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23 December 2008 @ 11:39 pm
Has anyone else watched the BBC's Apparitions with Martin Shaw?

If so, could someone please explain the last episode to me, lol. the psychologist... Was there something more to their exchange, or am I just reading too much into it? Why did she demand the other priest stop praying - is she also a demon? Because, really, who has the guts to say there is no God, in the house of God?

I loved the bit where Jacob takes Sister Ruth's confession outside the Vatican. For a show based on such a serious subject, it had such a great sense of humour.
fiat_knoxfiat_knox on December 23rd, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC)
That psychologist ... Gods, what an idiot she was
She says "You're not the only one who believes in something" to Father Daniel, meaning that she's on an atheist's crusade to show the priests "the truth" as she sees it, that she is right and that they are wrong.

Outside of the show, her stance might be valid - but whether you're immersed in Catholic belief yourself or not, within the context of the show the Church is portrayed as right, and possessed (no pun intended) of the only weapon that can avail against demonry, namely exorcism.

And within or without the show, that kind of aggressive attempt to disrupt Father Daniel's prayer just showed a complete lack of tact and diplomacy on the shrink's part, and an arrogance that clouds both reason and faith alike. Rather like talking very loudly in a theatre just because you're bored with the show and you'd rather everybody paid more attention to you instead, sort of thing.

That's the impression I got from that psychiatrist, who really didn't seem very good at reading people after all if her surprise at getting roughhoused out of the church is any indication.

Hope that helps.
fatpie42fatpie42 on July 4th, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
Heya! I just found out about this series after discovering Joe Ahearne's other BBC tv series "Ultraviolet" (about vampires). What impressed me is the way it weaves Roman Catholic theology in odd ways while staying respectful to the subject matter. (Posing much of it as a Satanic anti-Catholic religion of the demons is a handy loophole for the writer). Perhaps more amazing than that is the way Joe Ahearne has us taking it seriously. I tried explaining the abortion-related episode to my girlfriend (she didn't dare watch it because she has strong feelings on the subject) and I realised more than ever just how ludicrous the plot really was. Yet at the time the internal logic seemed to hold pretty firm.

I think the explanation for the psychologist's behaviour is that she thinks that an exorcism is going to exacerbate Father Jacob's problem. She's seen evidence that he is self-harming, that he's withholding evidence from the authorities (not least about the man who murdered his friends), that he's behaving irrationally and, in her private session with him, seemed incapable of focussing on the conversation. It's not surprising that she thinks he needs help and that she is deeply troubled by the way those around him seem to be humouring him, even when there are lives at stake.

Did you know that Joe Ahearne (the writer and director) is himself an atheist? In an interview he explains that he hasn't been convinced by the stuff he's been told when researching Catholic views on exorcisms for the show. However, in the series he presents exorcisms are real. (That's the way I like to see the series really. As playing with the premise that exorcisms are real without a doubt.) As such, we find it hard to understand disbelievers within the series. Even so, it might still be argued that she's seen a lot more to be disturbed by than she has to prove that exorcism is real (after all, she wasn't present at the final event with the guy floating in the air).

The major thing that stood out for me in the end was how brutal Catholicism seems. It really is a battle for souls. I'm reminded of the conversation earlier in the series where Cardinal Bukovak says that exorcisms will one day be considered an embarassment just like the inquisition.

Here's the interview with Joe Ahearne: