“ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT” SMEARS POPE

Bill Donohue comments on last night’s edition of “Entertainment Tonight” (ET):

Pope bashers are coming out of the woodwork, so it is hard to keep up with all of them. But the vile hit piece on the pope that aired on ET is clearly one of the worst.

“The Pope’s Past” begins with correspondent Brian Ross complaining that many years ago he was slapped on the wrist by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The occasion for this “brutality” was Ross’ decision to badger the cardinal while the would-be pope was walking to a car. Ross said, “It actually stung.” He did not say whether he was rushed to the local ER.

Next up is a promo for the documentary “Mea Maxima Culpa,” a classic agit-prop flick that is strewn with lies. Viewers learn that Pope Benedict XVI investigated, “but without much effect,” the charges levied against Father Marcial Maciel. Another savant asks, “Did Benedict punish him in any way?” To which he exclaims, “no.” Really? Then why is Benedict being credited by even his staunchest critics for removing Maciel from ministry and launching a Vatican take-over of his religious order?

The ET segment then says “the film implies that the pope…was at the epicenter” of the scandal. Agreed. That’s all the film does is imply. When there is no evidence to support outrageous claims, mud-slinging is all that is left. Similarly, we learn that documents on priestly wrongdoing “are said to be kept in secret Vatican archives.” More innuendo. Absent evidence, conjecture is the best they can do.

Then they roll out the paranoid attorney Jeffrey Anderson. “There is an enormous worldwide conspiracy—a cover-up at the highest level in the Catholic Church.” Not mentioned was the fact that all of his lawsuits to get the Vatican have failed. Indeed, they have been laughed out of court.

ET owes Catholics an apology for this Mafioso-style propaganda exercise.

Contact ET executive producer Linda Bell Blue: linda.bell@cbs.com


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Written by Bill