Learn your faith: Lost finale was not ‘Catholic’

The simple answer here is no. And to be honest I wasn’t going to post on this but since there is apparently some belief among the interwebs that the end of this popular sci-fi/drama was somehow “Catholic,” meaning representative of Catholic dogma, I figured I would chime in to defend the Faith from the faithful – lest we scandalize the Church further.

Let’s take a look at an article published by the joint EWTN/CNA service:

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Spanish daily, La Razon, published an analysis following the finale of the television series, “Lost,” which told the story of survivors of an airline crash on a mysterious island.  The newspaper remarked that the series, which captivated millions of viewers for seven years, ended with a Catholic storyline. [This is most certainly not the case neither for the finale nor the series.]

In their article, reporters Mar Velasco and Pablo Gines pointed out that, “There are two kinds of fans of Lost: Those who believe its value lies in its plot, and those who believe it resides in its characters.  For the former, the series finale was in a certain sense disappointing.  Yes, the script writers could have resolved many questions that remained (and will remain) unanswered.  However, for the latter, the series ended on a high note.”

The finale, they said, resolved “what was essential, what has to do with the human heart, with the meaning and value of life and the capacity to be ‘saved’.” [This is where things go downhill vis-a-vis Catholic doctrine.]

At the critical moments of life, the ‘man of faith’ overcame the ‘man of science.’ [True, but not Catholic. The entire series as agnostic at best.]  The way was opened to the transcendental and, despite a certain … homage to all creeds (the stained-glass window with the symbols of all the religions), it did so in a Christian manner. [Wrong. The Church does teach the doctrine of Invincible Ignorance (CCC 1793) but by showing us the “Coexist” bumper-sticker, the producers/writers prove their “theology” to be all-inclusive in the sense opposed to Doctrine.] It was not in vain that the Risen One awaited the ‘lost’ when they were about to reach the fullness found on the other side of a specifically Catholic chapel,” the reporters asserted. [More like an assumption to me. There was no indication that God, as revealed to us, was even present or responsible for this or any of the events in the series. Jacks father, Christian, attests to this when he replies to his son that he did not know where they were going next.]

In the last episode, the mysterious island was revealed as a real physical place “where the characters ‘were rescued’ from their frustrations and their past, although the price some paid would be their very lives (Locke, Jack). In Christianity, this ‘island’ is the physical world in which mankind journeys and Jesus Christ ‘redeems’ in the act of giving himself up on the cross,” the writers explained. [For this finale to be anything Christian, the island of purgatory must not be a) material, b) filled with sinful behavior especially among the purged, and c) outside of the presence of God. Souls in purgatory are saved but must be purged of their attachment to sin (1 Cor 3:15).]

The last season of Lost was characterized “by the creation of what was thought to be a ‘parallel reality’ and that was, in the end, revealed to be a sort of ‘purgatory’ in which each person ‘re-created’ the life he or she would have liked to have lived in the world [This is not purgatory (CCC 1030-1032).]: Jack became a good son and father; Kate was innocent; Sawyer, a decent police officer; Benjamin became an affectionate professor … When they all ‘recognized’ and discovered that they were in this ‘purgatory,’ for some, the door to resurrection and eternity (the ‘light’ at the other end of the chapel) was opened, while for others the purgatory continued because they still had issues to resolve (Ben, Eloise, Ana Lucia…). [I can see some parallel here since Ben himself said to Hurley that he still “needed to work some things out.” But why would Hurley have invited him into the chapel in the first place?]

Likewise, “Love was not only understood as ‘eros,’ possessive love, but as ‘agape,’ the love that seeks the good of the other: ‘Jack, I hope someone does for you what you’ve done for me,’ Locke told him. [Here is another problem. You see, we do not redeem each other directly. Jesus is the only redeemer and this statement is contrary to the Gospels (Gal 1:8-9).]

Another key element in this finale was forgiveness, which was featured in one of the most powerful scenes of the entire series: Locke, who has been murdered by Ben, encountered him shortly before entering eternity: ‘John, I’m really sorry for what I did to you: I was selfish and jealous, I wanted everything that you had.’ Locke responded: ‘If it’s of any help to you, Ben, I forgive you.’  ‘Thanks, John. That helps me. It means more to me than you can imagine’.” [Again, true forgiveness comes from Jesus alone thus the Sacrament of Reconciliation for our earthly lives. Once we die, we are judged (Heb 9:27) and are thus rewarded Heaven (possibly through Purgatory) or Hell.]

The series ended with the sacrifice of the main character. “Jack offered his life to save the others. Never believing in the peculiarities of the island, he ends up understanding through another friend, Locke, who had to die in order to show him the way.  It’s a sacrifice that, in the end, acquires all of its value and meaning.” [“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John (RSV) 15:13) – I give you that one. But on the latter, Jack’s death acquiring all of its value and meaning on the island, I don’t think this is possible without dying “in a state of Grace.” And as far as was represented in the series and finale, Jack did not die “in a state of Grace.”]

Well, I think that covers it.

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