October 10, 1997 in Features

‘Nothing Sacred’ Receives Blessing Of Catholic Media

The Hollywood Reporter

ABC’s controversial “Nothing Sacred” is getting support from an unusual area: the Catholic press.

At least two dozen publications and media organizations, such as the National Catholic Reporter, the Tablet, Catholic News Service, and the New World - have written favorable reviews and articles in the past month. The publications said the new show, which centers on a priest, is of high quality and fosters a healthy diversity of opinion.

These publications have cited Catholic officials who have taken issue with the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the well-funded New York-based organization that has fought for the removal of the show and has convinced several advertisers to pull their ads.

“Nothing Sacred” is about a priest who deals with such issues as abortion, celibacy and homosexuality. The Catholic League has called aspects of the show blasphemous.

A New York-based priest, the Rev. Robert Lauder, wrote in the Tablet: “There is no suggestion that the main character of this series is typical of all priests. Catholics may hold different views about a work of art, even one that deals with a priest’s life. I liked it.”

A Chicago priest, the Rev. Robert Roll, said, “If it creates an atmosphere for discussion about the church, then it’s good.”

Also backing the show is Viewers for Quality Television, a Virginia-based advocacy group, which has called for a “counterboycott” of “Nothing Sacred.” It is urging viewers to write positive letters to sponsors who have left the show or are thinking about pulling out.

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