The Catholic League wishes to thank all of the members who participated in the petition drive against Disney, launched in the May issue of Catalyst. Of the thousands of petitions returned to the national head-quarters, the majority had several names per petition. Many, in fact, had lists of names. The League estimates that at least 7,500 names were sent to Disney Chairman Michael Eisner.
The League also congratulates the Diocese of Sacramento for its “excommunication [of] Disney stock from its stock portfolio” (Sacramento Bee, 6/13/95). During the week ofJune 5, Bishop William K. Weigand wrote a letter to Disney Chairman Michael Eisner saying that 3,400 shares owned by the diocese were sold because of the movie “Priest.” Bishop Weigand pointed out that the diocese had owned stock in the company for many years because of its squeaky clean image. “Why is it that every priest featured in the movie is in some way dysfunctional?” wrote Bishop Weigand.
The Diocese of Orange (Southern California) and the Ordinary Mutual, an insurance carrier owned by a dozen Western dioceses, also sold shares of Disney stock in response to the movie. Commenting on the divestment by the diocese, Orange Bishop Norman F. McFarland criticized the “callous disregard” for the sensitivities of millions of Catholics. And Burlington Bishop Kenneth A. Angell advised Vermont Catholics in early May that they may wish to avoid the film.
Finally, at press time, after nine weeks in theatres, the Hollywood Reporter’s Boxoffice ranked “Priest” 34th out of the top 35 movies nationwide.