The Real O’Neals continued their weekly, televised Jihad against the Catholic faith this week. Except, this time with a twist. Instead of making the entire show about the main character, Kenny (Noah Galvin), and his self-obsessed journey through gay adolescence, the writers decided to get Kenny’s sister Shannon (Bebe Wood) into the act.
In an episode titled ‘The Real Man,’ Shannon feels pressure from her mother Eileen (Martha Plimpton) to get ready for Confirmation. But, Shannon has lots of questions and has doubts about the Catholic faith, which causes Eileen to call in the big guns and have the local priest come answer Shannon’s questions:
Shannon: Look, my mom inviting you over is a little too "Exorcist" for my taste, but I have questions and no one is willing to answer them.
Father Phil: Well, that's what I'm here for. Now, what are you curious about? Is it the immaculate conception? Because a lot of people confuse that with the virgin birth.
Shannon: No, that's kid stuff. Let's not waste each other's time. What I'm curious about is the Pope.
Father Phil: Well, fire away.
Shannon: How can a group of fallible men elect a fallible man as their leader who then becomes infallible through the election?
Father Phil: The Pope is only infallible in matters of faith and morals when he's speaking ex cathedra.
Shannon: Well, that seems like cherry-picking, but fine. Next question -- if all God's children are created equal, how come that infallible man can't be a woman?
Father Phil: This is why I chose a profession where I couldn't have children.
Okay, in the whole litany of attacks this show has lobbed at the Catholic Church, this one isn’t exactly a doozy. But, still there’s a point to be made.
First, does the Bible say that all God’s people were created equal?
Sure, in a macro sense. The Bible says that though we may be different people from different parts of the world, at the end of the day we’re all humans created by God. (Acts 17:26). But that’s a passage describing people’s basic identity and moral worth in the eyes of God.
It has nothing to do with defining the roles of people in the Church. There are no female priests, largely, because Jesus didn’t use them as his disciples. Think about it, there were 12 apostles and all of them were men. Was Jesus unaware that women could be used as priestesses? Probably not. There were certainly other religions in the world that used them. Did he not have any women available to him whom he could have used as Priestesses? Quite the contrary, he had Mary, whom he could have easily chosen. Especially since she was the one person on Earth who could have spoken the consecration literally: “This is my body. This is my blood.”
Yet he didn’t. Why? It could have been any number of things, doesn’t matter. The point is, the clergy largely models itself after the Messiah and he didn’t use women that way. Though he still used them in many, many other ways.
However, with a show this consistently anti-Catholic, as shown here, and here, and here, one cold get the idea The Real O’Neals is trying to make a sexist, misogynistic attack on the Church, instead of trying to find the truth.
I know, crazy right?
In any event, Shannon’s mom stops pressuring her about Confirmation. Yet, Shannon comes back later in the episode and decides she wants to go to Confirmation after all.