MASH’s Father Mulcahy Dies at 84
William Christopher, who played Catholic Priest and US Army Chaplain (Capt) Francis Mulcahy on “M.A.S.H.,” the Korean War military/medical black comedy TV show in the 1970s and early 1980s, died on New Years Eve. He was 84. While the show’s irreverence, humor, and social commentary made it a bit of a cultural icon well into the 1980s, it is less well known today. Still, “Father Mulcahy” has managed to live on in the American lexicon.
Regrettably, one place Christopher’s character has lived on is in the vitriol of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, who has (incorrectly) cited Father Mulcahy as a model of the diluted doctrinal ambiguity he claims military chaplains used to have — and should be required to have. (One of Mikey Weinstein’s frequent supporters is Christopher’s fellow M.A.S.H. star Mike Farrell, who played MASH doctor Captain BJ Hunnicutt, and who is apparently an ardent conspiracy theorist — and apparent anti-Trump activist.)
While he wasn’t a real military chaplain, Christopher brought life and a unique flavor to a role that entertained millions — and he did it for that purpose: to entertain. He can be remembered well for that, rather than have his legacy tarnished by those who would attempt to use the soft-spoken, bespectacled Priest to further their personal agendas against religious liberty.
Also at the Stars and Stripes.