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Catholic paper defends TV show `Nothing Sacred'

"Nothing Sacred," the controversial ABC-TV series about a self-doubting priest, has won unlikely support from the newspaper of the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese.

In an editorial published Friday, the Tidings said the show "should be allowed to develop before anyone passes final judgment." The newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles also condemned a boycott campaign by an independent Roman Catholic group."Nothing Sacred" features a priest ambivalent about subjects such as abortion and celibacy. Only three of 13 episodes have aired.

The New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, a conservative watchdog group that claims to defend the church from "slanderous assaults" by the media, has led a boycott of the show's sponsors. Chrysler-Plymouth and American Honda Motors on Friday became the 14th and 15th sponsors to withdraw ads from the program.

Despite some flaws, the show "is a television drama; it is not the catechism of the Catholic Church," the Tidings editorial said.

The archdiocese represents nearly 4 million Catholics in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.