Skip to main content

An open letter to screenwriters, directors, actors and such:

Dear Hollywood Folks,

First, I know you don't think that anyone in their right mind actually practices a religious faith (unless wearing a red string about one's wrist a la' Madonna can be construed as "practicing"), but many of us do.  We take our faith seriously, just as seriously as you taking your job of creating a TV show or movie.

Here's the thing.  I was watching "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" last night.  I really enjoy this show, so if you're involved in it, kudos to you!  However, last night's plot revolved around a seemingly-serious Catholic woman who appeared to have committed suicide.  (I will overlook the sexual abuse stuff and the unscrupulous priest who admitted to sleeping around....old canards and shame on you for being a one-note writer on that topic.)  However, what I won't overlook is this:  one suspect admitted she tried to cover up the suicide and stage the scene to look like a murder so that the dead woman  "could be buried in consecrated ground and have a funeral Mass said for her".  This because, as EVERYONE knows, a Catholic who commits suicide has committed that same sin as murder (one of the characters stated this) and all of the above applies.

Except.....: you're wrong.

None of this applies.  Oh, it used to be 45+ years ago.  Since then, the Church, like the rest of the world, knows that a person who commits suicide is not in a healthy state of mind and cannot be held completely responsible for his/her actions.  While the Church acknowledges that suicide does take a human life, it is not equivalent to murder, morally speaking.

At while we're chatting, can you please stop showing characters going to Catholic churches and finding a priest just puttering around inside, straightening hymnals and lighting candles?  They don't do that.  They don't have time.  They are too busy visiting hospitals and nursing homes, answering emails, counseling folks, filling out paperwork for the endless things that parish life requires, and generally:  working.

Also, we Catholics don't tend to go to confession in little dark booths with sliding screens anymore.  For the most part, we have clean, well-lit reconciliation rooms with chairs that are quite welcoming for the ordinary sinner.

I realize some of you must have been raised Catholic and therefore believe you know.  However, if you have not darkened the doorstep of a Church since 1965, if you are not aware of the looming changes to the Roman Missal (if you don't even know what the Roman Missal IS), if you've never had dinner with a priest who isn't wearing a collar, if you don't realize that Catholic schools are not densely populated by nuns waiving rulers....then stop writing as an authority!!!!  Ask someone who is!!!  Do what good writers are supposed to do and do research!!!!

That is all.

Thank you,
A disgruntled Catholic TV viewer


  1. I saw I show last week depicting a woman, who was lesbian, upset because she could not have her "wedding" in a church with a priest. Her friend trying to comfort her said, God is in us and with us and everywhere. True but... she then went on to say it was just too bad her religion had not caught up to God and his love yet.


Post a Comment

I love comments, even if you don't agree, but please don't leave anonymous posts. A well-mannered reader leaves a name!

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Secret Santa!!

Too old for Santa? I think not.

Yes, there are discussions as to whether we should "lie" to kids and tell them that Santa brings them gifts vs. We can't lie to the kids; it's wrong.

There is also the "Christmas is about Jesus" vs. "But Santa is magical!"

You know, we have so few magical and joyful moments, and less and less as we get older. Santa is fun. And the kids usually figure it out, and no one I know was ever scarred for life for believing that Santa brought them and every child everywhere a toy for Christmas.

It's the magic of looking up at the sky on a clear December night, thinking "I'll wait up to see Santa" and later, as you fell asleep at the window, being in your daddy's arms as he carries you to bed.

It's the magic of putting out cookies and milk (or beer, because Santa does like beer) and maybe some carrots for the reindeer, and then checking in the morning to make sure the food was all consumed.


Advent Brokenness

It was a lovely May evening, the kind we in Michigan savor like honey. After the brutal cold of winter, flowers blossomed, grass greened, mosquitoes flocked. School was almost done for the year - just the formalities of 8th grade graduation were ahead.

Why not saddle up the horse and go for a ride? Why not, indeed. So my sister and I did. I took Prince out across the road from our house, to romp through the weeds on a path my father mowed for us. The view from horseback on a spring night - well, nearly Heaven.

Until Prince bolted. He spooked. I fell. And my arm broke. Compound fracture.

My dog, a collie, had followed us out. He was not particularly trusting of Prince, as Prince would never allow himself to be herded, and this vexed my collie. My dog, channeling his inner Lassie, ran home without me.

My sister had been in the yard with her boyfriend at the time, Gary, waiting for me to come back. Instead, it was just the dog loping across the road. That didn't seem right, so my si…