On the October 8 episode of the Fox program, “Bones,” the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation was ridiculed. The show, which features a female forensic specialist, Temperance “Bones” Brennan, and a male FBI agent, Seeley Booth, began with an exchange regarding a female Protestant minister who was reported missing.
The following is how the conversation went:
Booth: “She’s a pastor. Yeah. Looks like one of those grassroots community churches.”
Bones: “Huh. She was preparing for a sermon.”
Booth: “A pastor with augmentation and veneers.”
Booth: “A spiritual leader shouldn’t be so vain.”
Bones: “The pope sits on a throne. He wears robes worth hundreds of dollars. Isn’t that vanity?”
Booth: “Oh really? You’re going after the pope now?”
Bones: “One pastor gets her teeth whitened, and the other drinks wine on Sunday mornings and tells everyone that it’s been miraculously transformed into blood. Which of those is more outlandish?”
This was not the first time we had ever received negative feedback about “Bones.” We received complaints following episodes that aired on April 19, 2006 and March 28, 2007 but we decided not to make a public protest because we didn’t think the incidents in question were clear-cut cases of bigotry. But for two reasons, this one was different: a) it cuts straight to the heart and soul of Catholicism and b) it was entirely gratuitous.
We issued a news release the day following the show and said:
“It does not matter that non-Catholics may not accept what happens at Mass. What matters is that they show respect. And to just throw this line in while the opening credits are running—about a minister, no less—shows how mean-spirited the writers are. If only they thought of Catholics as if they were an indigenous people, we’d be fine.”
We urged our members to contact Fox Entertainment’s Senior VP for Communications, Scott Grogin, at firstname.lastname@example.org