Saturday, April 24, 2004

Late Nite Catechism
My mom, stepdad, and I went to see this one woman show a few days ago. For those readers unfamiliar with it, the stage is adorned as a typical Catholic grade school classroom, with one woman playing a sister, and the audience as the class. As you may guess, there is plenty of audience interaction, including both rewards and reprimands from "Sister" when questions are answered correctly or when one misbehaves, respectively. It is very funny and entertaining.

The show also depends significantly on the audience and how they interact with "Sister". So, I would imagine, not every show is the same. Unfortunately, the night I attended, "Sister" used part of Act II for an open Q & A session that went awry. A non-Catholic woman stood up and asked "Sister" about leadership roles for women in the Church. Buzzword. "Sister" proceeded to make off-the-wall comments about John Paul II's Apostolic Letter "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis," calling it a "Papal Bull" and strongly implying that another four letter word ought to be added to bull.... She said when we get a new pope, women's ordination and married priests could change. She claimed there was no leadership for women in the Church. I guess the obvious example of the superior of a women's religious community must have escaped "Sister". She even said we don't have any leadership in the Church at all (I can almost agree with that remark, at least observing one national episcopal conference). I thought it was sad that Act II took that turn and it made me wonder about the motivation for the whole show. Was it written precisely to further discussion on dissident and controversial issues (women's ordination being dissident, married priests being controversial. Please don't confuse the issues.)? And, how unfortunate that an audience composed largely of Protestants many of whom, I am convinced, thought "Sister" was a real nun and spoke for the Church, was misinformed and misled about Catholicism.

I am thankful that this sad tangent was only a small portion of Act II and I hope that the show doesn't always go in that direction. Perhaps readers who have seen this show can share whether such discussion came up in their viewings of it. After the show I read "Sister's" biography and it was very revealing in light of the skewed interpretation of Catholicism I had just heard:

"Kathy Cogan [w]as most recently seen in the 'Vagina Monologue's' [sic]. When not performing in this 'sister act', Kathy can be heard hosting her own live radio show, The 'NitWit Hour' at, Thursdays at 7:00pm EST. Kathy also produced and performed Cooking for Idiots."

Hhhmm, maybe she could write a spinoff of Late Nite Catechism called Nitwit Catholicism for Idiots.

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