Matt C. Abbott
Does 'Late Nite Catechism' mock Catholicism?; Anne Rice's 'vampire logic'
By Matt C. Abbott
July 30, 2010

Although I haven't seen it and I really have no desire to see it I think it's safe to say that the play Late Nite Catechism has been at least somewhat popular among Catholics, even being advertised in the Catholic New World, the Archdiocese of Chicago's official newspaper. I wouldn't be surprised if it's advertised in other diocesan newspapers as well.

But not all Catholics are pleased with this theatrical attempt at humor.

Bill Donohue, president of the despised-by-dissenters Catholic League, has stated:

"Late Nite Catechism continues the artistic assault on Roman Catholicism by ridiculing virtually every aspect of Catholicism. Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Saints, the sacraments, Catholic schools, Catholic customs nothing is considered too off-base to merit derision. In particular, the Virgin Mary is held up to disparagement in a most offensive way. Every caricature imaginable about Catholics finds its way into this play.

"This is an interactive play, meaning that members of the audience get a chance to vent their own experiences and feelings about Catholicism. Predictably, the crowd is only too willing to add to the tenor of the play by contributing nuggets of scorn. The sexual statements that the play makes about Catholic beliefs and practices are unusually coarse...."

On another occasion, Donohue stated:

"Quite a few members have written to us complaining that the play, Late Nite Catechism, is popular with a number of Catholics. We stick by our guns: While it is far from the worst play on Catholics (that award goes to Sister Mary Ignatius), it nonetheless caricatures Catholic customs and traditions as they existed in the pre-Vatican II era, the result being a trivialization of Catholicism....

"For the league, it makes no difference whether it is the Church before or after Vatican II that is being held up to public ridicule. However, we sadly recognize that this is a view that is obviously not shared by all Catholics, including some nuns and priests. To those who disagree with the league's assessment, perhaps they can explain to us why the New York Times has chosen to characterize the play as follows: 'Like the best standup comics...Ms. [Maripat] Donovan, who plays the overwhelming and vastly appealing character... is willing to push her act right over the edge.' Now if the Times can figure out what's going on, why can't some Catholics?"

Catholic activist Arlene Sawicki (who, like Donohue, has attended the play) points out that, in addition to the actresses' liberal agenda, they have also participated in Chicago's "gay pride" parade since 1993.

"It sure begs the concern for those of us who don't think this group should support sodomy on parade," Sawicki says.

Now, while the actresses have donated a substantial amount of money to various religious retirement communities (most of which are left-leaning at best and neo-modernist at worst, from what I gather), wouldn't it be better for Catholics to donate directly to the communities they wish to help and skip this rather stupid play?

You know my answer.

Vampire novelist Anne Rice, who "flirted" with Christianity or at least, her own brand of Christianity for several years, recently announced her apostasy via Facebook:

"I quit being a Christian. I'm out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of ...Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen." (Source)

On one hand, it's a sad development, but on the other hand, I respect Rice for publicly apostatizing instead of continuing to masquerade as a Christian. I wish others of like mind would follow suit.

It seems Rice still suffers from "vampire logic." Pray for her. And for me.

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, WOSU Radio in Ohio, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if those emails are marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours in my column, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in very rare circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)


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