Austin, TX – Living Truth Ministries distributed a video, The Pope Over Jerusalem, which discusses the “unholy” plans of the Pope to reign over Jerusalem. Among the topics explored are the “hidden agenda of a high-ranking Catholic prelate…who acts as the chief strategist of the Vatican plot to conquer Jerusalem.” Also discussed is the “surprising role to be played by Freemasonry.” The video poses the question: “Will the Pope’s plans culminate in a mutually enriching, global Masonic dictatorship?”
Universal Press Syndicate deleted all religious symbols for Christian holidays while publishing religious symbols for other religions. After a protest by the Catholic League, a commitment was made to restore Christian symbols in the 1997 calendar.
Blockbuster Entertainment Inc. distributed Priest for rental despite the anti-Catholic nature of the film. Dr. Donohue had written Steve Berrard, the CEO, asking him not to stock the movie since Blockbuster is known for being family friendly. The league was outraged that the chain would market this video while it had rejected The Last Temptation of Christ which, though anti-Christian, was not explicitly anti-Catholic.
NBC’s Law & Order featured a segment in which the following exchange occurred over the body of a dead teacher. One detective says, “Strangled with the strap from her handbag. The perp left behind cash, cards, the whole kaboodle.” The other responds, “Well, maybe he got what he came for.” The first speaker answers, “It must have been an immaculate conception. Her panties are intact, no fluid anywhere.”
The Naked Truth ridiculed Catholicism in an episode by having two female reporters dress as nuns and go undercover in a convent. One of the reporters says that she had considered becoming a nun until “a little thing called the pill” came on the market; the same woman goes to confession and, when asked the last time she had been to confess, she says, “What is this–the Spanish Inquisition?” The priest who heard her confession says, “Get thee back, Satan!” as he throws holy water at her. Further, the other reporter says that with no money, kids, or sex, she is “darn near a nun now.”
West Fargo, ND – In a column called “The Gadfly,” Ed Raymond discussed the sex education guide issued by the Vatican, charging “It’s interesting that it was assembled by a group of men who live together in a big house without women, who wear skirts and gowns and who kiss each other’s hands.”
On NBC’s Late Show with Conan O’Brien, the host said that the Pope was a “soccer goalie in his youth–even as a young man he tried to stop people from scoring.”
January – February
In Trumpet of Truth, a newsletter by New Ministries of Prospect, CT, the front cover, drawn comic-style, included a man dressed as the Pope kneeling and bowing before a statue of Mary, saying, “Hail Mary full of grace save us from our sins.”
Covering the Sundance Film Festival, Caryn James of The New York Times took umbrage at the fact that the winning film, Care of the Spitfire Grill, was produced by a Catholic organization. Gregory Productions, the for-profit division of the Sacred Heart League, (which is not-for-profit), was charged with openly seeking to promote Christian values. This was called “insidious” by James. The Bible imagery, in light of the Catholic sponsorship, was labeled “slightly sinister.” Finally, James argued that the “movie’s multidenominational roots–Catholic backers, Protestant characters, and a Jewish director–don’t diminish the eerie sense that viewers are being proselytized without their knowledge.”
PBS aired on its Frontline program a documentary called Murder on “Abortion Row”which examined the lives of John Salvi and Shannon Lowney. Salvi had killed Lowney in a Brookline, Massachusetts abortion clinic. Instead of looking at Salvi’s mental problems, the program sought the source of his derangement in his Catholicism. Lowney, a dissident Catholic, was portrayed in a very positive manner. The message of the show was unmistakable–practicing Catholics are potential maladjusted people whereas dissenters are normal, good citizens. Hours of interviews with responsible Catholics and pro-lifers were not used in the program.
CBS aired the Thorn Birds: The Missing Years which took a look at the characters’ lives during the Second World War. Archbishop Ralph de Bricassart (Richard Chamberlain) was portrayed as a selfless archbishop who did his best to save Jews from the Holocaust despite the flack he got from his superiors in the hierarchy. The meat of the plot is the fatal flaw of Archbishop de Bricassart –his lust for Meggie (Amanda Donohoe). He is the father of one of her children and she tries to keep it a secret from her estranged husband. When she ends up in court, fighting for custody, the judge decides the little boy is too obsessed with Catholicism because he wants to be a Catholic priest. The Protestant judge in questioning the boy asks if he would have a conflict in choosing whom to follow–the Pope or the king. The judge gives custody to the father who is anticlerical.
Staten Island, NY – In an article in the Staten Island Advance, Don Gross discussed what a Catholic hospital was doing to accommodate Jewish patients. He wrote about “Jewish patients who suddenly find themselves surrounded by the trappings of the Catholic Church–objects that can be strange and even threatening–during a time of extreme stress.” He never explained his sources or offered any evidence for this charge.
San Diego, CA– KIOZ-FM, aired a weekly segment called “Lash Wednesday” wherein the Church and her sacraments were mocked. The segment has been a regular feature on the “Dave, Shelly & Chainsaw Show.” It blasphemes Jesus and derides the Sacrament of Penance. Listeners are asked to call in and share their worst sins and cash is awarded to the best “confession.”
Nightline did a special in-depth look at the youth of presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan. In doing so, the program tried to establish a link with his Jesuit education and his alleged sympathy toward bigotry.
On NBC’s McLaughlin Group Newsweek columnist Eleanor Clift said the following about Patrick Buchanan: “He’s even more giddy than when he kept the Uzzi and the rosary beads under that chair.”
On Comedy Central Paul Alexander sang the Ave Maria off key and with blood coming out of his ears. His part was called Ave Maria Stigmata.
Playboy magazine featured a cover with a young women wearing a Catholic schoolgirl uniform. The spread in which she was featured was called “The Stripper Next Door.”Playboy denied the league permission to reprint the cover in Catalyst or this report.
