TV: Criminal Minds

This week the TV show ‘Criminal Minds’ was about a priest who forced exorcisms on people, keeping them tied to their beds until they died of stress or heart attack. :eek: And yes, it was a really, really stupid idea. It also featured a segment with one of the characters on the show telling the story of her abortion. And my, my did the actress cry and her voice quaver as she told the story of how her priest told her she was not welcome at church after an abortion.

I am sick and tired of the anti Catholic bias on TV, which I feel has gotten worse by leaps and bounds. :mad:’

Any different responses to the show or to TV in general?

God bless, Annem

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Your synopsis was a little incomplete. The priest doing the exorcisms was not authorized by the diocese, and was doing them out of revenge for a crime that had been committed years ago.

I thought the whole problem was handled with care. And the investigators went to local priests for help, the way they’d go to the local police in secular matters. And none of it involved sexual abuse, so it was not a sneaky slap at the Church that way, either.

The discussions among the team members about their own religious feelings was interesting, too.

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I watched Criminal Minds, it’s one of my favorite shows. Actually, they were pretty careful in how they represented the Catholic faith. The episode was about a priest, who lied to get into the country and used diplomatic immunity to do so, who “performed” exorcisms on four gentleman who had visited a pilgrimage site in Spain. A priest at the pilgrimage site had died of natural causes though there was a conspiracy theory that someone murder him. The priest that came to the US and performed the “exorcisms” was a friend of the deceased priest and possibly consumed by grief, decided to kill these men he thought had killed his friend.

Yes, the character of Emily Prentiss admitted to having an abortion at the age of 15. She had had sex to fit in. She went to the priest for advice and was told she wouldn’t be welcome in the parish ever again because of the baby not the abortion. She excommunicated herself by having the abortion but she still would have been required to attend Mass.

The show actually didn’t show approval or disapproval of the abortion only mentioned the fact that she had one. We don’t know if she reconciled with the Church or not (the limit of prime time television).

Rossi went to a priest friend, who didn’t pressure him to come back to the faith but still retained their friendship. This was positive since it sends the message that we shouldn’t solely base friendships on what we want or believe. They went to a larger group of priests for information and did so with caution and care instead of bullying to demand information.

And they discussed the existence of evil. Most people use the word evil and don’t understand what that means. The characters discussion was valid without taking a deliberate stance.

I thought it was surprisingly good and dealt with the subject matter well instead of making it horror movie ripoff. So yes, while there is definitely anti-Catholic bias out there, Criminal Minds wasn’t showing it. Which is surprising since CBS is typically very anti-Catholic.

I think that if you watch TV or read a book or whatever expecting to find anti-Catholic bias you will. If you see smoke, that doesn’t mean there is a fire. People want to find monsters everywhere so they can point fingers and sit on their high horse.

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Oh my, looks like I was wrong. Sorry, God bless, Annem

Well, just be careful. Unless you’re being sarcastic. You aren’t required to watch a TV show if you don’t want to. If you find something on a TV show you disagree with or even find offensive, you are allowed to not watch it. You have to discern your own viewing habits. Just don’t dictate them on others. TV writers don’t know everything and may not know that they have written something wrong. It happens. TV is about entertainment, not educating the public about people’s beliefs.

I looked for a thread of this last week so am glad to see it now. Can someone explain to me what the bloody nose was at the end? Is Emily suppose to be evil? I am a huge Criminal Minds fan but both my husband and I are like “what the heck”. It was just a very strange eposide. Seems like they wanted to go deeper but not enough time.

I watched that show last week. First time I’ve ever watched it. I was intrigued by it. My husband didn’t like how they were portraying the Church, but I didn’t see it. I saw them going after the criminal priest, and showing other priests who were good.

At the end though, I was really really really wanting her to go into the church! I would have showed she wanted to reoncile…

Best guess, though I’m not a medical expert, it was weather related. At least, that’s what another forum I belong to was discussing it to be. Otherwise, it’s just a read herring, adding color to a scene that was full of white. Sometimes, the writers seem to write things in that don’t seem to make sense. Emily isn’t evil, well no more than anybody else but shedding blood can have multiple meanings.

