Catholic League president William Donohue offers his thoughts on the January 17 episode of ABC’s “Nothing Sacred”:

“There is no doubt that ‘Nothing Sacred’s directors, writers and actors are caught in a time warp; their reactionary lament for the 1960s suggests a clinical disorder not easily treated. Yet when the bishop discusses with Father Ray the reaction of some parishioners to his innovations, he remarks that ‘change is hard on most people,’ thereby missing the obvious: seated in front of him is the one person who resists change more than anyone else.

“The bishop also proved to be disingenuous when he told Father Ray that assistance would be forthcoming—in the form of dispatching Father Martin to his parish—because Father Ray doesn’t ‘have a vision.’ Again, the bishop misses the point: it is precisely because Father Ray does have a vision that Father Martin’s corrective lenses are necessary. The central problem is that Father Ray’s vision of the Church doesn’t include respect for the Magisterium.

“Joining Father Ray in his temper tantrum is Sister Mo. Her fondness for baking ‘Eucharistic’ bread, liturgical dance and inclusive language is of a piece with her resistance to the changes that Father Martin wants. It is easier to sympathize with the resistance that Sidney has for Father Martin’s changes (e.g., ‘I don’t like organized religion which is why I like working here’) because at least in his case he professes to believe in nothing. Then again, Sister Mo may actually not differ that much from Sidney, which is why next week she’s thinking about packing it in altogether.

“Finally, what else can we say about a priest who, in the previous episode, assaulted the police in a church, and who in this week’s show vandalized church statues with spray paint? One would think that someone so enamored of the 1960s might at least fake a belief in peace instead of engaging in violence. But this is the 1990s, the decade that is showing the anger of the Sixties generation that never grew up. Change, as they say, is hard to accept, and this is especially true of those so drugged with nostalgia that the only vision they have is colored by bitterness, emptiness and self- righteousness. ‘Give peace a chance,’ we say, and give the Sixties a rest.”

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