Dallas, TX – In a guest column, the Dallas Morning News design editor wrote a disparaging article about Catholicism, charging that Catholics can be “sentenced to hell in a heartbeat.” He repeatedly scorned Catholicism by misrepresenting its teachings.
New York, NY – The local PBS affiliate, WNET, aired the documentary, The Burning Times, which discussed the treatment of witches in the Middle Ages. Much of the hysteria was attributed to a Church hierarchy seeking to secure its power. Among those interviewed for this presentation were Starhawk, a witch/political activist, and the former Father Matthew Fox. No conventional Catholics were allowed to present their views. From beginning to end the show maligned Catholicism.
New York, NY – A headline story in Newsday read: “Ex-Altar Boy on Trial.” The article read “Opening arguments began yesterday in the trial of a former Elmhurst altar boy accused of kidnapping, murdering, and mutilating the body of a Queens woman who planned to testify against the pair in a burglary case.” The story described the details of the crime and how it was solved without explaining the relevance of the accuser’s being a former altar boy. The story ended by saying, “Molina is a former altar boy at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Elmhurst.” Dr. Donohue complained to the editor ofNewsday and, after investigating what happened, the editor apologized for this unfair characterization.
New York, NY – Q-104.3 FM used St. Patrick in a promotional that featured the Irish saint handing out condoms and female underwear.
Bernie Ward, the talk show host, from KGO in San Francisco, commented that “During the Vietnam War, the right wing fascists who ran the Roman Catholic Church decided and determined that you did not have a right as a Catholic to claim that your religion was opposed to war….you can’t be a CO because the Cardinal Spellman says…that as a Catholic, Catholics like war.”
CBS’ Bonnie caricatured the scapular that some Catholics wear in a most invidious fashion.
Talk show host Bernie Ward said that an invasion of a mosque by disc jockeys was worse than the attack on St. Patrick’s Cathedral by ACT-UP militants. “And these guys go in there, and desecrate it in a far worse way than gay people did to Cardinal O’Connor.” When asked by his caller why, Ward said, “Well, number one, because the homosexuals had a good case to make….Because this is a church that has encouraged homophobia and homophobic actions.” Later in his argument he said, “But finally, when you have an institution, as the Roman Catholic Church, that is encouraging people to be violent against gays…and that is taking a position that will spread a fatal disease, then you can understand why people would be upset by that and would consider the need to do some kind of form of public protest.”
New York, NY – On the front cover in red ink, The Village Voice featured the headline “Sex with the Pope!” The story was about a novel written in collaboration by over a dozen people called The Fifth Column. Amidst satire and murder, the part about the Pope included these lines: “The so-called pontiff had laid out the feed bag for Una while his body double recited Paul’s latest bull…in St. Peter’s Square….Of all the men, women, and Indeterminates Una had had, no one did it like the Apostle of Peace. Oh, she knew perfectly well that Paul would ravage her tonight and tomorrow hand her a fresh list of bombing targets.”
The Associated Press (AP) ran a story about a suburban Chicago man suspected of assassinating a Philadelphia policeman a quarter of a century ago. The story mentioned that the accused was then “23, a Catholic school-educated telephone repairman….” His religion was not linked to the crime.
Connecticut – New Ministries of Prospect, CT, published Trumpet of Truth which included various articles attacking Catholicism. Among these were “Move Over, Jesus, Here Comes Mary; Co-Redeemer.” In it the role of Mary in Catholicism was discussed as if she were a goddess in Catholic theology. Also in another article, the publication read that “it is becoming obvious that those
The Door, a publication that satires religion, took aim at Mother Teresa, labeling her the “Loser of the Decade.” Taking a cue from Christopher Hitchens, the unsigned article irreverently calls her “mom.” “The contrast between her image and her reality trivializes the suffering of those she is supposed to be helping–the real saints.” The article asserts that “some Catholics are now publicly asking…are the poor and the sick simply pawns that [she] and [her] Sisters are meddling with in order to get [themselves] points in heaven?”
A dark comedy called The Last Supper featured a promotional poster with a tomato dressed up to look like the Sacred Heart of Jesus, complete with flames emanating from the top and thorns surrounding the middle. The only relation to the movie was that the tomato had a bearing on the plot, which had nothing to do with Catholic religious symbols. The thorns were removed from the ad by Sony after the Catholic League protested.
In a remake of the 1954 movie Diabolique, elements of Catholic bashing can be found that were not present in the original. Sharon Stone’s character made sexual comments about an ex-nun that disparaged Catholicism. The ex-nun, the wife of the man to be killed by the two women, attacked a man, stabbing his eye with a cross pendant.
Home Box Office (HBO) featured a concert by comedian George Carlin that mocked Catholicism. Carlin said he was Catholic until he reached the “age of reason.” He said that he did not want to hear from Cardinal O’Connor and other Church leaders on the abortion issue until they had raised children on minimum wage. Priests, he said, should be told to keep their hands off altar boys. Further, he used the quote of Jesus, “Suffer the little children to come unto me,” in a blasphemous way, saying he did not think that Jesus meant it the way a pedophile priest would. In his banter on life, he said, as if one religious person to another, “My god has a bigger d— than your god.” He claimed that he wanted crucifixions, but upside down and naked. Christians could relate to that kind of punishment, he mused.
Actress Alyssa Milano stated in Premiere magazine her opinion of Catholicism. In describing a movie she did, she said, “That’s where the lesbian scene came in, because in Catholicism, supposedly the nuns are lesbians. That’s okay, but penetration isn’t? How
f—-d is that religion?” She also revealed that she has a tattoo of the Sacred Heart on her posterior because she “like[d] the way it looks.” Further, she has rosary beads tattooed on her back “because [she] was raised Catholic. It’s a bit out of rebellion.”
