On February 23 and 25, CBS aired a two-part movie, “Night Sins,” starring Valerie Bertinelli. Based on a novel by Tami Hoag, the second part of the series portrayed a priest who passionately kisses a woman in church and a crazed deacon who assaults the priest and then commits suicide; we also learn that the deacon harbored the body of his wife and misled many altar boys.
League president William Donohue saw the movie and sent the following statement to the media, as well as to CBS:
“Having just gotten back from California after meeting with many in the Hollywood industry, I was struck by the most recent attack on Catholicism. In `Night Sins,’ the viewer meets two Catholics-one a wayward priest and the other a mad deacon. As always, Catholics who are shown as loyal to the church are portrayed as suffering from some malady. Indeed, it is precisely because the deacon is depicted as `obsessed’ with Catholicism that he is portrayed as an evil disciplinarian.
“It was not for nothing that Valerie Bertinelli commented after the suicide of the deacon that it `seems like they all have a secret life, hiding their sins.’ The point, of course, is that all priests and deacons resemble the two characters depicted in the movie. Thus, Hollywood once again shows its penchant for attacking Catholicism by presenting Catholics whom no one would admire and then suggesting that most Catholics are as deviant as CBS would have us believe.”