxpayers will be footing the bill for a scheduled and then repeated offense to Catholics.
You bear part of the responsibility.
Therefore, I respectfully suggest you might report yourself to your own Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. That office’s webpage (http://www.eoaffact.umn.edu/biasreporting.html) has the following:
"PLEASE LET US KNOW if you, someone you know, or a group within our university community, has experienced bias, discrimination or hostility. We are concerned about incidents based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, gender identification, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status and/or sexual orientation. The University of Minnesota is ready and willing to provide support, and address disrespectful bias and discrimination within our community. We need to know what happens and how often, so that we can respond and help those who are targeted. By reporting incidents, you become part of the solution."
Simply attaching a schedule of the Theater Department’s season will indicate the religious dimension of the violation of your University’s policies as well as the where, by whom, and how often.
Kindly take action in this matter. It would be the right thing to do and you would be "part of the solution".
Fr. John T. Zuhlsdorf