Primal Fear, a Paramount release, maligned the Church by presenting every Catholic character as either a sexual abuser, victim of sexual abuse, or a swindler. The Archbishop of Chicago is portrayed as a priest who sexually abuses young boys, commands them to have sex with girls in pornographic films, and associates with lay people who are corrupt. If the poor teens did not cooperate, the Archbishop threatened to cut off their food, water, and heat.
On The Dana Carvey Show, comedian Dana Carvey performed a skit called “Rich Little’s Story of Jesus.” Richard Nixon played the Archangel Gabriel, Johnny Carson was John the Baptist, and Laurel and Hardy were the Three Wise Men. Further, the Blessed Virgin Mary was shown as Carol Channing, singing “Well, Hello, Jesus; well, Hello, Jesus.” Groucho Marx was Jesus, smoking a cigar while carrying the cross in a flip manner. Other caricatures included Jack Benny as Herod and Truman Capote as Judas. Mary Magdalene was shown as Edith Bunker, saying to Archie that she was a prostitute.
The John Larroquette Show (NBC) featured a subplot about a character named Dexter, who needed to be baptized in order to be a sponsor. Dexter is told that he would go to hell without baptism. “What kind of religion would send a person to hell just for forgetting about a ritual?” The friend replies, “Christianity.” Dexter answers, “I thought Christianity was all about love and compassion, not passing judgment on others.” Again the friend responds, “No, that’s Buddhism.” Dexter then says, “Do you have to make it totally scary just so I could do the right thing?” The friend says, “Yeah, that’s Christianity.” A Catholic character later tells Dexter her understanding of hell. “As I understand it, for every day that you go unbaptized that’s how many centuries you have to spend in the burning pits of hell.” In the end, after seeking baptism, Dexter gets squirted by an elephant instead.
World’s Funniest Videos showed a video clip of a priest in Italy giving Holy Communion to a man. The priest accidentally dropped the Host twice. The priest was ridiculed by the show for doing this.
Montgomery, AL – In a column parodying the Virgin Birth, columnist Erik Fatemi of theMontgomery Journal inserted into the Biblical account the story of the singer Madonna. Among the quips were “And Madonna said, ‘How is this possible, seeing I am like a virgin?’”
Chicago, IL – While on location, Tonight Show host Jay Leno made a joke to the effect: “Chicago is so in love with pizza that even the Catholic Church is serving up deep-dish Communion.” After the league registered a protest, Leno’s producer called to apologize for the crack.
On May 6, Home Box Office (HBO) aired Priestly Sins: Sex and the Catholic Church, a one hour special on sexual abuse in the priesthood. The league raised several objections with HBO regarding this matter. We protested the film as “classic propaganda” as it did not address this matter either accurately or comparatively. Priests were singled out for disparagement and misleading statistics were presented. League officials met with HBO officials to register their objections, the result being that a disclaimer was inserted at the end of the program, alerting viewers to the controversy surrounding its use of data. A boycott of HBO was also called for by the league.
The Craft was a movie about four teenage girls who are witches. They attend a Catholic high school and wear uniforms although it has nothing to do with the plot. They also wear Rosary beads around their necks. The girls are portrayed as sex-crazed drunkards. The priests and nuns are shown as incompetent and there is a mockery of the Mass.
The History Channel aired a special series on Adolf Hitler. The ‘t’ in Hitler was deliberately shaped like a cross, distinguishing it from the design of all the other letters in his name. The Coordinator for Viewer Relation, Krutin S. Patel, explained that a gothic font had been chosen and it was by coincidence that in this font the ‘t’ appeared to resemble a cross. Patel stated that a decision had been made to drop the font even before receipt of the league’s letter.
Mad magazine featured a section called “Ungodly News” in which Mother Teresa was drawn to look like Satan. “The Inquiring Photographer” asked a woman her most embarrassing moment as a devil worshipper to which she answered, “I walked past St. Patrick’s Cathedral the other day without hocking up a wad of green phlegm and spitting on its doorstep.” Further, in a “restaurant review” the decor of a vegetarian eatery was described as having “hand-defaced museum prints of Christ and his apostles…”
CBS aired the mini-series A Season in Purgatory which was based on the novel by Dominick Dunne. It featured a prominent Catholic family who pretends to be devout as they make a mockery of several Catholic teachings. The father is an adulterer who covers up his son’s crime of murder. The mother seems pious but she lies to the police to protect her son, whom she knows is guilty. One character, Kit, talks about how she and the other girls talk about sex at the Catholic school she attends. The Cardinal is persuaded to let Constant, later a rapist-murderer, back into the Catholic school he was expelled from for having pornography. Suspected of the murder, Constant goes on TV with his mother, who states that he goes to Mass and so could not have committed such a terrible crime.
Columbus, OH – The Columbus Dispatch published an advertisement by WBNS-TV that showed a woman’s hands, draped with Rosary beads. In large letters, the inscription read: “We found sexual discrimination in the most unlikely of places. Church.” In smaller letters it said, “For many, the Church is the center of their lives. But for some women of the Catholic faith, their foundation is being rocked…rocked by doctrine that dictates their very lives.” After being contacted by the league, Paul Dughi, the News Manager at WBNS, stated that the ad ‘crossed the line’ and has been discontinued. The newspaper also apologized and pledged not to run this ad again.
Night Stand featured a skit called “The Follow-Up Show” which had the characters Fr. Chip, a rock and roll priest, Sr. Ashley, a scantily clad nun, and Bishop Tarook, a stern looking prelate. Chip, whose description was “Heavy metal priest/Promoter-Concert on the Mount/Selling time-shares in Heaven,” complained that the Church did not like his music, which he proceeded to play.
