CATHOLIC LEAGUE TO DNC: WE’LL BE YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE IN 2004
Catalyst December Issue 2002
The Catholic League’s campaign pressuring the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to drop its affiliation with Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) continues to escalate.
On Monday, October 28, we thought the DNC had finally come to its senses. When we tapped into its website that morning, we discovered that CFFC had been deleted from all categories. We immediately hailed this as a victory only to learn a few hours later that CFFC had been reinstated in the “links” section.
This suggests to us a couple of things. First, there is a power struggle going on within the DNC over what to do about this issue. Not only was CFFC excised altogether, the categories had been rearranged over the weekend. Gone was the “Catholic” category and installed was a “Religious Affiliated” one. CFFC did not appear in that category or in any other. When it was put back in, it was added to the “Religious Affiliated” as well as other categories.
Someone who has authority over the website decided to redo the “links” section with an eye toward dumping CFFC. But when Frances Kissling or one of her lackeys complained, someone at the DNC complied with her wishes and overrode the decision to dump her.
Playing games with the Catholic League is not a smart thing to do. This only emboldened us further, motivating us to develop a new strategy. We announced our new plan in a news release, an excerpt of which is printed below:
“There is little doubt that in close elections, neither party can afford to alienate its base. Catholics, as everyone knows, hold the key to the White House and they are roughly evenly split between the Republicans and the Democrats. The Catholic League is attached to neither party and has indeed fought both of them on several issues, ranging from the tricks the Republicans played in the House Chaplain issue to the tricks the DNC is currently playing with Kissling. A prudent DNC chairman would have dumped Kissling by now but Terry McAwful [a.k.a. McAuliffe] has chosen not to do so. So he loses and, by extension, so does his party.
“Here is the Catholic League’s new strategy: over the next two years, our goal is to inform every Catholic in the United States about the support the DNC shows for anti-Catholicism. Our job is to fight anti-Catholicism and that is why we are adamantly opposed to the anti-Catholic efforts of Frances Kissling. If the DNC continues to list CFFC anywhere on its webpage, it does so at its own peril: the Catholic League will be the DNC’s greatest nightmare in 2004. We’re in this for the long haul and only a fool would doubt us.”
We have also embarked on a campaign enlisting our many friends in various activist organizations to join our protest of the DNC-CFFC link.
Joining with us in our protest are such organizations as Father Frank Pavone’s Priests for Life; Deal Hudson of Crisis magazine; Rev. Thomas Euteneuer and Human Life International; Ave Maria School of Law, headed by Bernard Dobranski; Ken Connor’s Family Research Council; Merlyn Scroggins and the Catholic Defense League of Minnesota; the Mary Foundation, led by Bud McFarland; Rev. Louis Sheldon and Traditional Family Values Coalition; and many others.
We have made it very clear that our goal is not simply to have the DNC dissociate itself from Kissling; our long-term interest is in disabling her anti-Catholic organization. The only way to do that is to weaken her influence to such an extent that those foundations that fund her stop giving.
To show we mean business, we’ve already checkmated Kissling’s efforts to persuade the U.N. to institute sanctions against the Vatican for allegedly violating a U.N. treaty protecting children. Kissling lobbied the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. And so did we.
William Donohue wrote the following letter to all members of the U.N. committee:
As president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, it is my job to combat anti-Catholicism. The reason I am writing to you is because you have been lobbied by an anti-Catholic organization to take action against the Vatican for its alleged responsibility in failing to protect children from molesting priests. To act on a request issued by an organization dedicated to bashing any race, religion or ethnic group is not in keeping with the spirit of the United Nations. That is why I respectfully request that you ignore the pleas of Catholics for a Free Choice.
Catholics for a Free Choice is not a legitimate Catholic organization. If it were it would be listed in the Official Catholic Directory. It is not. Moreover, this organization is the only group in the United States with the name “Catholic” in it that has been condemned as a fraud by the bishops of the United States. Not once, but twice: in 1993 and again in 2000, U.S. bishops blasted the group for misrepresenting itself as an authentic Catholic entity. Indeed, as the bishops and others have pointed out, this organization works tirelessly to discredit the Vatican. Its president, Frances Kissling, has openly admitted that her goal is to “overthrow” the Catholic Church. Enclosed is more information on her well-funded letterhead of an “organization.”
This kind of protest will continue whenever and wherever Kissling tries to upend the Church. On this score, we are delighted to report that word about Kissling’s antics is growing and is clearly hurting her. Take, for example, what recently happened at Holy Cross College.
Women’s studies professors invited Kissling to speak on November 7. But when the president, Rev. Michael C. McFarland, objected, they revoked the invitation.
Father McFarland said of Kissling that “Her criticism [of the Church] has been strident, personal, manipulative and unfair. Her presence will be deeply offensive to many people here, including me, and will be an embarrassment to the institution.”
Kissling went nuts: “I’m a Catholic. I’m tired of speaking off-campus and in Unitarian churches about issues that are important in my church.”
- We hope she gets used to being booted. We won’t rest until her organization collapses.