TV Crime Drama & Good Friday Confessions

by Brenda Ann Eckels, aMGC (c)2016


I spent this Holy Day on doctor ordered bedrest, and along with prayer, fasting as allowed, and sleeping I watched television.

I do not own a television per se, and am still slightly confused at the attraction it seems to hold on Americans.  Why sit watching this blue spreadsheet roll slowly, trying to match the time and channel to find a show?  I watch TV on my computer, an aging laptop with better speakers and a better screen than any TV I ever owned by myself.  No, it is not as sharp as the arm sized HD TV I bought at a pawn shop, and left with Brian.  But by not having a TV, I have a space in the living room for the electric fireplace I had also bought for our cabin, and the laptop can go anywhere I am.

I also do not watch shows that must be paid for.  This means that sadly, I must remember every two weeks to log on to catch my favorite crime drama, Law and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit​.  After a couple weeks, they lock the episodes, so I can no longer enjoy, like in days past, taking the laptop, pulling up, and gorging on 5 hours of  the show at once with tissues, noisemaker (for when they win and catch the bad guys), and a really good soy cheese and Velveeta fondue with cubes of various breads and lots of drinks. On the other hand, I can still pull up and do the same thing with DavidBowie/JethroTull/Depeche Mode videos and Steampunk movies, so life moves on.

Today I watched Season 17 Episodes 15 &16. While the story has been fictionalized to protect the guilty, I WAS THERE, part of the Vaticanite Roman Archdiocese of Boston when the Vatican Government spirited Cardinal Bernard Law out of the US before the Massachusetts DA could issue the warrant for his arrest.

Pope Francis, like his predecessor, has failed to do the RIGHT, CATHOLIC thing and have Bernie extradited back to Boston to face a judge and jury.  Until he does, his reputation as Cesar, political King of the UN member city state Vatican, AND his reputation as a Catholic Bishop in good standing are both tarnished, and the entire One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church will continue to bleed from the open festering wound in the Vaticanite part of it’s body.

He’s human, and so is Benedict. I have made a lot of mistakes in my life also, so I can understand why Francis might not yet have the courage to do what is right.  After all, today was Good Friday, and as I meditated on the Crucifixion, and on the meaning that sacrifice of Jesus was…I became overwhelmed at the mistakes and sins I may have confessed, received absolution for, and been forgiven by God that still require my ACTION to make amends, and to do what is RIGHT and CATHOLIC.  I, like Pope Francis, also have caused wounds to go unhealed in others, and each day I am able I try to find ways to repair, or at least apologize, for the damage I had done in the past.

My fear is that too many Catholics, from Francis on down have forgotten that while we can be forgiven of anything we do wrong, any human mistake, any sin…we still have an obligation to, as they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, “do ALL the steps”.  That includes (in AA-speak):

  • 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  • 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

I am glad Law & Order: SVU made these two episodes, which allude to so many facets of what really did happen in Boston.  Just as we must not forget those amends we still have to make, as Catholics, we must not forget that Our Church still bleeds with this festering wound.  We must continue to pray and to call out loud for Francis to do what is right, and send the criminals like Law back, and stop hiding them inside Vatican walls.

It would injure no one to have Bernard Law confess, face trial, and be judged for his crimes except those who alongside and above him also committed heinous crimes and sins.  The One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church is so much larger than the Vatican families, it can better survive having this open wound, and any new wounds coming to light, and being treated.  The Vaticanites themselves can survive the whole, entire, complete truth being brought into the light, and the average Vaticanite Catholic lay person knows it.

This Good Friday, tomorrow’s Holy Saturday, while he mediates on the Crucifixion and the Sealed Tomb, I hope that Francis, just like me, thinks long and hard about those things that have been left undone far too long, and acts soon.

I know that I am.  By Pentecost, I hope to act on at least a few things.  I pray Francis begins by sending Bernie Law back to confess and stand trial, perhaps also by Pentecost.

We all need action after absolution….otherwise, we can’t really reconcile with those we hurt.