Media

Movies

January
“The Ogre,” a film about a naïve Catholic man in the Paris suburbs who is seduced into the pagan lifestyle of Nazi Germany, contained “minor attacks on the Catholic clergy,” according to a review in Human Events.

March
The film “Relax…It’s Just Sex” featured the following line: “You know how lesbians are. They’re like Catholics or ‘Saturday Night Live.’ They go on forever, no matter how bad it gets.”

March
Philadelphia, PA – Irish-American actor Aidan Quinn, explaining the “explosion of great filmmaking coming out of Ireland in the last 10 or 15 years,” attributed it to “the prying off of the cement lid of oppression in Ireland,” that “has exposed the sexual abuse, the Catholic Church’s domination, the repression of sexuality, the repression of freedom.”

April 5
New York, NY – The New York Post reported that Miramax and its parent company, Disney, were “wringing their hands” over the fate of Kevin Smith’s anti-Catholic satire, “Dogma.” Having read the script, the league responded by citing some of its more egregious items: a tasteless remark positing sexual relations between Mary and Joseph: “Believing a wife never humped her husband—that’s just gullibility”; God played by Alanis Morissette, a singer known for her nude videos and songs about oral sex; a descendant of Joseph and Mary who works at an abortion clinic; a foul-mouthed 13th apostle; and the comparison of Mass to lousy sex.

April 7
Bob and Harvey Weinstein, heads of Disney-owned Miramax, were forced to buy the rights to the movie “Dogma” and find a new distributor for it, after Disney refused to allow its release through their subsidiary. A Disney official reportedly termed the movie “inappropriate for all our labels.” The league hailed Disney’s decision, and promised an all-out campaign against the film. Noting that actor Ben Affleck, who stars in “Dogma,” had called it “a satire on the Catholic Church” that “is definitely meant to push buttons,” league president William Donohue said, “The Catholic League has a few buttons of its own to push, and we will not hold back.”

June 15
Los Angeles, CA – The attorney for Bob and Harvey Weinstein sent the Catholic League a threatening letter, in an obvious effort to intimidate the league from continuing its protest of the movie “Dogma.” While expressing “no desire to interfere with the League’s freedom of speech,” attorney Daniel Petrocelli attempted to do just that, by promising to “hold the League fully accountable for any wrongdoing, injury or damage it causes.” He asserted that the league’s “public pronouncements” suggest “that the League may endorse or induce unlawful restraints on the freedom of others to exercise their right to see and enjoy ‘Dogma.’” What pronouncements led to such a conclusion? Responding to Ben Affleck’s declaration that the film is “definitely meant to push buttons,” league president William Donohue had simply said, “The Catholic League has a few buttons of its own to push, and we will not hold back.”

July
Actress Heather Graham, in an interview in Premiere magazine, lashed into her Catholic upbringing, misrepresenting and then attacking the teachings of the Church:
· “I grew up thinking sex is bad and feeling really guilty,” she said. “Catholicism says you should never masturbate; you should never have sex. Meanwhile, you’re a human being. It’s beyond your morality. It’s survival of the species.”
· “There’s a rule in Catholicism: Obey your father and mother. But what if your father and mother are fucked up? Are you supposed to obey them anyway because it’s part of Catholicism?”
· On her nudity in the film “Rollergirl”: “I was a little scared being naked. But it was kind of freeing. I just felt like I didn’t have to live by the rules of Catholicism if I wanted to express myself artistically, and I’m not going to hell.”

August 13
New Line Cinema released “Detroit Rock City,” a movie set in 1978 about four teenagers who go on a wild spree on their way to a KISS concert. The film featured:
· A foul-mouthed priest who steals money from the collection box to pay for pizza;
· A fanatical Catholic woman who, while carrying rosary beads and sporting a “Smile, Jesus Loves You” bumper sticker, is coarse and hypocritical—dragging her son to Confession when she discovers his interest in attending the KISS concert, while harboring a lust for the priest herself;
· The priest questioning the boy in Confession about whether he has something to confess like “carnal knowledge with a neighborhood girl” or “finding a box of magazines under Dad’s bed”;
· The boy losing his virginity with one of his girlfriends in the confessional when the priest leaves;
· The priest returning, and asking the boy about “crotchless panties.”

September
The MGM movie “Stigmata” opened to reviews raving that the movie was “jaw-droppingly anti-Catholic” (New York Post). The plot of the movie revolves around a supposed lost gospel of Christ, whose message – that the kingdom of God is inside us and all around us, not in buildings of stone – would undermine the legitimacy of the Church. In the movie, the Church proceeds to do anything and everything (including violence) to suppress the plot-created gospel.
The movie also includes mentions of Padre Pio and St. Francis of Assisi along with sexual innuendo involving priests and a demonic possession associated with the stigmata.

December
A film called “All About My Mother” features a character that is a pregnant, HIV-infected nun. One reviewer (who liked the film) described the movie as “a loose homage to ‘All About Eve’ populated by an outrageous assortment of drag queens, transvestite hookers and pregnant nuns.” The movie was by Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, described by the Village Voice as the only Spanish director who can make a bigger joke out of Catholicism than Luis Buñuel. Buñuel, it is generally considered, has made some of the most anti-Catholic movies in history.

