The November 10 episode of the ABC show “The Practice” used the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church for script. According to the show’s writer, David E. Kelley, the purpose of this episode was to pose a question to Catholics: “Can Catholics adequately express their rage without quitting the church?”

Catholic League president William Donohue answered Kelley in the following news release:

“There is not much about the Catholic Church that David E. Kelley likes. We know this because Kelley has been very busy over the years writing scripts that are highly critical of virtually every Church teaching on sexual ethics. Like many former Catholics, Kelley just can’t pack it in and find another home. So he hangs around. His credentials include a series of Catholic-baiting shows he wrote for ‘Picket Fences’ and a slew of crabby shows he’s penned for ‘The Practice.’ Indeed, the very first month that ‘The Practice’ aired, Kelley unloaded on Catholicism.

“To give him his due, Kelley has corresponded with me at some length on this issue and always in a congenial manner. Yet he always returns to dish out more dirt. Now the scandal in the Church has gripped him. Indeed, he has several episodes on this issue scheduled.

“Kelley is not wrong to use the scandal for a script. Nor would he be wrong to use the upswing in syphilis and AIDS among reckless gays as a script. But this is not what interests him. He wants to seize on the less than 1.5 percent of priests who have been guilty of sexual abuse over the last 40 years. The fact that 99.3 percent of priests today are not even being questioned about sexual abuse means nothing to Kelley: there is a scandal in the Catholic Church and it is his job to exploit it. That is why he irresponsibly casts a mother who will not allow her son to be baptized because in a few years the kid might be raped in the confessional.

“Here’s my answer to Kelley’s question: Yes, Catholics can adequately express their rage at the Church’s handling of this problem without quitting. But I have a question for him: can he adequately express his contempt for Catholicism without showing his hand?”

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