I was so glad to see that this subject is being addressed. Like many others, I very much enjoy the CSI series of t.v. shows. But I was really caught off-guard when this particular show aired last night. Never before have I seen any CSI show that used its platform of entertainment and education about forensics to launch a vicious attack against the Church or those who support the pro-life cause. I say “vicious” because of the demeanor of “Catherine” when she began to ridicule the woman representing the pro-life movement. (Apparently the writers were oblivious to the irony of Catherine’s indignation despite the fact that she herself chose not to abort her child. The logical question is “why not?”) Not only was I shocked, but this was so unlike the professionalism that generally dictates the manner used in interrogating people on this show.
In fact, Grisholm later questioned Catherine on this very point, yet he “didn’t know” whether she should be admonished or not. He was too busy musing over his own concept of when life begins - when “lifeblood” is present. My first shock came earlier in the show, though, when the coroner referred to the murder victim as a “Virgin Mary” because she had given birth (by Cesarean delivery) to a “test tube” embryo while retaining her own virginity. Futhermore, her boyfriend attested to the fact that the victim had told him that she had been impregnated “by God”! (While this may have been intended to show her certainty that God had willed her to accept this unborn child, it nonetheless was a direct disparagement of the Immaculate Conception.)
Putting these three scenes together, one could not doubt that the intent was to ridicule the Catholic Church and all pro-life supporters. I, too, thought of contacting the Catholic League about this and I am glad that they have already written a statement. However, I was a little disappointed by the fact that it does not address the accusation made on the show that a pope once stated that life is not present in the fetus before “quickening”. I think that this statement was the focal point of this attack. It should be ascertained whether or not any pope ever did make such a statement and, if so, that this was merely his own personal opinion based upon the limited knowledge of his day - not an official stance of the Church. Further, I think that the League failed to recognize that the inference made on the show was that if the Church can change its stance on such an important issue, how can anyone now supporting its views be considered anything but ignorant?
Since it is true that some things do change in Church teaching (for example the exoneration of Galileo and the current changes in the rites of the Mass, abstinence from meat on Fridays, etc.), I think that someone should make it very clear to CBS and the viewing public that such changes in NO way relate to the most basic Church doctrines - certainly not to its views about abortion, which have always been condemnatory.
I am grateful that Catholic League has provided us a link to lodge our individual complaints to the creators of the show and I hope that many Catholics and other pro-life supporters will use it to do so. Personally, while I will continue to watch the series, I will never feel quite the same way about its characters or the actors portraying them. The characters, like most on t.v., voice the personal opinions of the show’s writers… and, unfortunately, these are usually anti-Christian and anti-life. When the actors agree to cooperate in their acceptance of such a script, they compromise their own moral characters, if not their consciences, in turning an enjoyable entertainment into a vindictive attack on a select group among their audience. Neither Gil Grisholm, Catherine, nor the actors portraying them will ever again be quite so admirable in our eyes.