November
The movie “The Omega Code,” financed by Trinity Broadcasting, the nation’s largest Christian broadcaster, did more business than most other films out at the time. And it opened in only 300 theaters. Some reviewers, however, questioned whether some of the characters and imagery are anti-Catholic. The movie, about a secret biblical code and the end of the world, had “not-so-subtle flourishes of Catholic bashing,” according to Dennis King of Tulsa World. Kathleen Croughwell of the Los Angeles Times wrote that “one of the more troubling aspects of ‘The Omega Code’ is the seeming demonization of Roman Catholicism.”

December
The movie “End of Days” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger featured an end of time theme that used Catholic imagery amid torture and violence. Several priests were depicted as being brutalized; one is even crucified on a ceiling. There were a vacuous pope, pathetic-looking cardinals, and lay Catholic thugs in rebellion against the Vatican.

December
A movie called “The Body” is being filmed in Jerusalem. The story involves a female Israeli archeologist who finds the body of Christ. The Vatican dispatches a priest (played by Antonio Banderas) to investigate the woman’s claim. The woman leads him to challenge both his faith in God and his celibacy.

Music

March 5
Toledo, OH – A performance by Motley Crue included two female dancers, one dressed in a nun’s habit with crucifix, who stripped down to topless outfits and proceeded to spank each other.

April
“Cradle of Filth,” an English “death metal band,” continued to market its revolting “Vestal Master” T-shirt, depicting a topless nun masturbating, with the phrase “Jesus is a Cunt” printed in large letters.

June 14
Philippines – Ex-Spice Girl Geri (“Ginger Spice”) Halliwell came to this overwhelmingly Catholic nation with a message for its non-white, minority population: limit your numbers, in part, by practicing birth control. Halliwell, who in her solo video, “Look at Me,” had mocked Catholicism by dressing as a nun, offended the sensibilities of Filipino Catholics by advocating condom use and “safe sex.”

Newspapers

January
New York, NY – Writing about a teen-age boy convicted of manslaughter for a killing in Central Park, the New York Post repeatedly referred to the convict as a “former altar boy.” No mention was made of the religious affiliation of his female accomplice.

January 11
Long Island, NY 
– Newsday columnist Sheryl McCarthy found that even a column defending President Clinton against impeachment can be turned into a vehicle for Catholic-bashing. “Here you had Henry Hyde,” McCarthy wrote about the Catholic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, “leading what looked like the march of the cardinals and bishops, and you had this 96 year-old man [Sen. Strom Thurmond, president pro tem of the Senate] who couldn’t get a job anywhere else playing the role of grand inquisitor. The only thing missing were the red cardinal hats and the Pope’s hat.”

January 13
Seattle, WA -
– In a column disparaging the Seattle mayor’s proclamation of Thanksgiving week as Bible Week, Susan Paynter of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer made a point to identify “sex columnist” Dan Savage, “who is gay,” as “a Catholic.” Yet she made no mention of the religion of any of the other principals in her column: the Mayor who issued the Bible Week proclamation, his secretary and assistant secretary who commented on it, the city council members who expressed their views, or the spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union who opposed it.

January 24

Harrisburg, PA – The Patriot-News ran an ad by “‘Thus Saith the Lord…’ Ministries,” attacking the Catholic Church as “The Antichrist Beast and the Harlot Woman.”

January 25
St. Louis, MO – On the eve of Pope John Paul II’s visit to St. Louis, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a full page ad from the Eternal Gospel of Seventh-Day Adventists Church, attacking the Catholic Church as, among other things, “the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.” The paper also ran a 14 page color magazine insert by a group called “The Prophetic Song of Songs,” which interspersed pictures of the Pope with unfavorable comparisons of Catholic teachings with Protestant beliefs. Contacted by the league, the Post-Dispatch immediately apologized for the SDA ad, and promised that it would not run again. The paper also apologized in print for failing to properly identify the magazine piece as a paid advertisement.

January 27
Pittsburgh, PA – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Gene Collier used a column on Catholic Schools Week to denigrate Catholic nuns (“Sister Mary Inyourface”) and engage in the usual exaggerated stereotypes of Catholic school discipline.

January 31
Greensburg, PA – Writing in the Tribune-Review, Barbara Reynolds, a Baptist minister, lectured the Catholic Church about its treatment of women. Complaining that she is not permitted to preach in some Baptist churches, Reynolds implied that this is somehow the fault of the “sexism perpetrated by the [Catholic] church with the pope as a ringleader.”

February
Waco, TX – The Waco Tribune Herald ran a picture during the pope’s visit of a woman kissing the pope’s ring. Over the picture was a banner reading, “Papal Worship.”

February 4
Buffalo, NY – Buffalo News columnist Mary Kunz wrote that “The feast of St. Blaise…cracks up non-Catholics, and we can see why.” She went on to mock the annual Blessing of the Throat on St. Blaise’s feast day, ridiculing “the idea of a saint specializing in ailments of the throat.”

February 4
Portland, OR – “The Edge,” a humor column in The Oregonian, featured “Top 10 Items at the Vatican Garage Sale.” Among the more offensive were “‘World’s Funniest Confessions’ audiotapes,” and “Commemorative rack of crushed skulls from the Spanish Inquisition.”

