Those of us who are devoted followers of “The Walking Dead” couldn’t help but be struck by a powerful image and plot device in Sunday’s episode: a rosary, clutched in the fingers of Carol, who must surely have felt the end was near and who really did have a lot to pray about. I won’t go in to the circumstances surrounding this sudden influx of prayer on the show—but it’s certainly not the first time (and I suspect it won’t be the last) that Christianity, specifically Catholicism, has figured prominently. There’s the presence of the weak-willed Father Gabriel (an Episcopalian, by the way), whose murky past includes, it seems, allowing most of his congregation to be devoured by the walking dead; there was the tiny statue of the Virgin Mary affixed to the dashboard of a van that went careening off a bridge in Atlanta; and there was the eerie image from the first season, showing dozens of the dead seated inside a church, staring at a crucifix, as if waiting for services to begin. The current season also features an enigmatic bearded character named “Jesus,” along with a pack of dangerous killers called “The Saviors.” But Sunday’s episode, with the rosary, may be the most overtly Catholic use of religion and faith so far.
Read the rest. There’s a significant Catholic sensibility at work in this show—and it’s surprisingly sympathetic and even respectful.