new five-part documentary, billed as a reality show, about priestly
vocations will premiere Easter Sunday. “God or the Girl” on A&E is
about four young men trying to decide whether to enter the priesthood.
The network is calling "God or the Girl" a serious documentary about the difficult journey involved in choosing a life devoted entirely to God. However, it has a reality-show feel to it to keep it interesting and appealing for primetime television.
"God or the Girl" follows 28-year-old Joe Adair of Cleveland, Ohio; 21-year-old Dan DeMatte of Columbus, Ohio; 25-year-old Steve Horvath of Lincoln, Neb.; and 24-year-old Mike Lechniak of Scranton, Pa., through the process of trying to figure out whether God is calling them to become priests.
All grapple with the sacrifices they'd have to make should they enter the priesthood, including the vow of celibacy.
Each of them also has a woman in his life, which factors into his decision. Adair met someone special in Germany and goes there to see if there's anything to build on. DeMatte stopped all contact with his girlfriend for six months while he pondered his calling, but then is reunited with her to determine whether she is part of his future. Horvath was dating a girl he wanted to marry before he felt pulled in the direction of the priesthood. And Lechniak is in a serious relationship with the woman he considers his soul mate while he tries to figure out his destiny.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has given the documentary its approval but some Catholic groups are reserving judgment until it actually airs. The Church, however, did not lend any support during the making of the documentary.
"There are some red flags. One is the title itself," said William Donohue, president of the Catholic League. "And to air this on Easter Sunday raises questions about an agenda."
The involvement of Mark Wolper as one of the executive producers also troubles Donohue. "Wolper has a track record of standing behind assaults on the Catholic Church," Donohue said.
Silver said concerns that "God or the Girl" is taking a swipe at the church are totally unfounded.