On the season finale of Caroline in the City (NBC), Caroline’s character is set to be married by a priest, providing opportunity for Catholic jokes. She meets the priest, who is on the ground looking for “beads,” referring to Rosary beads that keep breaking. The priest says that this was his first ceremony since he was a prison chaplain and had only presided over strange unions. Caroline is counseled by the priest and expresses fear of the unknown in marriage. The priest thinks she is referring to sex, but she indicates that that was not an unknown to her. He told her just to go to Confession. Caroline’s fiancé has been married three times before, but this issue is never discussed in terms of a Catholic wedding.
New York, NY – The Eternal Gospel SDA Church, based in Florida, placed an ad in theNew York Daily News to promote religious views which included Catholic bashing. Among the items in the two page spread was “Catholicism Speaks.” In it the Church was accused of moving the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday independent of divine instruction. The “Roman hierarchy” was called the “image of the beast found in Revelation.” Several characteristics attributed to Babylon were designated as Rome.
Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s widow, tore pages from a Bible and passed them into a crowd in downtown New York. After the league complained to the press, Ono issued an apology pledging that she “will not be repeating this in future performances.”
San Diego, CA – KNSD (Channel 39) ran an ad in the San Diego Union-Tribune about an investigative series the station’s news station was doing. Called “Lie, Cheat, & Steal?” the advertisement read “You’ll be surprised what happened when we put felons, nuns and cops through the honesty test.” Under the words was a picture of two men, on dressed as a felon, the other as a policeman, and a woman in full habit.
New York, NY – On his radio program, Howard Stern made sweeping comments about priestly pedophilia. He said, “[Y]ou’re telling me priests don’t rape young boys.” He further elaborated, “They want more young boys, don’t they? You gotta get a new stash.”
Florida – The Sarasota Herald-Tribune did a story on a man running for a seat on the Sarasota County Commission. It mentioned that the candidate was once associated with former Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague, whom the paper described as “an iron-fisted Roman Catholic.” After receiving a letter from the league, the paper issued an apology from the Executive Editor for this gratuitous remark.
Bernie Ward of KGO Radio compared a bishop of San Francisco to Frank Nitti “the man who carries out the executions, the man who closed the churches….” Ward went on to state that “when you become a pastor; you get your hands on the money…I would be very very very careful about donations or anything else that would go his [the bishop’s] way.” Ward later issued a retraction stating that he should not have made those remarks and that to the best of his knowledge the priest he was referring to never mishandled church funds.
In Martha Stuart’s better than you at entertaining Tom Connor and Jim Downey parody the famous hostess at the expense of Catholicism. “Our Lady of Perpetual Gilt,” “His Holiness Pope John Paul George,” and “Circumcision Day” menus were introduced to the reader. Worse than these flippancies was the “Easter Papal Visit and Luncheon.” The Easter menu includes “Communion Wafers with Caviar” and “Homemade Wine from Water.” A full-page color photo of wafers decorated with caviar is featured along with a caricature of the pope being unable to turn water into wine.
Disney’s new movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame premiered. Entertainment Weeklycalled the movie “the darkest, most adult animated film Disney has ever made.” The movie was scored as “NC” [not for Catholics] by the newspaper Our Sunday Visitor. Though the movie itself was not anti-Catholic, the way the New York Times depicted it, was disturbing. The New York Times not only did not see any of the objections thatEntertainment Weekly and Our Sunday Visitor spotted, it actually issued a flash warning to parents that the movie might be objectionable due to its Christian flavor. The Times listed a “footnote,” the contents of which were: “The movie is sprinkled with Christian images, and there are specific references to God.”
The American Cocker, a dog breeding magazine, published “The Article They Didn’t Want Published!” by Michael Asbill. The article was replete with gratuitous and wholly inaccurate statements about Catholicism. One such statement made by the author was that the reason why the Catholic Church opposes contraception is because the Church derives income through the creation of more Catholics.
Connecticut’s Hartford Courant ran a front page story on the Legionaries of Christ called, “Novices Accuse Catholic Order of Intimidation, Pressure.” The article characterized the order as a “militaristically styled,” “boot camp-like,” “secretive organization” engaged in “brainwashing.” The league sent a letter defending the Legionaries of Christ which was published on June 29 in the newspaper.
Reader’s Digest included an article by William Ecenbarger on the subject of shoplifting entitled, “They’re Stealing You Blind.” The publication icluded two references to a shoplifter’s religion, namely, Catholicism. On pages 97 and 100 readers learned that “Fran” is “a devout Catholic.” In response to a letter from the league, Reader’s Digeststated that while that author “did not mean to single out or slight Catholics in any way,” they understood the league’s objections. The publication also stated that in the international edition they will drop the references to “Catholic” and “Mass.”
Pittsburgh, PA – John Berger, in his “Editor’s Notebook” in the Pittsburgh Business Times, wrote a satirical piece called “A partnership made in Heaven, sealed in Rome.” In it, he discusses a casino run with the approval of the Church which features slot machines that “[y]ou reach for the gilt gold cross….[s]trains of ‘Ave maria’….[and a] shower of gold communion wafers flies out of the machine, accompanied by…an incandescent digital display of the risen Christ smiling….” Further, he said gambling and God have much in common. “In craps, the floormen wield long sticks with squiggly ends called croupiers. In religion, bishops wield long sticks with squiggly ends called crooks….Imagine the possibilities: Papal Slot Machines, Beatified Roulette, Caribbean Crucifixion Poker.”
Webster-Kirkwood, MO – In a letter to the editor, a Shrewsbury resident wrote that “Religion is a guise to seek wealth and power. No abortions or birth control means the future of more brain-washed Catholics; more money; more power…The Pope…would like to dictate to all of us and enslave us to being puppets of his empire.”
Spin Magazine featured an article called “Sin City” in which a writer called Eurydice takes aim at the Vatican. She writes that the Vatican is “an empty sham upheld by a corrupt bureaucracy” that operates in a “shroud of silence.” Confession is attacked for its “secrecy,” with “guilt and denial” as its binding force. It is asserted without citation that “Experts estimate that only two percent of Catholic priests sworn to ‘perpetual celibacy’ achieve it.” She goes on to claim that the Church “despises the human body,” producing priests who are “sociopathic sacrifices to the Catholic cause of image control.” Moreover, she writes, “Like the pornographer…the Pope defines sex as degradation.”
