Monday, December 11, 2006

Archbishop Flynn Blasts Strib For "Catholic Bashing" and Distorted Review Of Blasphemous Play

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Archbishop Harry Flynn of the Archdiocese of St Paul - Minneapolis didn't show much resistance when he met with University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks to object to the play "The Pope and the Witch" that the U's Theater Department plans to show next March.

But ask the Execs at the McClatchey head office in California what they think of their new purchase now that they have been exposed by Archbishop Flynn as Catholic Bashers and liars on their editorial pages. What the Star Tribune Really Thinks About The Catholic Church

Also ask the headline writers at the Red Star why they insultingly did not give Archbishop Flynn his customary title when they laid out their web page.


Harry Flynn: Paper adds fuel to fire over 'Pope and the Witch'

Its defense of the University of Minnesota's decision to stage the play is yet another insult to Catholics.
Harry Flynn
Published: December 12, 2006

Your Dec. 3 editorial "Fo play is not faux pas by the U" segues from a lighthearted observation about the author of this theatrical production into a poorly disguised, mean-spirited, sweeping indictment of the Catholic Church and its history. It goes well beyond the limits of logical argumentation and is rather a haughty and hastily cobbled together theatrical review and anti-Catholic diatribe, wrapped in the flag of academic license.

"Understandably" the editorial states, "Catholics don't find 'The Pope and the Witch' funny at all." With that statement, we most certainly agree. We could hardly find a nightmarish parody of the papacy, a fundamental tenet of our faith that has 2,000 years of history, to be very funny. One doubts that a play viciously satirizing a revered or historic leader of the Jewish or Islamic faiths as a heroin-addicted, bumbling paranoid would characterized by those faith adherents as "funny."

The editorial also reads like a promotion for the Dario Fo play, claiming that its stagings "have won uniformly charmed reviews" and that "most reviewers agree it is a hoot." Interestingly, those exuberant raves do not agree fully with the play's reception. For example, it opened briefly in Italy but was met with tepid reviews and not much public interest. In its run in San Francisco, where Catholic leaders objected, the play had an initial spurt of attendance, likely due to its controversy, but then was met with disinterest and had a short run.

Perhaps the best and most ironic evidence of the anti-Catholic tone of this editorial is its
subheadline, which contends, "Those why cry 'Catholic bashing' doth protest too much." Yet the first sentence of the editorial's concluding paragraph reads: "The Catholic Church is a large, wealthy and exceptionally powerful global corporation with a scandal-studded history and a practice of involving itself in the political and social affairs of many nations." I could refer the writer of this editorial to a virtual library of books and manuscripts that refute this grandiose charge and that document the magnificent societal, artistic and spiritual contributions of the Catholic Church over the centuries. I would also ask that, if an unsupported polemic statement like this one doesn't rise to the level of "Catholic bashing," please tell me what does?

Harry J. Flynn is archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Star Tribune
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