I wonder if it’s supposed to relate to her having an abortion, to being a sinner, to being “unclean” or “impure”, to show that she doesn’t “fit” in the scene of white. You could possible see the last scene with the snow falling as covering all the bad and ugliness and the red color of the blood mars that beauty and reminds of the ugliness that’s hiding just beneath. It could mean anything and nothing.

I do not think it is was anticatholic. The episode was okay. Although I am a fan of the show, we decided at my house last night to discontinue watching it. It has become too gratuitous in its portrayal of evil, to the the point that it is spiritually upsetting. Often shows I like and get hooked on start to push limits after the producers see the ratings dip a little. So it is on to something else for me.

Pacbox–thanks for your view on what the blood meant. It is a good possible analysis of what it could have meant. It is interesting that Emily, Rossi AND Derek (if you remember the show from a year or so ago) are all suppose to be Catholic on this show but you don’t see any of the other religions portrayed. I think the Catholic faith has so many symbols, rituals, etc. that are purely “Catholic” that it makes it easier to use it in movies, tv shows, etc. (Really when you see a rosary, etc, you KNOW it’s Catholic.) Not that that gives a good reason that they always use the Catholic faith in the media, maybe just a reason why.

I know what you mean. I found this week’s show to be downright chilling in its portrayal of the serial killer (I’m from Boston, so it really hit home!) A very complex show, always.

Supposedly, Gideon was Jewish but not a strictly observing one. They had an episode during the second season that deal with a terrorist that was Muslim. They also have dealt with Christian fundamentalist polygamist (you could tell they took the story from the headlines about the sect in Texas but didn’t do any real research into the whole movement when they depicted on TV).

Yes, I get what you mean about Catholicism being visible. The faith appeals to all 5 senses through such things as the Rosary, incense, chant, holy water, the Eucharist. Plus, sacramentals are easily identifiable as “religious” and have the imbeded meaning that’s easy to recognize. So a writer, director, prop master can put in a Catholic item and have it stand out and say “religions” or “faith.”

I didn’t see the episode as being anti-Catholic at all: to me, it featured very human characters, with all their flaws, who happened to be Catholic. It bugs me to no end when Catholics are portrayed as either pristine saints or heinous sinners: neither image is realistic at all, to me. The priest who “gone off the reservation”, so to speak, to perform unauthorized exorcisms clearly was a very disturbed man, but that was balanced out by Agent Rossi’s priest friend who was clearly a good man. This was even further balanced by Rossi (who I think is a fallen-away Catholic, or was raised Catholic) contacting the Vatican to get some leverage to get the renegade priest extradited, and one of his lines was something about “stopping this man from abusing your beliefs”.

Agent Prentiss’s bloody nose at the end struck me as being a red herring. I was actually more impressed by the heavy symbolism at the end, where she’s standing on the steps of a darkened church, as if she wants to go in and find solace, but she’s been too kicked-around by self-righteous Catholics to want to go in and risk being kicked again. “Criminal Minds” has always been a complex show, which is unabashed in showing human beings in all their frailty and inciting one to realize we are all capable of great good or great evil, depending on the thousand little choices we make, and it shows the effects of the choice people have made, for good or for evil, on their fellow man.

Yes, she is possessed too.

It has been an interesting research homework, but I am sure.

This is what I used:

Criminal Minds S04E17 HDTV XviD-NoTV
File size: 350,3MB
Duration: 42min, 42sec.
Episode Recap:

Four men were possessed somewhere in Spain, they were:

Father del Toro, Mathew Benton, Thomas Valentine, and Patrick Cavanaugh.

Two people more were possessed later, they were:

John Cooley, and Emily Prentiss.

Father del Toro died in Spain during an exorcism possibly performed by Father Silvano.
Father Silvano travels upon the request from Mathew’s parents, but Mathew passed on his demons into John Cooley shortly after his arrival to the United States.
Father Silvano exorcises Benton, and Valentine (both die during the process).
John Cooley desperately searches for Emily and hugs her at the first moment he sees her, she may have gotten under evil influence right there.
Cooley also unexplainable seems to know already about Valentine’s recent death, and misleads Emily into starting a murder investigation because he wants to use her to stop Father Silvano from exorcising him.
Father Silvano exorcises Patrick Cavanaugh, the third man Benton recruited over the Internet for the trip to Spain, and he dies too.