San Diego, CA – The Catholic League received an envelope addressed to “Mother of Harlots” which contained tracts from an organization called Mission to Catholics International, Inc. One was called “Is the Roman Catholic Church Another Christian Denomination?” It basically says that the Catholic Church fails to be Christian on several fronts including “Prayers to Mary and the Saints,” “The Mass,” and “The Authority of the Pope.” Another is called “Can a Christian Remain a Roman Catholic?”
New Jersey – In a morning news update segment, the newscaster for New Jersey 101.5, WKXW-FM, read a story about a Protestant minister being indicted for kiddie pornography. It read: “A man of the cloth…and pornographic videos of boys–This time not a Catholic priest; A former Presbyterian associate minister. The Reverend Eugene Templeton…is indicted in one-count of ordering and receiving the kiddie porn.” After the Catholic League complained, the station revised the story without the gratuitous reference to a Catholic priest.
Narrowsburg, NY – A play review in The River Reporter about La Cage aux Follesmocked Cardinal John O’Connor before attacking Church teachings. He suggested that the Cardinal play a role in the production about homosexuals, the Minister of Moral Standards, who “in the final number with the rest of the panty-hosed queens” could dance. He further says “The Catholic church is in the closet; people are dying because of its position on sex. And people are being born because this sexual position hurts us all; our planet does not need another person except as a replacement part. John [Cardinal O’Connor], baby-O, we all can’t play in the rhythm sex-shun; some of us can’t ‘stick’ to the beat.”
Grand Rapids, MI – WKLQ broadcasted the “Howard Stern Show” where Stern mocked nuns and priests with derisive comments like, “I wonder if she [Mother Angelica] has ever done it with a guy” and “What does Mother Angelica do when she gets horny?” Stern continued his tirade by insinuating that the Church advertises for priests by promising the priest that he can have “every good looking, hairless nine year old available to you. Look at this buttocks.” Stern then attacked the Pope by comparing him to Dracula and stating that “It’s cool being the Pope. Except you just can’t get laid.”
Orlando, FL – In an article called “Who’s in a foul mood? Not this Magic fan,” which appeared in the Orlando Sentinel, a sports writer wrote: “And when this 20-year-old juvenile bestowed his greatness on our Cowtown, we jumped up and down like a giddy Catholic high school boy about to get past first base with Thelma Lou.”
New York, NY – A picture appeared in the New Yorker Magazine which showed a Klansman carrying a swastika and surrounded by several crosses. In addition he is sporting what resembles Rosary beads.
Out, a magazine for gays, featured a drawing of a man, naked except for an American flag, on a cross with drawings of crosses covering the large cross. The man is smiling in a demented way on “The New Crooked Cross” by Ralph Steadman.
A&U, the nation’s first AIDS magazine, published “The Mary Play.” The play depicted “a virgin Mary who, though male, is pregnant with child.” The baby that Mary carries is HIV positive.
This August edition of Autoweek contained many “cute” remarks about the Pope. For example, the article stated that the Pope’s car is on the auction block. “Collector Car Show” will allow interested parties to “attend mass [sic] in Pope’s Chapel and tour parts of the Vatican ‘not normally shown’ like the Blessed Service Diagnostics Bay; infallibly maintained; includes Pope’s license plate, chalice-holders, mazda rosary engine and optional holy water fonts near door handles; puff of white smoke from tailpipe proclaims arrival of new successor.”
Hackensack, NJ – The Record published an Op-ed from ex-priest William O’Fallon. In his article, Fallon urged Catholics to revolt against the Church and blasted the Pope for his “close-minded” stance on issues of sexuality. O’Fallon admitted in the newspaper that when he was a priest, he counseled mutiny, married divorced Catholics, and officiated at the marriages of fellow priests. Here is what he once told his parishioners in St. Louis: “I told them that I felt it was sinful if they did use the rhythm method of birth control….I encouraged my parishioners…not to take everything that the church taught as positively coming from the mouth of God.”
MTV’s “Ren and Stimpy Show” featured an animated character known as Powdered Toast Man (PTM). The program showed PTM rescuing the Pope from being blown up by dynamite. PTM flies away from the bomb with the Pope clinging desperately to his back. Noticing that the Pope is slipping away, PTM tells the Pope, “Quick, man, cling tenaciously to my buttocks.” The Pope answers, “Both of them?” and then squeezes his buttocks while placing his head against it.
WABC-TV’s “Eyewitness News” the New York affiliate of ABC, aired a segment on the Pope’s trip to France. In this segment, protesters were shown greeting the Pope and an obscene sign held by one of the activists was given prominence by the cameraman. The sign read, “Pape Off, You F___ing Old B_____.” The camera zeroed in on the sign making it easy to read.
Howard Stern made comments on WXRK radio about a monsignor who was alleged to have had solicited oral sex from a man. Stern made the following remarks: “All these guys are fakes [monsignor known for being prominent pro-lifer]…Abortion? Meanwhile they’re out getting oral sex from guys…Would anybody this day and age actually go to like a monsignor for advice? Like for marital advice? Height of hypocrisy…If they abort all these fetuses, there’ll be less targets for him…where you goin’ find fifteen year olds?”
The New England edition of Adweek profiled the complaints of two Catholic ad agency directors. The ads were unusually vicious in their attack. Here’s a sample: “Get caught by the cops molesting children and you could get sent to prison. Get caught by your bishop and you could get sent to another parish”; “100,000 victims of sexual abuse and some church officials are telling us to go to hell. With all due respect, we’ve already been there”; “Thousands of kids molested by priests and some Catholics refuse to deal with it. (Apparently, there’s still a need for someone who can make the blind see.)”; “After 37 years in the priesthood, he knows it’s a mortal sin to have sex with another man’s wife. It’s another man’s son we’re worried about.”
