“LAW & ORDER” DISTORTS CATHOLIC TEACHINGS
Catalyst March Issue 2003
The February 5 edition of the NBC show, “Law & Order,” misrepresented Catholic teachings in a way that made the Church look sinister. The show centered on Father Hogan who murdered a drug dealer. Here are three examples where the Church’s teachings were twisted:
When questioned by police about the initial suspect in the murder, Father Hogan said, “Until the Vatican tells me otherwise, any conversation I have with a congregant remains between him, me and God.”
After confessing to the crime, Father Hogan says, “Killing is not a crime when it is God’s will.”
Father Hogan justifies killing the drug dealer by citing Exodus, saying this book of the Bible exculpates him.
Our news release on the show is printed below:
“If Dick Wolf, creator and executive producer of ‘Law & Order,’ has a need to bash the Catholic Church, he should at least make an attempt to know something about the religion. By twisting the teachings of the Church to make his case, Wolf runs the risk of being regarded as a theological illiterate. Not that he would suffer any penalty for doing so in Hollywood, it’s just that he runs the risk of not fooling everyone.
“The scene where the attorney was planning to put a bishop on the stand was great. ‘He [the bishop] can’t have murder added to the long list of priestly iniquities,’ said the lawyer. This showed tremendous sensitivity; how empathic. But my favorite line was the one where the priest says all three major faiths are now in crisis: a) Muslim terrorism and the war b) anti-Semitism on the rise and c) the sex scandal in the Church.
“Now imagine for one moment a show where Judaism is misrepresented, a rabbi is guilty of murder, dirty laundry in the Jewish community is flagged and anti-Catholicism is said to be on the rise.”
In a letter to Dick Wolf, William Donohue simply said, “Try to be a little more creative next time”; he also enclosed a copy of the news release.
You can write to Mr. Wolf at Studios USA/Wolf Films, 100 Universal City Plaza Building #69, North Hollywood, CA 91601-9999.