CBC airs "The Altar Boy Gang"...CATHOLICS, BE HEARD!

Catholics angry at CBC over Altar Boy Gang

Group protests 'blasphemy of sacred rituals’
Janice Tibbetts, The Ottawa Citizen

Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2007
A CBC pilot program that portrays altar boys as druggies and the Catholic communion host as “munchable snack food, possible poker chips and a repository for drops of LSD” has sparked a complaint accusing the public broadcaster of blasphemy.
“Catholics should not have to pay for shows where their most sacred rituals and images are considered a starting point for dramatic licence,” said the Catholic Civil Rights League, which intends to lodge a formal complaint today with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for airing The Altar Boy Gang.
“With this program, the CBC has moved into the area of blasphemy of sacred rituals.”

rest of the article can be read here: canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=3ad73594-f181-482d-86b9-11d016c4074b

I have made a complaint to the CRTC which regulates programming in Canada. Here it is:

CBC, May 11th, “The Altar Boy Gang”. I am completely disgusted at the insensitivity of the CBC in airing this blasphemous show. It depicts those who take the vocation of Altar Boy in the Catholic Church as evil people simply interested in using the “communion wafer” for munchies, as a source of droplets of LSD, or as a poker chip. This is very disturbing, because as a Catholic that is nothing short of insulting. The “wafer”, we believe to be the body and blood of Christ once Consecrated by the priest, true to Jesus’ own words. The CBC knows this, and thus making the airing of this more upsetting. It is a double standard here when they hire a Muslim Canadian prior to airing “little mosque on the prairie” to ensure that Muslim sensitivities are protected, yet the same is not done for something so sacred to Catholics. I am disgusted, that my taxpaying dollars have gone to support this. As a Catholic, I feel taken advantage of, because we do not resort to violence as a source of protest, thus making my faith an easy target. Please advise how this is addressed. Thanks for reading.

This story by the way was on all the major newspapers.

Here is a way to add clout to your letter to the CRTC:

Write to Joanne McGarry at the Catholic Civil Rights League who is already carrying a protest against this program:

This is much more galling in view of the support that the CBC gets from Canadian taxpayers, almost half of whom are Catholic. In this case, support from the Canadian Television Fund was also acknowledged.


Also write to the CBC ombudsman:


Also write to the Prime Minister and the Apostolic Nuncio. If you are not Canadian write to them anyway and also write to your ambassador to Canada.

Prime Minister

Right Hon Stephen Harper
[FONT=‘Times New Roman’]pm@pm.gc.ca[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman]Members of Parliament


[FONT=Times New Roman]Ambassadors to Canada

[FONT=Times New Roman]Apostolic Nuncio to Canada
The Most Reverend Luigi Ventura
Apostolic Nuncio
724 Manor Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1M 0E3[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]

Oh and if you are not Canadian, please do not refrain from writing the CBC. The CBC hates ‘outside interference’ concerning their funding and will likely think this is newsworthy. Right now they are stonewalling, claiming that McGarry’s protest was the only one.

Hopefully Archbishop Prendegast will make some noise about this (and other things) when he becomes Archbishop of Ottawa.


I think that its very important that if you read this, at the very least send them a letter and copy/paste it to all the mentioned people above.

Its our duty as Catholics to defend the faith, and this is a blatant attack using taxpayers dollars.

It won’t hurt to write a few words of protest.

Ok, I protested. I hope all of this does some good. Prayers won’t hurt, either.

Thanks, folks, for taking an interest.

I searched for any letters to the editor on the CBC site but could not find any. Likely the CBC is stonewalling.

Apart from writing to the govt reps, it is important to keep this in the mainstream media until it is resolved. A Google search will turn up some American newspapers who are also covering the story.

I think every voice counts. Prayer is also indeed important.

Looks like they are listening. Here is the response I got from the CRTC:

Dear Mr. *****:

Thanks for contacting the CRTC with your concerns.

It’s the broadcasters themselves - not the CRTC - who are responsible for the programming they provide. This is spelled out in the Broadcasting Act. Our job is to make sure broadcasters have acted responsibly - and to hold them accountable for their programming when it’s called for.

In order to follow this matter, I am asking CBC by copy of this message, to respond directly to you within three weeks and to send us a copy of its reply for review by Commission staff. I am also asking that it hold a tape of the broadcast in question until your case is resolved. You will hear from us again if any regulatory action is required.

Your complaint and all related correspondence will be placed on CBC’s public file at the end of three weeks. The Commission may review it at licence renewal time and interested parties may consult the file at any time. In accordance with your rights under the Privacy Act, you may refuse to have your correspondence placed on such a file. If that is the case, please contact us within three weeks of the date of this response by clicking on the link provided below, by mail, fax or telephone, quoting the reference number. Please note that the Commission may not be able to pursue your complaint if all correspondence cannot be made public.

I am also providing you with a link to the Fact Sheet entitled “How to file a Broadcasting Complaint” which explains the CRTC complaints process : [/FONT]http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/INFO_SHT/G8.htm

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please do not reply to this message using the email address indicated above as we cannot receive e-mail at this address. To reply or to add to your submission, please click here and follow the prompts: [/FONT]http://www.crtc.gc.ca/rapidsccm/landing.asp?lang=E&caseid=346509&key=39486.6339830247


Suzanne Papineau
CRTC Client Services

1-877-249-2782 / télécopieur/facsimile (819) 994-0218
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes / Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission / Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
Gouvernement du Canada / Government of Canada

c.c.: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation


Attachments: 1.DOCincoming correspondence dated May 18, 2007

Hey, Superstar! Way to go!

Wait until Donohue hears this. :eek:

Oh! I wonder what Michael Coren has to say.

Thanks! When I have time, I plan on emailing the contacts you listed above.

Hopefully more people complain and stick up for what is sacred in our faith.

I saw both episodes of this show (which no one is picking up as a series), and decided to come on here when I’d heard there was trouble about it. Nice to know this place is here.
But I was wondering if anyone who has posted to this thread had seen the show or maybe read the scripts or anything.
Thanks very much.

Here is the response I’ve gotten from the CBC.

[FONT=Arial]Re: CRTC Case ID 346509

Dear ******** *****[FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial][FONT=Arial],[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
[/FONT]Thank you for your email to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in which you express your concerns over the pilot episodes of The Altar Boys Gang, which were broadcast on May 11, 2007. As you know, the CRTC has asked the CBC to respond to you directly.

We regret to hear that you were offended by the content. The episodes were intended as absurdist comedy satire and were not meant to be interpreted as a literal attack on Roman Catholicism, its practices or its adherents.

CBC will not be proceeding with the program as a series and we have no plans for future rebroadcasts. Because the pilot was financed with public funding, including tax credits and Canadian Television Fund monies, we were required to put it on air. A pilot isn’t usually a fair or full representation of what a program would look like as a series; since a pilot’s purpose is to help network programmers determine whether a script can be turned into a viable show, we find it somewhat unfair to both the network and its audiences the requirement that (in this case, failed) pilots be aired.

Again, thank you for bring your concerns to our attention. Should you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact CBC Audience Relations via the CONTACT US link on CBC.ca.

Yours very truly,

Denis Andrychuk
Communications Officer
CBC Audience Relations


I feel as though I have been heard.

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