“But I’m not Catholic Father.”
“None of us are perfect my son!”
Father John Patrick Mulcahy to a patient in an episode of the MASH television show.
During my misspent youth I wasted too many hours watching the old MASH sitcom set during the Korean War in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. I really didn’t even like the show, especially after Alan Alda transformed the character of Hawkeye Pierce into an insufferable liberal know it all, but back in the seventies television loomed larger than it does now, being about the only home electronic entertainment available, and as long as people were awake the TV sets were on. One part of the show that I did like was the character of Father John Patrick Mulcahy, the unit chaplain, played by actor William Christopher who passed away on New Years Eve. I was annoyed that Mulcahy didn’t get more screen time and that he sometimes came across as something of a weak sister, not at all like the actual priests I knew who had served as chaplains in the military. Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts has done some digging about Christopher and his battle to give a more realistic treatment to the priest he portrayed: