“Charming traits and quirky contradictions”
A priest of the San Bernardino diocese who is fond of wearing Hawaiian shirts instead of clerical garb may be television’s next reality show star if he gets his way. Fr. Steve Porter, pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Rialto, has spent the last nine months “filming, editing and pitching a reality TV series tentatively titled ‘Divine Intervention’ to big-time networks” with the help of Derek Christopher of Lighthouse Blues Television Productions, reports the Contra Costa Times. "I often say if the Bible were written today, no one would publish it, and what's more, no government would allow it to be published because there's not just the sexy stuff in there, there's also radical revolutionary stuff in there, and no government would want to read that and think `This is about me,"' Fr. Porter told the Times in an Oct. 15 interview at his parish office. “He said this, of course, while sporting a Hawaiian shirt, which he often wore while speaking with strangers on the streets or parishioners in the pews about life, love and a lot of other serious and not-so-serious stuff during the months of filming,” said the Times. “Sure, he counsels couples in broken marriages. But he also gets requests to baptize pets.” In an interview with Channel 4 television (NBC-LA), Fr. Porter, remarking on his fondness for Hawaiian shirts over clerical dress, noted, “black is so boring,” though he sometimes wears a Hawaiian shirt with a Roman collar. Whether Fr. Porter is entirely orthodox seems open to question. For example, here is what he told the Times about priestly celibacy: "There's a lot of funny stuff about celibacy. I'm... obsessive-compulsive. I have three dogs and four cats, and the bishop... doesn't approve. And my response is, well bishop, when you let me get married, I won't have to have so many pets around." In a film clip of Fr. Porter aired on Channel 4, here was father’s counsel to a young women in anguish following an abortion: “When we believe in God, there is always hope. That baby is gonna be kind of like your little guardian angel in heaven because that baby has already forgiven you.” According to the Times, it is the way Fr. Porter expresses himself that makes him attractive as a candidate for his own reality show. “Spend enough time with the 61-year-old native of South Africa, and one instantly picks up on the charming traits and quirky contradictions that inspired Christopher to create a show based on a Roman Catholic priest he ran into at a funeral,” theTimes observed. "A friend of my wife's passed away and so we came here to the church for the funeral," Christopher told the Times. "And the next thing I know, this guy transformed this terribly sad situation into a complete celebration, and people were laughing and they were celebrating and all I could think of was, `My God, this guy needs his own show,' because he was funny, he was witty, intelligent, he was a great storyteller." After an exchange of emails, said the newspaper, Fr. Porter and Christopher “embarked on a project to capture the daily life of a priest ministering to the flock, the lost sheep and just the plain old lost.” To read the Times’ full account, Click Here. To see the news clip from Channel 4, Click Here.