CATHOLICISM UNDER FIRE; BATTLES RAGE ON MANY FRONTS
Catalyst June Issue 2009, Front Page
This spring has been among the busiest of seasons for the Catholic League in some time. The media kept coming to us over and over about a range of issues.
The controversy over “Angels & Demons” swirled for weeks before it opened May 15. The decision to award an honorary degree to President Barack Obama at the University of Notre Dame triggered many sharp reactions. A hate crimes bill that has many troubling aspects to it was taken up by the Congress. The pope’s trip to the Middle East proved to be another ruckus, as some Jews and Muslims acted irresponsibly. And the appointment of a Catholic basher to a faith-based program drew fire.
In every one of these issues, the Catholic League stepped up to the plate. We led the fight against the movie; we sharply opposed the honor bestowed on the president; we fought the hate crimes bill; we denounced the vitriol of the pope’s critics; and we sought the ouster of an anti-Catholic. We did so with news releases and by appearing on TV. We granted interviews to radio shows, newspapers and magazines. We participated in a teleconference with the media.
While these were the big issues, we continued to fight the good fight on other fronts as well. Our media coverage was so great that we could fill many more pages of Catalystwith “In the News.”
We are the only religion that Hollywood continues to dump on. Fortunately, “Angels & Demons” was so absurd that Ron Howard did us a favor by effectively blunting the worst elements of Dan Brown’s work. Moreover, when Larry King asked Howard to respond to one of Bill Donohue’s charges, he totally dodged the question. Even more disturbing was giving a champion of abortion rights an honor at a distinguished Catholic school; it was a slap in the face to the bishops.
Legislation that would force the clergy to tippy toe around passages of the Bible—so as not to offend gay activists—should never have been considered. Rabbis and imams who have an agenda are bad enough, but when they start insulting the Holy Father, it is enough to provoke a backlash. And naming bigots to a federal post is simply mind-boggling.
There is some good news. It’s been a long time since the bishops have become collectively mobilized. Just as passivity is contagious, so is activism. It is no exaggeration to say that our bishops have been galvanized by recent events, the result of which is a more vocal Catholic Church. That’s great news for our side.