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. The persistent use church music and Catholic symbols made a perfect backdrop to the message that CBS wanted to send.

Catholic League president William Donohue saw the movie and issued the following comment today:

“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 ‘Nightly 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.

“CBS is by no means the only offender in Hollywood, but between this movie and its recent showing of a despicable episode of ‘Cybil’ (it mocked the Sacrament of Reconciliation), one wonders what motivates the creative-types at Black Rock to bash Catholicism. The league will register a formal complaint with CBS.”

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