February 8
Richmond, VA – An item in the Richmond Times-Dispatch entitled, “Just Asking…” wondered, “What explains the Catholic church [sic] being so desperate for priests that it is trying to recruit them through billboard ads?” That this snide comment was juxtaposed as a box insert inside a favorable editorial on Israel underscored the double standard by which the internal practices of only the Catholic Church are considered fair game for criticism in the secular media.

February 18 – 24
Albany, NY – Acknowledging that artist Michele Molea’s “Banana Mary” and “Bobbing for Jesus” works were “inspired by a professed cynicism of religion,” Metroland reviewer Stacey Lauren nonetheless found them “reverently irreverent and refreshingly so.”

February 19
San Rafael, CA – The Gannett-owned Marin Independent Journal ran an old cartoon showing a woman being forced by the Pope and several bishops to carry a heavy cross up a hill. On the cross is the word “liberal.” The message was clear: The Church is crucifying liberal-minded Catholic women who advocate change in Church teachings on issues related to women.

March
Cherry Hill, NJ – Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Cherry Hill put up a banner across the street that read, “Life, What a Beautiful Choice.” The Cherry Hill Courier Post wanted the banner removed because it said the phrase on it was “a nationally advertised, partisan political catch phrase.” On the other hand, the paper said a banner that held the phrase “Do a Random Act of Kindness Every Day” did not take a political stance.

March
After some items in the Hunter College student newspaper, Envoy, led to criticisms and apologies, some anti-Semitic letters were received at the Envoy office, portions of which were reprinted in the newspaper. The hate mail was superimposed on Catholic League letterhead.

March
Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on a murder story involving seven teenagers. One of the accused, Jessica Holtmeyer, was identified by the paper as being a former “altar server at St. Francis Catholic Church.” The paper failed to identify the religious affiliation of any of the other teenage suspects.

March 11
Hunterdon County, NJ – Columnist Jim Cegielski, in a piece in the Hunterdon County Democrat entitled, “Why Don’t Other Saints get Holidays?” ridiculed the Church’s process for canonizing saints. “Back in the early 100s,” he wrote, “you could become a saint if you were really good at magic tricks, could wiggle your ears, or were related to the Pope.” Later, he wrote, “the rules were tightened up. No longer could you become a saint by slipping a bishop 20 lira.” In particular, Cegielski wondered, “how did St. Patrick…get his own day? The answer is quite simple: the Irish were looking for an excuse for a party.”

March 21
Reno, NV – The Reno Gazette-Journal reported that Michelle Lyn Michaud, one of two prime suspects in a series of kidnappings, sexual assaults and murder, was portrayed “as a drug addict and pathological liar, as well as a former prostitute—and a former altar girl in a Catholic Church.” As Michaud was 40 years old, and female altar servers have been permitted in the Catholic Church for only the last five years, the statement was patently false. It seemed like yet another case of a newspaper jumping at the chance to highlight a dubious Catholic connection of a person accused of a particularly heinous crime. In this case, however, the newspaper was not at fault. They were accurately reporting false information contained in Michaud’s court records.

March 28
Chicago, IL – On Palm Sunday—the beginning of the most solemn week in the Catholic calendar—the Chicago Tribune, in its arts section, ran a huge photograph of “a paint-by-numbers picture of a dog, which has the face of Christ imposed on the head.”

March 28
San Francisco, CA – Cartoonist Don Asmussen of the San Francisco Examiner drew a story line featuring a war between “Catholimania” and “Homoslavia.” The story featured gay activists dressed as nuns and described “homosexuals…flaunting their homosexuality in front of the frightened Catholics.”

April 1
Duluth, MN – The April Fool’s edition of the Northland Reader contained a parody that turned a popular, positive billboard message into a vicious defamation against Catholic priests. The bogus ad took the message, “Tell the kids I love them—God,” and changed it to: “Tell the kids I love them—Any Catholic Priest.”

April 4
San Francisco, CA – San Francisco Examiner cartoonist Don Asmussen was at it again. This time the comic strip parodied the controversy between the Church and the Sister of Perpetual Indulgence – the group that regularly ridicules nuns, Catholics and the Eucharist.
Archbishop William Levada was depicted as the coyote from the Road Runner cartoon. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were depicted as the road runner named “Gay Nunner.” Levada’s effort to stop the “Sister’s” street festival from taking place on Easter was labeled “Looney Tune Mission.”

April 8
Los Angeles, CA – New Times, in a repulsive send-up of the Budweiser slogan, “This Bud’s For You,” ran a drawing of a weeping Jesus on the Cross above the phrase, “This Blood’s For You.” Adding insult to injury was the caption: “No doubt countless devout Budweiser drinkers suddenly turned from worshipping brew to you-know-Who when they saw this clever pitch.”

April 11
Boston, MA – Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan, hailing a court challenge to a Massachusetts law prohibiting retail sales of alcohol on Sunday, mocked the story of Jesus’ first miracle: transforming water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana. “Perhaps at this point we should recall,” Eagan wrote, “that the man Sunday blue laws were created to honor described himself as both a glutton and a major wine enthusiast.” At Cana, she wrote, Jesus “took a bunch of 30 gallon jugs, filled them with water and, so the story goes, turned them into enough wine to satiate everyone 10 miles south of New Hampshire and probably all of misguided Massachusetts, too.”

