TORONTO, May 15, 2007 – The Catholic Civil Rights League today expressed its disappointment and concern with CBC Television for some of the content in the pilot program “The Altar Boy Gang,” which aired Friday evening, May 11 at 9 pm (eastern).
The show is about a group of altar servers who apparently use their role in the parish to facilitate an entry into the drug trade. At various points in the program, the Communion host is depicted as munchable snack food, possible poker chips and a repository for drops of LSD. Drug-laced hosts are left in the confessional for pick-up.
The Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation are sacraments of the Catholic Church, held sacred to Catholics throughout the world and respected in the spirit of religious freedom by almost all Canadians. It would appear, however, that those employed in the creation of this program do not share this sentiment.
This is much more galling in view of the support that the CBC gets from Canadian taxpayers, almost half of whom are Catholic. In this case, support from the Canadian Television Fund was also acknowledged.
“Within the past year, the CBC hired an independent Muslim Canadian consultant to ensure that religious sensitivities were respected in its program “Little Mosque on the Prairie”. It will be interesting to determine if opportunities were made available to observant Catholics to preview ‘The Altar Boy Gang”.  If yes, on whom did they rely?  If not, why the double standard?” questioned League Executive Director Joanne McGarry.
“With this program, the CBC has moved into the area of blasphemy of sacred rituals.  Can we expect similar treatment for other religious groups?  Catholics should not have to pay for shows where their most sacred rituals and images are considered a starting point for dramatic license.”
About CCRL
Catholic Civil Rights League ( assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization and has chapters across Canada. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.
For further information: Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244;