During the February 22 episode of the NBC-TV sitcom, “Committed,” two non-Catholics are mistakenly given Holy Communion at a Catholic funeral Mass. Nate, who is Jewish, and Bowie, a Protestant, don’t know what to do with the Eucharist, so they make several failed attempts to get rid of it. For example, they try slipping it into the pocket of a priest, dropping it on a tray of cheese and crackers, etc.
At one point, the priest, who is portrayed as not knowing the difference between the Host and a cracker, goes to grab the “cracker” from a tray of appetizers; he initially balks when he discovers that it is the last one. Then he changes his mind, saying, “Oh, what the hell.” By far the most offensive scene occurs when Nate and Bowieaccidentally flush what they think is the Host down the toilet.
Catholic League president William Donohue commented on this today:
“It’s been quite a while since we’ve been deluged with as many complaints as this episode of ‘Committed’ fielded. To say that Catholics are angry about this show would be an understatement—the outrage is visceral and intense. The complaints have come from bishops, college chaplains, pastors and the laity, and they have come from all over the country. With good reason: NBC has made a direct frontal assault on Roman Catholicism, choosing to mock, trivialize and ridicule the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
“What happened was deliberate. According to a January 2 story in the Cincinnati Enquirer, the writers for the series, Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, have been encouraged by NBC executives ‘to push the limits of comedy.’ For obvious reasons, the writers of ‘Roseanne,’ ‘Murphy Brown’ and ‘Ellen’ chose not to push the buttons of homosexuals (or some other protected group), so they decided to play it safe and stay in good standing with their bosses by bashing Catholics.
“More than an apology is needed. This episode should be retired for good, and that is what we will demand.”