April 20
Passaic, NJ
 – The North Jersey Herald & News printed a news story from Scripps Howard News Service that read more like an editorial, flatly declaring that “Catholic hospital mergers threaten reproductive rights.” The familiar complaint was that across the country, many community hospitals are willing to forego providing abortion and contraception in order to affiliate with Catholic health care institutions. While focusing on the loss of these “services,” the article made no mention of the many services that will be preserved, precisely because floundering community hospitals will have access to the resources of Catholic hospitals.

April 21
New York, NY – The New York Press Illustrated writer Jonathan Ames wrote an inane piece about his travels, with a huge cartoon showing three girls in Catholic school uniforms performing oral sex on each other (a scene Ames reported having witnessed in a Mexican strip club). To make matters worse, the piece was headlined, “I Have the same Nose as Jesus,” referring to a sculpture in which Ames said that Christ’s nose “looked eerily like my own nose.”

April 21
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands – The Island Trader contained two jokes at the expense of Catholic nuns. One involved a drunk assaulting a nun in habit because he thought she was Batman. The other, far worse, involved a nun relating to two other Sisters how she found pornographic magazines while cleaning a priest’s room. A second nun reported that while putting away laundry, she found a bunch of condoms in the same priest’s room. “‘Oh my!’ gasped the other nuns. ‘What did you do?’ they asked. ‘I poked holes in all of them,’ she replied.” Whereupon, “the third nun just fainted.” Following letters of protest from readers, the newspaper published an apology in its April 28 edition, promising to “guard against such material in the future.”

April 24
White Plains, NY – The Journal News, owned by Gannett Newspapers, attacked Iona College. The newspaper accused Iona of “censoring the free verse of student poets,” because the Catholic college refused to publish an obscenity-laced poem in the school’s student literary magazine. Interestingly, the Journal News article, while describing the offending passages as “sexually explicit” and “an expletive,” did not print them—suggesting that Gannett reserves for itself the right to set ethical standards in determining what it prints—the same right that Gannett would deny to Iona College.

May 2
Boston, MA – The Boston Herald published a piece by Margery Eagan ridiculing Bernard Cardinal Law for refusing the use of Church facilities to a dissident Catholic women’s group. In doing so, Eagan first presented the group, Massachusetts Women-Church, as an insignificant band of only 10 members, suggesting that Cardinal Law ought to have more important things to do than to worry about such a tiny group. In her next breath, however, she accused the Cardinal of delivering a “blow to the soul” of all “serious, sincere Catholic women”—suggesting a following among Catholic women that this group clearly did not have. Eagan never explained why an organization whose existence is based on its opposition to Church teaching should feel entitled to demand the use of Church facilities to organize its dissent.

May 18
Los Angeles, CA – Theatre reviewer Michael Phillips reviews “Late Nite Catechism” in the Los Angeles Times. He describes it as “squeaky clean.” He goes on to describe “recovering Catholics” and “uber-nun” while saying the Catholic Church’s “stock as comic fodder has risen while its general influence and popularity have gone south.”

May 20
Santa Rosa, CA – The calendar page of the Sonoma County Independent contained an ad for something called “Indy Online,” which featured a drawing of a three-eyed Jesus over a blurb for “Gifts of the Ages: In search of religious epiphanies—and the world’s tackiest souvenirs.”

May 20
Chicago, IL – The Chicago Tribune’s Achy Obejas reviewed “Passion Follies,” a series of plays making fun of stories of Jesus, Mary and the Apostles. The directors hoped the plays would bring them some notoriety: “We’d figured we’d stir up a big controversy and, boy it’d be great for business.” Obejas endorsed the plays.

May 30
Orange County, CA – Writing in the Orange County Register, D. R. Segal asserts the Catholic Church, in the 1400s, concluded the Virgin Mary conceived Jesus through her ear. He goes on to say he read it, and has not researched such a claim. Segal went on to say St. Thomas Aquinas was “the all-time know-it-all.”

June
Seattle, WA
 – The Seattle Times, noting Seattle University was considering changing the name of their mascot (Chieftains) suggested “The Runnin’ Rosaries” and “The Holy Waters” before inviting readers to suggest their own names.

July
Rutland, VT – The Letters-to-the-Editor pages of the Rutland Herald contained letters that start out as a spirited religious debate, but degenerated into a protracted assault on the teachings and beliefs of the Catholic Church. The paper printed the letters nonetheless.

July 3
Hutchinson, KS – The Hutchinson News ran an article about practitioners of paganism and their complaints that their beliefs are distorted. It quotes a young man who says he left the Catholic Church because he couldn’t accept the Church’s position “that all non-Roman Catholics were going to hell.” The paper let the statement stand as if it were fact.

July 7
New York, NY – The New York Times, in an article on the proliferation of hate groups, accurately described them as “Promulgating an anti-Jewish, anti-black, anti-Christian doctrine.” The breakout quote, however, read, “Pushing an anti-black and anti-Jewish doctrine”—omitting, for the attention of the casual reader, any mention of anti-Christian victimization.

July 17
Albany, NY – Rolf Ahlers wrote in The Record of “Church and Papal involvement in the Holocaust,” ignoring the multitude of prominent Jewish voices who heaped praise and gratitude upon Pope Pius XII during World War II.

August 3
St. Petersburg, FL – St. Petersburg Times columnist Mary Jo Melone writes a piece berating Catholic hospitals for their choice not to perform abortions at their facilities. Melone then goes on to say: “They say it’s about respecting life and then they (Catholic Church) run roughshod over the lives of so many.”