Notice that both Valentine’s wife and Benton’s parents fully agree with Father Silvano’s demonic possession views, only Emily refuses to accept it, and struggles to support John Cooley’s drug problem views.

On this episode the devil managed to fool a lot of people, the entire BAU team, but not the exorcist.

Father Silvano tries to end the demonic outbreak exorcising Cooley, the possessed man is proud enough to say:

  • the authorities are going to stop you. (because he planned that himself).
    And when Father Silvano called him belial, which means demon, he also adds:
  • I’m stronger than you. (admitting who he was then).

After Emily and the BAU team stop Cooley’s exorcism, she gives him a strong hug while he is still bleeding. I guess she gets possessed there on that moment.

Emily does not enter into the Church because the TV Show run out of time, or because it was late at night.

Father Silvano told Emily: “We’re both fighting the same evil”, and he asked her: “Do you still pray (in Italian)?”, and she replies: “We’re not talking about me (in Italian)”.

Father Silvano knew she was already being used by the devil, and tried to clue her about how to get protection, sadly she did not catch it.

This episode is not anti-Catholic if you analyze it in detail as I did, but if you saw it while you were distracted then you will think that this priest was a serial killer.

I have taken the time to review the episode and the episode recap added here, feel free to ask any questions.

Why are you filling your minds with this filth and garbage of the Devil?

When I watched that episode, I was struck at how Prentiss admitted she had an abortion and I honestly felt like her friend ended up suffering Post Abortion Stress disorder. The reason he delved into the drugs and other bad habits was possibly to cover up what he knew as a sin. She’s just not seeing it. Therefore at the end, when she’s standing outside the Church, she knows that her abortion is something she needs healing from and can only find it with Christ, but she’s still denying it.

At least I’m hopeful that this is what some people were able to discern from this. There are many people out there that were once “Good, clean, wholesome kid” that suddenly turns into a drug addict, alcoholic, very promiscuous, suicidal, or just overall bad judgment, has abortion as their catalyst for that sudden turning point. Much to the vicious denial of the pro-abortion people, abortion truly does have a VERY negative impact on most people that have experienced them.

There’s a forum about the show that I keep tabs on and the vast majority of the discussion of the episode was about showing Emily’s past. No one, at least in that forum, even mentioned the abortion or that it had an effect. Posters were “Yay! Emily backstory!!” and “Hotch can call the Vatican!” but then nearly all the members are teenagers so I don’t really expect a lot of serious discussion. (I was surprised that the posters didn’t focus on sex in regards to this episode since a lot of their posts focus on it or how a specific actor looks. Some teenagers.:shrug:)

You hit on a relevant point. And maybe because we are trained or just think that way or whatever possible explanation, we see the possible deeper meanings and the effects that actions have on people (or we paid too much attention in school to what teachers were telling us about symbolism and interpretation). Some of us will see what you pointed out. The unfortunate reality is that many will see only the shallow, surface story or focus on a specific actor/actress because of their looks, or pick apart everything because it wasn’t written or acted the way they wanted.

Did anybody see it?

There was a little girl receiving her first communion, and there was a long depiction of her in the line, and then receiving the Eucharist. The investigators had all signed a card and given her a huge check, saying "Congratulations on your First Communion." It was so beautiful, my mom and I were tearing up.

Although rare, there is always a beautiful depiction of Catholicism on TV. Might want to email CBS in support... just a suggestion :D

that is good to hear! :) :thumbsup:

I’m a big fan of the show. I see an underlying “appreciation” of Catholic values is pretty consistent. Even in the show that dealt with a priest whose “exorcisms” resulted in death, I thought that show was going to go south, but took a surprising turn at the end where the BAU used the authority of the Vatican to deal with the offender.

Am I seeing things, or does anyone else appreciate the show?

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