Only last week did I become aware of and watch the full season of BBC’s one-season tv series entitled BROKEN. (Available for download on Amazon Prime) As a Catholic priest in the United States I truly appreciate the series’ honest depiction of a priest, his daily life and ministry, the torment of sexual abuse within it and the willingness of the series’ characters to persevere in the reality of Christ -the heart of our faith– while attending to the failures of Church as Institution. I was deeply moved by every episode and amazed at how the writer / producer Jimmy McGowen understands Catholic Christianity—what it is, all that it can be and must be. I also found comforting BROKEN’s assertion that we are all broken in various ways and that one essential choice for health is to claim ourselves as wounded healers comforting others.
The 6-episode series covers the most timely of Catholic Church issues through the experiences of a Liverpool priest and his parishioners. I applaud the series writers and the powerful performances especially Sean Bean and Muna Otura, although all actors were across-the-board excellent. Directors, too, did a fine job.
I am promoting BROKEN today because of the show’s integrity as drama and as a healthy critique of our Catholic institution badly in need of healing. In light of today’s publication of the PA Church abuse cases, it is obvious to so many of us that our Church needs much more transparency and much more dialogue and collaborative leadership with the laity to address its dysfunctions. Clearly, this institution of ours must work together with behavioral scientists and learn more from their collective wisdom about human sexuality in order to reform our moral teachings and praxis, to bring about healing and make further amends.
I hope you will view BROKEN and I welcome your responses to it.