BISHOPS RESPOND TO MILLER BREWING

Catalyst October Issue 2001

In the September Catalyst, there was a story regarding a particularly crude and bigoted attack by Howard Stern on Catholic priests. We wrote to every bishop in the nation asking him to write a letter of protest to Miller Brewing Company (owned by Philip Morris), Stern’s most prominent sponsor.

The following bishops wrote to us saying they would join our protest, though they chose not to share their letter with us:

Bishop Joseph V. Adamec (Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown)

Auxiliary Bishop Moses B. Anderson (Archdiocese of Detroit)

Bishop Robert J. Baker (Diocese of Charleston)

Bishop Raymond Boland (Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph)

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput (Archdiocese of Denver)

Bishop John McCarthy (Diocese of Austin)

The following bishops shared their letter with us. The following is an excerpt from each of them:

Archbishop John F. Donoghue (Archdiocese of Atlanta):

“We are asking, prior to any subsequent actions on our part, that you sever your relationship with this bottom-of-the-barrel production, as unworthy of a company with your tradition of excellence, and as detrimental to the good mental and spiritual health of this country’s citizens.”

Bishop Thomas G. Doran (Diocese of Rockford):

“I will expect that your company will disavow this libel and make public amends by making a public apology in whatever Catholic forum you choose. Failing that, I intend to stigmatize the Philip Morris Companies and the Miller Brewing Company whenever I have a suitable opportunity.”

Bishop Thomas L. Dupré (Diocese of Springfield, MA):

“I deplore the statements attributed to Mr. Stern and urge Miller Brewing Company to take definitive and immediate action to discontinue sponsorship of this television show.”

Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton (Archdiocese of Detroit):

“I understand that Mr. Stern frequently goes beyond the borders of good taste, but his recent comments about Catholic priests were vicious. His comments were directed to the entire Roman Catholic priesthood and these generalities can do nothing but foster disrespect.”

Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien (Archdiocese for the Military Services):

“I found it hard to believe that any Corporation or media resource would tolerate much less support the bitter and slanderous invective of the kind unleashed against the Catholic Church that evening by Mr. Stern and his allies.”

Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland (Archdiocese of Milwaukee):

“I cannot see how the Miller Brewing Company can in good conscience be involved as a sponsor for such a program. I find the show about as low as one can go in a lack of morality and values.”

We want to thank all of these bishops for writing a letter. We are especially grateful for the letter sent by Archbishop Rembert Weakland. Because the Miller Brewing Company is headquartered in his diocese, it took a special degree of courage for His Excellency to join the protest.


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Written by Bill