Virginia – In a recent edition of Albermarle, there was a piece by a contributing writer entitled “Communion Causes Cancer.” In the article we are told that communion wafers can cause cancer, learn of a pastor who distributes water crackers (someone stole the communion wafers) and read that a cat is running around with communion wafers in her mouth.
The Chicago based Jetset Records recording artist Firewater released his new album entitled Get Off The Cross, We Need The Wood For The Fire. The album cover depicts the Sacred Heart of Jesus holding a beer bottle and a lighted cigarette.
On CBS This Morning a reporter asked John Wilkens of The Tablet about the Pope’s health. Wilkens responded that the Pope seemed ill based on his symptoms. The reporter then asked, “Are you saying then that you believe that the Vatican is holding something back or could I even go so far as to say that the Vatican is lying about the Pope’s health?”
The program Music Maestro “Bach” aired on WLIW 21 showcasing Bach’s music with visuals from the era, mostly paintings. Along with historical on-screen comments about Bach and the era in which he composed, the following gratuitous comments were made: “There was no Biblical basis for many Catholic practices. In particular there was no reference to a Pope”…”Before the reformation, restrictions from the Church had stifled scientists and inventors”…”Printing presses had been suppressed and Galileo found great difficulty in postulating his theories”…”Freed from these restrictive constraints the information led directly to the Age of Enlightenment.”
Fox’s Mad TV showed a skit featuring a Catholic teacher discussing safe sex to her high school class; a crucifix was prominently displayed on the wall. She loaded her commentary with off-color remarks and pulled out several condoms.
Jimmy Swaggart appeared on WWOR for a few consecutive days during which he stated that the Pope was the most evil man alive today and that Catholics are idolaters. The following day he repeated the latter charge along with more anti-Catholic statements.
Comedy Central aired its new program entitled Pulp Comics. Paul Provenza, a comedian and writer of the program, first discussed sex and AIDS, making the point that one can’t afford to have unprotected sex with anyone. He stated “You could sleep with Mother Teresa, wake up the next day with a Chia Pet growing out of your underwear.” “I was raised Catholic,” he continued. “Actually, I was lowered Catholic, but that’s just me.” Provenza went on to attack Jesus. “Every picture you see of Jesus – what’s He doing? Bitching, moaning, whining and crying.” Provenza made vulgar jokes about the Pope and priests.
A skit was also shown on the program in which a person was in a confessional, confessing to 15 fornications, 180 impure thoughts, and 25 self-touchings in one week. The priest said, “In one week?” with a kind of dreamy look on his face. The fourth segment featured a skit in which the Last Supper was shown as the First Friar’s Club meeting honoring Jesus. Blasphemous jokes were told by a man dressed as a monk. Jesus was shown smoking a cigar and laughing with the others.
Lisa Schwarzbaum, a writer for Entertainment Weekly, said the following about Hollywood and Catholics. “In Fear, Foley conveys David’s screwed-up interior life via a shot of the walls of his lairlike room, which is dominated by…Jesus on a crucifix. The implication at which nobody bats an eyelash?” Schwarzbaum concludes, “Catholic symbols are a shorthand way of saying ‘Beware, cuckoos at work!’”
The Daily News reported on October 12 that Howard Stern suggested possibilities for the Pope’s medical problems. Stern commented that the funniest possibility would be if the Pope had a sexually transmitted disease.
The movie Sleepers opened October 18 to a protest by the Catholic League. At a press conference, the league objected to the fact that the movie was based on a book by that name, written by Lorenzo Carcaterra, that was pure fiction. Both the book and the movie alleged that the facts surrounding the story were true. But careful investigation by the league, private investigators, priests and the media disclosed thatSleepers was a contrived story: there were no Catholic school boys who were sent to reform school, there was no subsequent murder and there was no priest who perjured himself. The movie, in short, was a hoax, designed to cast aspersions on Catholic students, priests and the Church itself.
Fox’s Mad TV featured a skit entitled “Mother of Mercy.” In the skit, a woman dressed as Mother Teresa was shown stripping in front of two Indians. When she was down to her underwear, the image changed to that of actress Demi Moore, who recently played a stripper in a movie.
The CBS program, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, aired a segment that included the following exchange. “REVEREND: I’ll offer her a plot in town cemetery but I doubt she’ll take it. DR. QUINN: Why not? REVEREND: Because, she’s Catholic. DR. QUINN: Well I thought we were all Christian. REVEREND: Well there are some people who could argue that point….”
The ABC show Townies introduced a character named Father Boyle. Carrie and her friend Kurt are fallen away Catholics, whom Fr. Boyle would like to see return to the Church. In this particular episode, Father Boyle was more interested in fundraising to replace a statue. He wanted funds from a rich older woman who left the Church when her cat died. Carrie said sometimes people blame God. The priest responded, “Actually she blamed me. I backed over the damned thing on bingo night.” As for the Our Lady of Grace Statue with rusted arms, the priest said to her that she would not want children having to be hospitalized with tetanus “because they cut themselves on Our Lady’s jagged rusty stumps.”
George Weber made numerous insulting comments against Catholics on WABC radio. From his comments, it is apparent Weber believes that Catholics are the most sinful and corrupt people on the face of the earth. The Pope and the rosary were also subjected to insult.
