Apparently the Diocese of Niagara will try just about anything except Christianity to entice people into its buildings: the place was full for the first time this century.
If you missed it, never fear, there will be a repeat of the fescennine folly at St. George’s Anglican Church, St. Catharines on Valentine’s day.
It’s all part of Living the Vision: coming soon to a church near you.
I was at the Christ’s Church Cathedral on Tuesday for a special performance of The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler’s still controversial (not to mention funny) play about some defining things that make a woman a woman, and a girl a girl.
Throughout the evening words were spoken that presumably had never been heard before in this hallowed space. Four-letter words some of them, with hard consonants, resounding profanely in the Gothic-Revival splendour of vaulted ceilings, stained glass and fluted columns. The hundreds who filled the church on this night would frequently drown out the sound of those words, not with indignant protest but laughter.
I was shocked. You might imagine. A “mainstream” church, with its pews full!?
The cathedral on James North, the centrepiece of the Anglican Diocese of Niagara, was built 1852-1876. Back then they didn’t envision plays in the church, certainly not with such language and content, and certainly not with the lines being delivered by ordained Anglican priests.
Back then, they really would’ve been shocked. You might imagine. But mostly because those ordained priests were … worst outrage of all … women.
Eight of them — female Anglican priests, from Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Guelph, Cayuga, Hamilton. They dressed in black vestments and red scarves, and at least one in stiletto heels.
Some even now will find it offensive that something called The Vagina Monologues was staged in a church, a sacred place, that priests said the “f” word and worse.