August 10
The Eternal Gospel Church of Seventh-Day Adventists placed a full-page ad in USA Today attacking the Catholic Church. The splinter group does not represent the Seventh-Day Adventists. League president William Donohue wrote a letter to USA Today editor Karen Jurgensen asking for assurances that the ad would not run again. Jurgensen failed to commit not to run the ad again.

August 28
Vero Beach, FL – The Press Journal in Southern Florida printed a quote from comedian Bill Maher under the section “P.J. Chuckle.” Maher remarked that Catholicism has changed over the years to include a salad bar with communion.

September
Philadelphia, PA – Ellen Gray of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote a piece on HBO’s documentary on comedian Lenny Bruce. Gray pointed out Bruce engaged in “diatribes on religion” which “angered many Catholics”. She went on to say that Bruce’s drug arrests were carried out by “the largely Roman Catholic police forces in many cities.”
She also wrote “the relatively small Catholic League” was successful in killing the television show “Nothing Sacred” and was now pressuring Miramax about the movie “Dogma.” She concluded “some of the walls Bruce sought to tear down are still standing.”

September 25
The cartoon titled “The Piranha Club” featured a character identified as a “minister” who has “accomplished” the miracle of the loaves and fishes. He tells his companion he wants to move onto to bigger miracles such as turning water into wine. In the last panel he is seen trying to turn his dinner from “mullet soufflé ” into a t-bone steak.

September 27
Newark, NJ – In reporting on the tragic death of a woman shot by a former boyfriend on her wedding day, the Newark Star-Ledger included a paragraph about the alleged killer’s religion, “He was known to attend church with his daughter at Our Lady of Fatima,” as if the information added anything to the crime story.

October 15
Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Star conducted a survey of Roman Catholic priests’ sex lives. The survey, sent out by editor and vice president Mark Zieman, was aimed at priests randomly selected from the Kenedy Official Catholic Directory. The survey addressed AIDS and HIV. Zieman wrote, “We have come to understand that the disease also has a devastating impact on groups who’s members are unable to speak up about the difficulties they have endured.”
The survey also asked the priests if they thought the Church should change its teachings on homosexuality and celibacy.

October 15
Los Angeles, California – In a letter to the editor printed in the Los Angeles Times, Daniel Sullivan of San Diego wrote, “It isn’t Catholics who are the target of pop culture’s ridicule, it’s the bloated bureaucracy of the Holy See. Like the proverbial emperor, the papacy dresses in the invisible rags of medieval doctrine. The bigot is the church itself, which makes second-class citizens of Catholic women, gays and anyone with the temerity to question the pontiff’s lack of attire.”

October 15
New York, NY – In a letter to the editor printed in the New York Daily News in the aftermath of the Brooklyn Museum of Art controversy, Richard Seca of Manhattan wrote, “Catholic-bashing? Who is Crazy Rudy kidding? It’s politics, stupid! Frankly the Catholic Church needs to be bashed! Lest we forget, these are the folks who brought you the Crusades, the Inquisition, the trial of Galileo, missionaries, the Borgia Popes and Hitler’s own Pope, Pius XII.”

October 24
Houston, TX – The cartoon “Shortcuts” by Jeff Harris appeared in the Houston Chronicle with a special Halloween edition. It in, a section read “Pope Innocent III sanctioned witch-hunting in 1484 and went on for 300 years. During this time millions of people, mostly women, were hanged or burned as witches.”

November 12
Springfield, IL – A review of the television movie “Mary” appeared in the Daily Herald. Reviewer Ted Cox didn’t like the movie because it was too reverent. He suggested Mary Magdalene be “put in a tube top or some slinky pants Elisabeth Shue wore in ‘Leaving Las Vegas?’ I mean, she was a prostitute, right?”

October 7
Dubuque, IW – A column in the Telegraph-Herald by Thomas Gifford contained comments about John Cardinal O’Connor of New York. In regard to the Brooklyn Museum of Art controversy, Gifford referred to the Cardinal as “New York’s other great know-nothing.” He said the cardinal commented about the controversy “based on prejudice, preconceptions and utter lack of knowledge.” While disagreement and criticism are acceptable, the column showed disdain for the Cardinal and went beyond disagreement. The Catholic League’s Susan Fani wrote a letter to the editor which the paper published.

October 28
Wausau, WI – The advice column “Mother Nurture” in City Pages answered a question about the use of Latin phrases. “Mother Nurture” in her answer, maintained “it’s a historical fact that the whole point of Latin Masses was to keep the peasantry from knowing anything.”

November 14
San Francisco, CA – Stephanie Salter wrote an article in the San Francisco Examiner called “Please explain to William that God wouldn’t have wanted him to kill gays.” The article attributed responsibility for the murder of a gay couple by Matthew Williams to the teachings of the Church and beliefs of Christians. The Catholic League’s Susan Fani wrote a letter to the editor which the paper published.

December 3
Dan Rattiner wrote a piece in Dan’s Papers regarding an effort by he and his Catholic female companion (he is Jewish) to get a cross blessed The cross had been purchased while the two were vacationing in New Mexico. When several efforts to find an available priest failed, the article took a decided tone of derision against the Church and it’s rituals.

