Friday, October 20, 2006

TV Catholicism

Hubby pointed out to me a post on The Cafeteria is Closed about last night's episode of CSI, which was centered around a love triangle between 3 old friends, one of them being a Catholic priest, of course.

It always makes me laugh to see TV's version of Catholicism...first of all, they always happen to have the old cathedrals, the traditional music, nuns who actually wear habits (a young perky one with bangs, reminiscent of Maria from "The Sound of Music," and the obligatory jaded, grouchy, old one), confessional much of which is actually missing in most modern Catholic parishes! Second of all, the soundbites they have the Catholics say or people explaining Catholicism are usually off the wall ridiculous - like Grissom trying to pit forgiveness and penance against each other, as if they're somehow mutually exclusive. And of course, the old "Catholic guilt" cliché reared its ugly head, along with a misrepresentation of the requirement to forgive, and a confusion of the forgiveness given in confession with personal forgiveness we give. Grissom says to the priest, "You have to forgive him, don't you?" and the priest says, with a look of reluctance, "It's Christ's mandate." Well yeah...but we can choose to follow that mandate or not! There's this little thing we have called free will...and it's (purposely?) ambiguous as to whether he's talking about forgiving him personally, or acting in persona Christi to grant absolution in confession...which are two very different things.

All in all, the picture they paint on TV of Catholicism is so superficial, and often just plain wrong. Would it be that hard to do a little homework and get things right? They probably go to some former cradle Catholics on the set, get their info from them and figure it's accurate enough.

But of course, it's just Catholicism, so who cares, right?


Thomas J. said...

You know, between you and my catholic nurse wife. . .I can not actually enjoy ANY tv show that is set in a catholic church or a hospital.

You guys drive me crazy.

Just wait. . .they will have another rock and roll musician show. . .I'll get you all then!

Stephanie said...


Pup said...

'former cradle catholic' yeah that's funny! I like it. I'm not ... I guess a baptist from birth. I chose to go to church and learn and I was really proud of that and still have issues with ppl saying 'yall were all raised in church' because I wasn't and i'm kinda proud of it!

Stephanie said...

You go, girl! ;-)