ABC’s 20/20 described a series of adoptions in Ireland over a thirty year period which separated unwed mothers and their babies. In the preview at the beginning of the show the voice-over said: “Tonight a revelation that shocked a nation. The Catholic Church and a cold-hearted plan.” Images shown included that of a statue of the Virgin Mary and stained glass windows. The voice-over continued, “They were young mothers, unwed, judged, at the mercy of the Church.” Finally, “Tom Jarriel in a 20/20classic, the story of a very different time, a powerful Church, desperate young women, and a heartless act in the name of God.” Hugh Downs helped introduce the story, calling what happened a “heartless plan” which involved “one of the most powerful organizations in the world – the Catholic Church.” He elaborated, “It’s the story of young women who broke the rules of their Church and their society and paid a cruel price.” Much of the story was developed out of historical context and no attempt was made to speak comparatively about this issue.
On the Terry Gross Show, heard on WNYC-FM, Miss Gross interviewed Cruse O’Brien of the Late Night Show. The interview began with a lampoon version of the Hail Mary being recited by a Catholic nun. The nun stated that the prayer was a victory prayer for the Yankee baseball team and for the damnation of its opponents. Children were instructed to repeat the “prayer.”
Spy Magazine poked fun at the Sacrament of Reconciliation with an article entitled, “Best Soul Cleansing.” The article urged people to “hop over to a church confessional” and get your sins absolved before doing something stupid – “like volunteer to help children.” The article stated that penance is the only drawback to this system and listed “a shopper’s guide” to the amount of penance doled out by various churches, such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Cleveland, OH – Artists held a fundraising party for SPACES, a local art gallery. The newspaper the Plain Dealer gave high profile to the event, including photos of the Catholic baiting participants. The three photos that accompanied the story on the “Saint Misbehavin” party showed a picture of a woman dressed as Santa Anna and a man dressed as St. John the Baptist; another photo featured a man dressed as St. Francis of Assisi, a man outfitted as the devil and a woman dressed in a see-through Communion gown, wearing nothing but a bra and panties (She was identified as “a naughty First Communion Girl”); the third photo was of a woman posing as Mary and a man posing as Joseph.
Author, Sandra Boynton, incorporated music into each of her two new books. One of the books is entitled Grunt: Pigorian Chant From Snouto Domoinko De Silo and is a parody of the best-selling Chant. The recording that accompanies the book is sung by pigs. The pigs sing Gregorian chants in Pig Latin and in real Latin. Fenno Heath, the former director of the Yale Glee Club, enlisted 17 glee club alumni and wearing Boynton pig ties and vests, performed such songs as “Monophonia Noctis.”
In the PBS show, To the Contrary, the panelists were discussing sexual abuse when Karen De Witt, a writer for the New York Times, made the following statement : “It’s not just an issue with girls alone. Boys are exploited as well, and people should not forget this. I mean not, not […] we’ve had incidences in the Catholic Church, you know under the guise of religion. But boys are just as much likely to be the target of perverts as girls are.”
Psychic Friends, a program that appears on public access TV, featured a rock and roll band that described themselves as “anti-Christian.” While appearing on the show, the band urinated and masturbated on pages of the Bible. Psychic Friends was pulled off the airwaves in September, but was reinstated because lawyers found the show did not meet the legal definition of obscenity.
The late Tupac Shakur released his new album entitled, “Makaveli-the don killuminati, the 7 day theory.” The album cover features a naked Shakur on a cross like Jesus with his genital area covered by the following words: “Parental Advisory Explicit Content.”
Cleveland, OH – WOIO, the CBS affiliate in Cleveland, aired a two-part series titled,Pedophile Priests. Although there was a legitimate basis for the story, the show was advertised in an offensive manner. Local newspapers carried the following ad: “Dozens of priests in our area have been accused of molesting children. One or two may go to jail, but what about the others? How are they protected from the law? And who’ll protect the children from repeat offenders? Find out what the church hasn’t confessed in the CBS 19 NEWS two-part special report Sunday and Monday at 11PM.” The ad showed a picture of a priest from the bottom of his eyes down to his neck with the inscription “Pedophile Priest” written in a gag-like style across his mouth.
The Leader Company published a book written by John Wheeler, Jr., Earth’s Two-Minute Warning, that contained passages that disparage Catholics. The book offered a possible scenario of the end of time. Wheeler writes that “The identification of the Pope with the Antichrist has been a recurring theme for Protestants since the Reformation.” Wheeler warned that “there is some legitimate cause for concern that the Vatican may one day run amok, “suggesting that the Pope as Antichrist may be at hand. He argued that “This Antichrist’s ascendancy will be promoted by a blessing from a corrupt Pope– an apostate, Satanically empowered successor to John Paul II.”
The publishing company, Routledge, released a book on the late rock star, Elvis Presley. The cover illustration featured Elvis as the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The book, Elvis After Elvis: The Posthumous Career of a Living Legend, had nothing to do with the cover design. The illustration was also on the cover of the “Literary and Cultural Studies” flyer that was mailed to prospective readers. After being contacted by the league, Routledge president apologized for the illustration.
Cathy Crimmins wrote a book entitled, Madonna & Child, that is celebrated as a parody of the pop star, Madonna. Madonna on the Virgin Mary as role model: “She’s the ultimate single mother. I’ll only be happy if my kid’s birthday becomes a national holiday, too.” Madonna on the best cure for morning sickness: “Communion wafers. Wash ‘em down with San Pelligrino or Evian – they’re just the thing to keep your stomach stable until you grow out of your nausea and all the garments in your closet.” Madonna on choosing a priest to be her sperm donor: “Tempting. I do like a virgin, and I do want to raise my child to be a good Catholic. But most priests are gay, anyway, right?”
In the movie the Glimmer Man, a serial killer is on the loose who murders and then crucifies couples, predominantly Catholic, because he believes he is redeeming them, as ordered by Jesus. Steven Seagal, who plays a policeman, has a showdown with the ardent Catholic sociopath in a Catholic church.