December 16
New York, NY – The New York Yankees baseball club traded outfielder Chad Curtis. Curtis had had his problems with his teammates over the past season, including criticizing one player for talking to an opponent during an altercation between the teams.
Sportswriter George King, writing in the New York Post, alleged Curtis’ problems with his teammates were due to his “…deep Christian beliefs.” He did not back the statement with any evidence. Many of the Yankees are devout Christians. The Catholic League’s Patrick Scully wrote a letter to the editor which the newspaper published.

December 16
New York, NY – The publication Lesbian and Gay New York featured a listing for the television show “Women on Fire” and an episode that featured a discussion on the nude photography of Alvi Prinney. The listing was accompanied by a photo of a woman’s midsection with a garment wrapped around her crotch area. Sticking out of the scarf-like garment was a crucifix.

Periodicals

January
Adult Video News featured an ad for Extreme Associates, a provider of pornographic films. In the center of the ad, surrounded by illustrations of porn videos, was a topless woman, wearing a crown of thorns and holding a cross, with a nun and a priest on either side of her.

January 6
Washington, DC – “All they need are two miracles, connections in Rome—and plenty of cash,” read a subhead in U.S. News and World Report for a story on the process of canonization in the Catholic Church. The negative and misleading headline marred an otherwise balanced article by creating the impression that sainthood is dependent on political influence, or, worse, that it is for sale to those with “plenty of cash.”

January 25
New York, NY – Nation magazine carried an article by Jennifer Baumgardner lamenting the loss of certain “reproductive health services” (i.e., abortion) when community hospitals merge with Catholic health care facilities. Ms. Baumgardner could not stick to the issue, however. She had to throw in some gratuitous anti-Catholic comments, snidely questioning “Whether poor women should be subject to the morals of the Vatican,” and sarcastically observing that “At some Catholic hospitals, a woman having a baby is treated like the Virgin herself.”

February 2
Wired magazine, in an article entitled “Papal Bull,” savaged Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Church following the Pope’s visit to Mexico and St. Louis. The article accused the Pope of “acting like a self-indulgent rocker” who “managed to blend perfectly sanctimonious social messaging with rank hypocrisy.” It dismissed his pro-life message as “in-your-face moral integrity” coming “from a guy who fronts a cult that once christened the Pep boys of fascism – Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco – as righteous ‘defenders of the faith.’” And it compared his preaching to “Mick Jagger riding one more inflatable penis,” or “Marilyn Manson simulating fellatio on stage yet again.”

Spring
Amherst, NY – Free Inquiry magazine carried a piece by John Patrick Michael Murphy entitled, “Hitler Was Not an Atheist.” In trying to defend this thesis against all the damning evidence to the contrary, Murphy launched into a defamatory attack on the Catholic Church. He flagrantly distorted Church teachings and Hitler’s own alleged Catholic background, to try to make the Catholic Church the culprit in the Holocaust—when all the evidence shows that the Church, under the leadership of Pope Pius XII, did more than anyone else to “halt the dreadful crime and alleviate its consequences,” in the words of Jewish scholar Jeno Levai.

April
New York, NY – Equity magazine ran a profile on Dona Gracia Nasi, the 16th century Portuguese widow who headed one of the most important banking houses in Europe—and who also fought against the Inquisition. Typically, author Andree Aelion Brooks deplored the “reprehensible behavior” of the Vatican during the Inquisition. There was no indication that she examined or was even aware of recent scholarship suggesting that the Church’s abuses during that period have been greatly exaggerated, and that the Church in fact exerted a mitigating influence on the harshness of secular authorities.

April
New York, NY – The cover of Interview magazine featured actress Rose McGowan, fiancee of Satanist rock singer Marilyn Manson, posing nude except for a veil and a pearl rosary; at the end of the rosary was a bouquet of roses covering her genitalia. The pose appeared designed to conjure the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

May
Self magazine offered a wholly one-sided article attacking hospital mergers involving Catholic facilities, and advocating various strategies for blocking such mergers. The article, “Their Religion, Your Rights,” quoted Catherine Weiss, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project, suggesting that by exercising its right not to do abortions, the Catholic health care system is “imposing its religious views on people who may not agree with them. This raises serious constitutional issues,” she added, suggesting that the U.S. government should impose her views on Catholic hospitals.

May 10
New York, NY – Time magazine’s coverage of the beatification of Padre Pio was unnecessarily snide. The headline read “Bleeding-Hands Man Gets Star Treatment.” The lead sentence declared, “On the road to sainthood, it helps to have connections.” And a reference was made to Padre Pio as “a mystic with blood on his hands.” As the rest of the article made clear, Padre Pio’s “connections” involved not the kind of political favoritism that the phrase implies, but rather Pope John Paul II’s personal experience with this man’s extraordinary gifts. Writer Emily Mitchell, however, could not bring herself to report that without a display of condescension.

June
Edmond, OK – “Germany and the Vatican: The Fourth Reich in Disguise,” blared a headline in the Philadelphia Trumpet, a magazine published by the Philadelphia Church of God. The thrust of the magazine’s sensational anti-Catholic charges is that the Vatican has been in league with Germany from the days of Hitler, and is currently involved in a modern day “Vatican-Euro-Russian triumvirate” bent on world domination. The magazine accuses the Church of having been “closely allied with the Nazis during World War II,” and subsequently “trying to perpetuate what Hitler built!”

