U.S. Notes & Quotes

Fox to Catholics—No Apologies?

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, Nov. 9—Did the Fox television network apologize for smearing the priesthood and religious life in its Ally McBeal show?

According to the Washington Post, it did. It was reporting on the recent episode of the show about a nun suing the Church after being forced out of the religious life for violating her vow of celibacy. The show, apart from its premise, offended Catholics by casting pedophilia by priests and lesbianism by nuns as commonplace. It also featured a priest who videotaped confessions.

Rick Henshaw of the Catholic League was quoted as telling the Washington Post that the network had promised that, “they would see that this kind of thing does not happen again. We were quite pleased with their forthright response.... They said they totally understood and totally sympathized, and promised to monitor the show more closely.”

According to the Hollywood Reporter, however, no assurance was made. It said sources at Fox “merely said—in an off-the-record conversation—that they were sensitive to the Catholic League's concerns, but weren't issuing any apologies or assurances.”

Catholic News Service reported Nov. 10 that Fox's new official response to Catholic concerns about the show was “no comment.”

Nuns Are Sports Fans, Too

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, Nov. 11—Religious sisters are fans of sports both north and south of the U.S.-Canadian border, said a recent report.

The story noted that Catholic nuns from the Sisters of St. Joseph order in Boston had recently “described their obsession with the Red Sox, admitting that they frequently call in to sports talk radio and get rowdy at the games. One nun said the sisters especially enjoy dogging former Red Sox players like Jose Canseco: ‘It is not un-Christian to boo,’ said one.”

The report also said, “The sisters of the Precious Blood order in Edmonton, Alberta, believe they were instrumental earlier in the year in saving Edmonton's hockey team, the Oilers, by praying that the team would not be relocated.”

An archdiocesan spokesman there confirmed that members of the order are hockey fans. He also said the sisters enjoy booing the Calgary Flames.

New Latin Mass Center to Open in South Jersey

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, Nov. 4—Pine Hill, N.J., will soon be the new home of a Latin Mass center, reported the daily newspaper in nearby Philadelphia. The group Opus Mariae Mediatricis will report to Bishop James McHugh and be in full communion with the Church, said the article.

The group plans to take over a property which was owned for three decades, said the paper, by “a band of lay people who called themselves monks but were not associated with the Catholic Church.”

“Now Opus Mariae is converting the 34,000-square-foot property into a home for Philadelphia-area seminarians, priests who join the association, and others who want to learn more about Latin rituals,” said the paper. Renovations should take another six months, it said.

Founded by Father William Ashley, the 2-year-old organization, which has some 4,500 supporters nationwide and 200 locally, will move its headquarters to the renovated site. The diocese and the local government have both been very helpful to the new group in expediting its move to the facility, said the paper.

Horace Vernet, “The Angel of Death,” 1851

Don’t Wait to Cram for Your ‘Final Exam’

“Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven — through a purification or immediately — or immediate and everlasting damnation.” (CCC 1022)

Francisco de Zurbarán, “The Family of the Virgin,” ca. 1650

Why Do We Ask Mary to Pray for Us?

“After her Son’s Ascension, Mary ‘aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers.’ In her association with the apostles and several women, ‘we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation.’” (CCC 965)