In the computer magazine, Wired, there was an article about a new computer game,Quake, that is apparently the successor of Doom, the number one computer game. The following is a selection of what was written. “The first time I met Romero, he had just moused his way into a Quake chamber lined with tormented stone Christs. ‘Take that, you bastard!’ he yelled, gleefully hurling fireballs at a Savior. ‘Yeah, some people are going to hate this.’”
Columbia Records issued an album entitled “O, Come All Ye Faithful” featuring such rock acts as Bush, Henry Rollins and Juliana Hatfield. The album juxtaposes what happened on the first Christmas with the modern horror of abortion. An assertion in the liner notes states that legalized abortion is “the most spiritual of gifts.” The album booklet contains an abundance of pro-abortion propaganda. One page includes suggestions for activism. Another page has a postcard pre-addressed to Speaker Newt Gingrich asking him to “provide additional resources for clinic protections nationwide and to vigorously carry out an investigation into all violent anti-abortion groups.” The League joined Cardinal Law in protesting this abuse of Christmas to promote a pro-abortion message.
In a race for the First Congressional District, Republican incumbent Michael Forbes of Long Island charged his Democratic opponent Nora Bredes, with Catholic bashing. Rep. Forbes was referring to the anti-Catholic statements made by one of Bredes’ fundraisers, Marilyn Fitterman. She labeled Catholicism a “patriarchal religion,” one that turns its back on the poor, leaving children hungry.
The Conan O’Brien Show featured a segment where O’Brien was talking about John F. Kennedy Jr. and his relationship with Madonna. O’Brien said that it is as if JFK Jr. had sex with all the people Madonna ever slept with, and then a list of names starting with Dennis Rodman rolled across the screen. The name Karol Wojtyla appeared which is the name of Pope John Paul II.
The cable network Showtime aired Sherman Oaks. The program featured a seductive blond who found it hard to believe that a man she met at a health club was a priest. “A priest, my ass,” she commented. This was followed with the quip, “You’re going to tell me the bulge between your legs is a chalice, right?” The woman appeared topless in the show, had an affair with the priest and generally made derogatory comments about priests.
Showtime aired a movie titled Critical Choices. The movie took place over Easter Weekend, beginning with Holy Thursday; it opened with a shot of the Pope on his hands and knees washing the feet of the bishops. A character played by Pamela Reed was portrayed as an anti-abortion extremist. She was a homely, dowdy person who contrasted sharply with the liberal pro-abortion advocate. There were shots taken in a church and a clergyman is introduced as a revenge-seeking militant. The clergyman provokes the anti-abortion woman’s husband to place a bomb in an abortion clinic. The pro-abortion woman is seen reciting The Memorare and a gay man is sympathetically portrayed as a victim of anti-abortion zealots.
Saturday Night Live featured a skit with Rosie O’Donnell and Penny Marshall who played buffoon nuns. The nun played by Marshall was shown drinking liquor from a flask and in another skit, O’Donnell was shown speaking derisively of a nativity scene. In yet another scene, a figure of Baby Jesus was thrown to the ground.
Mad TV caricatured the nativity scene with derision. Jesus was made the butt of laughter and a woman who played Our Blessed Mother announced, “the Virgin has arrived.” Mary spoke caustically of the Three Wise Men because the “cheap bastards” didn’t bring any gifts. A figure of Baby Jesus was thrown to the ground.
Los Angeles, CA – Tammy Bruce of radio station KFI aired a segment on her program called “Mother Teresa Update.” In this segment Ms. Bruce ridiculed Mother Teresa by mocking her good works in a simulated outgoing voice-mail message. Ms. Bruce made comments such as “press button three to find out if I’m alive” and “it will only cost you three Hail Mary’s.” Ms. Bruce went on to make numerous sexual innuendoes at the expense of Mother Teresa.
Saturday Night Live aired a skit during which an electronic nativity scene comes to life. The Baby Jesus is crying, whining and screaming.
New York, NY – In an article in the neighborhood newspaper, The Resident, a Jewish writer complained that the media is biased and focuses solely on Christmas, while ignoring Hanukkah. The writer refers to Christmas as “every damn Dec. 25.”
Saturday Night Live retelevised the skit where an electronic nativity scene comes to life three days before Christmas.
The movie “The People vs. Larry Flynt” was scheduled for release two days after Christmas. The movies’ poster art work was banned by the Motion Picture Association of America. It featured a picture of actor Woody Harrelson dressed only in a loincloth made from an American flag, crucified on the gigantic groin of a scantily clad woman. A writer for the New York Post stated that this type of artistic celebration insulted the Christmas spirit.
The Fox TV sitcom Married with Children aired an episode that mocked nuns and Catholics.
The cover article of the New Republic contained a piece by Jacob Heilbrunn that alleged there is a growing war between Catholic and Jewish conservatives. The article, “Neocon v. Theocon,” maintained that Catholic intellectuals have alienated their Jewish neoconservative friends by pushing for a Thomistic understanding of American democracy. Heilbrunn stated that the “mostly Catholic intellectuals” who comprise the theocons “are attempting to construct a Christian theory of politics that directly threatens the entire neoconservative philosophy.” He then added that this venture was seen by some neocons as one which “directly threatens Jews.” The public philosophy that is ascribed to Catholic writers was labeled “not so much anti-American as un-American.”
The league labeled Heilbrunn’s article as demagogic and published its news release as an ad in the New Republic.
The Evangelist, a publication by the Jimmy Swaggart Ministries contained a section entitled “Startling Incidents and Amazing Answers To Prayer.” Listed as one of these “incidents” was a story about a family that was “gloriously saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.” Swaggart states that “previously, the entire family had been staunch Catholics,” but now “whatever happened to cause them to come to Jesus was so climactic that the superstition of erroneous Catholicism was instantly abandoned.”
New Mobility, a magazine for the disabled, ran a piece challenging canonical rulings on qualifications for matrimony that was coarse, vulgar, inaccurate and insulting to Catholics.