August
Nickelodeon, in an insert in its August issue entitled “The Village Idiot,” offered a “humor” item: “The Police Bladder.” Among the fictional items was one about a police officer who had been cited for bravery for not relieving himself for 10 hours: “In lieu of flowers, dixie cups can be sent to him at Our Lady of the Distended Belly Hospital.”

September
New York, NY – In its premiere issue, Talk magazine featured “The 50 Best Talkers in America.” In listing Ted Turner as one of the “50 Big Mouths We Hope Will Never Shut Up,” however, Talk highlighted Turner’s comment that “Christianity is for losers.”

October
The October issue of Maxim magazine featured several anti-Catholic elements including its section called “Laughing.” Two of the six jokes involved nuns and sex.
In the “Religious Studies” section, there is a list of Catholic saints for people with problems or questionable occupations, including arms dealers. It said, “Thought Catholicism was all about wine and crackers om Sunday? Hardly. It’s also about finding folks to pray to who are just as screwed up as you are.”

October 25
The evangelical magazine Christianity Today ran an article called “Stop the Dating Game” about end time prophesies. The article had an accompanying photograph entitled “Antichrists We Have Known.” Pictured between Napoleon and Benito Mussolini was Pope John Paul II over the title “The Roman Papacy.”

November
An article in Time magazine called “The Catholic Hospital Boom” examined the mergers of Catholic hospitals with non-Catholic institutions. The Catholic-run hospitals insist on Catholic standards – abortions are not performed. Time wondered whether that amounted to “church-run institutions imposing their faith on patients?”

Radio

January 20
New York, NY – Singer Steve Lynch, a guest on WNEW Radio’s “Opie and Anthony Show,” performed a graphic song about a homosexual priest, and what he would like to do to altar boys. Contacted by the league, WNEW’s program director, Gary Wall, explained that the hosts had “no idea” that Lynch was going to sing the song on the air. Mr. Wall agreed that it was “an unacceptable song” that was “clearly offensive.” He added that he had just come from a meeting of station executives at which all agreed that the song was “very objectionable.” He apologized, and assured the league that “it will not happen again.”

January 25
New York, NY – On his morning talk show on WABC radio, host Rocky Allen kicked off a week-long mockery of the Catholic Church to coincide with Pope John Paul II’s visit to Mexico. His thought for this day involved a reference to “refried wafers and wine with a worm in it.”

January 27
Los Angeles, CA – The hosts of “The John and Ken Show” on KFI Radio used Pope John Paul II’s visit to St. Louis to launch into an hour of pope bashing. Referring to the Pope as “some Polish guy,” they ridiculed his statements on sex, abortion, contraception, euthanasia and the death penalty. They also implied that Pope John Paul II is anti-Semitic, and questioned whether priests and nuns really live chaste lives.

January 27
Los Angeles, CA – KFI Radio just couldn’t get enough Catholic-bashing during Pope John Paul II’s visit to the United States. On “The Bill Handel Show” the host ridiculed the pope’s Polish accent, and charged that Catholicism is “insane,” “stupid,” “out of touch,” and has “no concept of reality.”

January 28
New York, NY – On WABC Radio, Rocky Allen contrived a dialogue in which Cardinal O’Connor flirts with a female waitress while in Mexico with the pope, telling her that if she accommodates him “I’ll give you my funny little hat.”

February 10
Green Bay, WI – Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Conversations with Jean Feraca” featured author Pat Zander whose book “Leadership Development for Females Who Went To Catholic Grade School” was discussed. Zander made remarks critical of Catholic Schools while Feraca aired calls making fun of Catholic school education.

February 24
Cleveland, OH – An afternoon drive-time sports program on WTAM degenerated into a two hour harangue against the Catholic Church. Host Mike Trivisonno began by criticizing a local Catholic high school for running a Las Vegas weekend as a fund-raiser. He then launched into a wide-ranging recitation of anti-Catholic stereotypes: cruel nuns, priests driving big cars, etc. Additionally, he cut short callers who phoned in to defend the Church, while giving free rein to those who wanted to join in on the Catholic-bashing.

April
Columbus, OH – WTVN Radio advertised its “Habit Forming John Corby” show with a billboard showing four people —including one mustached man—dressed in nuns’ habits, holding rosaries with their hands folded in prayer.

April 1
New York, NY – Commenting on Pope John Paul II having sent a peace delegation to Belgrade, “Imus in the Morning” host Don Imus, whose WFAN program is nationally syndicated, commented: “The Pope should butt out and stick to handing out wafers and grape juice.”

April 17
Sacramento, CA – KSTE talk show host Marie Sanchez asserted Vatican complicity in the Holocaust, and a sinister effort on the part of the Vatican to discourage relief efforts for the suffering people of Kosovo.

April 27
Santa Cruz, CA – “The John and Ken Show,” a syndicated radio program heard in Santa Cruz over KSCO, used a report of a vocations day at a New Hampshire Catholic high school to launch into a ridicule of Catholic priests and nuns. With Ken playing straight man, John fired the following salvos:
· It would be “sad if my sons became priests” because it would “mean an absence of critical thinking.”
· It would cause him to “wonder what’s up with his sexuality here,” whether “he were gay” and “just going to run into the priesthood to cover it up.”
· “It’s hard for me to understand anyone wanting to give up sex for the rest of their life.”
· He wondered why anyone would want to “walk around” in the “weird costume” of a priest.
· “The nuns I knew were pretty narrow…there wasn’t much to talk to them about…the same preachy stuff…I found nuns boring to talk to.”

