ROME (Reuters) – Reality TV shows and Hollywood blockbusters
may scoop top viewing in most countries but in Italy religious films are attracting
almost as many viewers to the small screen as soccer.
A made-for-TV film on the life of Saint Maria Goretti,
a young girl who chose to die as a martyr rather than submit to sexual abuse,
attracted some 10 million viewers last weekend — 35 percent of households,
Italian media reported.
Stories on the saints are the fullness of reality shows. They can display the
ultimate reality of supernatural grace at work. I think that if I saw a show
on Saint Maria Goretti on a station other than EWTN in the US I would be intently
looking for Rod Serling to enter and to hear the strains of the opening music
from the Twilight Zone. Which is too bad since a show on her life would be probably
the most counter-cultural movie event to happen on US screens.