September 2018 Chuch & State Magazine - September 2018

Czech Cardinal Challenges Controversial Plays

  Rokia Hassanein

A Czech cardinal is in court trying to stop a theater from performing two controversial plays.

Cardinal Dominik Duka of the Czech Catholic Church alleges that the plays, “Our Violence and Your Violence” and “The Curse,” written and directed by Oliver Frljic, violate his religious-freedom rights.

“I have decided to file a lawsuit as a physical person. I am also a statutory body of the Czech Bishops’ Confer­ence and represent the Catholic Church in the Czech Re­pub­lic, but I am primarily a man who loves Jesus. The theatre’s steps strongly infringed [on] my conviction, and this is why I am turning to the court to decide what is still art and what is willful harming [of] another person and my rights,” Duka said.

Duka and other opponents of the plays were especial­ly offended by a scene in “Our Violence and Your Vio­lence” in which Jesus is depicted as raping a Muslim woman. They also attacked a portion of “The Curse” in which an actress uses a power saw to cut an erect penis from the statue of the late Pope John Paul II.

Both plays were staged during the Theatre World 2018 international festival in Brno, a city in the Czech Republic.

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