Is it immoral for a Catholic male actor to portray a woman in a play?


#1

A Catholic male friend of mine has declined a role in a theatrical production on moral grounds because it would require him to dress as a woman. (A woman in a prison jumpsuit no less.)

I am aware of Deuteronomy 22:5, which states “A woman shall not wear an article proper to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s dress; for anyone who does such things is an abomination to the Lord, your God.”

However, since as an actor he would only intend to portray a woman rather than truly put himself forth as a woman, would this prohibition apply to him?


#2

Deuteronomy 22:5 is a reference to crossdressing, but the prohibition would not apply to those in theatre production.

The context of this passage is God’s warning to the Israelites to stay away from the idolatry, and perversion of the Canaanites.

In his commentary on Deuteronomy Fr. Hal Stockert says,

“The Canaanites were idolaters, enchanters, witches, charmers, consulters with familiar spirits, and worshippers of false gods. So Moses announced to the Israelites that “…because of these abominations, the Lord Thy God drives them out from before thee.” It is no better that the gods of our own idolatry in this day - pleasure, sensual and psychic gratification, simple comfort and ease, are different from those worshipped by the Canaanites, they remain idols nonetheless.”


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