May
Toledo, OH – A billboard for WVKS (KISS-FM) radio depicted a smirking morning host Denny Schaffer clad in priestly garments, head bent and hands folded in prayer. Underneath was a paraphrase of the words spoken by Christ while he was dying on the Cross: “Please forgive him, for he knows not what he does.”

May 8
Portland, OR – In a newspaper interview, talk show host Rick Emerson of KOTK attributed his outlandish style, characterized by one listener as “a sheer verbal assault” to his Catholic education. “Probably the biggest impact on my life was that I went to a Catholic school for nine years,” he said. “It gave me a pretty strong inclination to rebel against authority figures.”

May 10
Rochester, NY – Bob Lounsberry, afternoon host of WHAM, asserted that Catholic priests make up the largest numbers of child molesters.

June 7
New York, NY -– Appearing on WOR’s Bob Grant Show, writer Christopher Hitchens engaged in one of his favorite pastimes: bashing the Catholic Church, and Mother Teresa in particular. Hitchens commented that Mother Teresa was a “hypocrite,” and that faithful Catholics are “fanatics.”

July 22
Washington, DC – A discussion of Kosovo on WAVA’s Don Kroah show turned into a forum for Serb-American journalist Bill Dorich’s anti-Catholic rantings. He accused the Church of having slaughtered thousands of Serbs during World War II, of aiding and abetting Nazi war criminals, and stealing statues, relics and money from the Serbian Orthodox Church. He claimed that the Vatican had supplied Catholic Croats with $2 million to buy weapons with which to kill Serbs, and accused Pope John Paul II of having asked President Clinton to bomb the Serbs. When listeners tried to call in to defend the Church, Dorich constantly interrupted and ridiculed them.

December 14
Miami, FL – Neil Rogers of WQAM radio in Miami has been widely known as anti-religion and anti-Catholic in particular for years. He decided to advertise his show in the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel by attacking Catholicism. He appeared dressed as a Catholic clergyman, replacing the mitre with a microphone under the title “Neil god.”

Television

January 1
NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” kicked off the New Year with the host resolving “to have more respect for my Catholic upbringing.” Then he approached an actress dressed as a nun, and, with the song “Feelin’ Groovy” playing in the background, punched her in the face.

January 2
A Fox network show called “Fox Pet News” repeated the silliness previously advanced by the Greenhill Humane Society, that the problem of homeless dogs in Puerto Rico—an after-effect of the devastation of Hurricane Mitch—was actually caused by the fact that “the Catholic Church is opposed to contraception.” No effort was made to clarify the Church’s teaching on artificial birth control, which does not forbid the neutering of animals.

January 9
HBO reran Denis Leary’s “Lock-N-Load” comedy performance, in which Leary is surrounded by sacred Catholic images as he spews forth an endless stream of profanity. After the league had protested its first airings in November of 1997, HBO had promised that the show—which concluded with a savage attack on Catholic priests, bishops, and Pope John Paul II—would not air again. However, after the January 9 broadcast, an HBO spokeswoman told the league that it was scheduled for one more airing—on January 27.

January 15
Conan O’Brien was at it again, featuring a Jesus figure dressed in jeans on this edition of NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” O’Brien kept repeating the name of Jesus over and over again, with great disrespect, and mocking the personage of Jesus.

January 25
Host Dennis Miller and actor Don Cheadle savaged Catholic priests, the pope, and pro-life Catholics on HBO’s “Dennis Miller Live.”
“Well, you know, faith doesn’t mean you don’t wanna (have sex),” Miller commented. “At some point if you’re a Catholic priest there are clear rules delineating that. You can’t (have sex). You just flirt with the altar boys.” Cheadle then chimed in: “These zealots are like, you know, ‘I believe in the sanctity of life, and I will kill you if [you don’t agree].’” Miller topped it off by referring to Pope John Paul II as “good popeye Pope.”

January 29
ABC’s “Politically Incorrect” led off with host Bill Maher doing a parody on Pope John Paul II’s new CD. Among the songs Maher said would be included on the album were “Still Celibate After all These Years”; “An Altar Boy Named Sue”; “Hey Jew”; “Don’t Lay Down Sally”; “Don’t Beat It”; and “I Want Your Sex to Stop.”

January 31
Continuing its recent pattern of targeting Catholicism, Fox Broadcasting’s “The Simpsons,” in its post-Super Bowl episode, included a scene in which a scantily clad woman was shown wearing a huge cross as she gyrated to rock music. “The Catholic Church,” a voice-over intoned—”we’ve made a few changes.”
When the episode reran in May, however, the word “Catholic” had been edited out. According to Los Angeles Times media critic Howard Rosenberg, Fox—in response to the outpouring of protests initiated by the league—had issued a directive saying it was time to lay off the Catholic Church.

February
Actress Anne-Marie Johnson appeared on the “Leeza” television show. During the appearance, Ms. Johnson stated as fact that Pope Pius XII collaborated with the Nazis.

February
The Comedy Central production “The Daily Show” commented on the pope’s visit to St. Louis. They made fun of the pope’s mental health, ridiculed teenagers who turned out to see the Holy Father and managed to include remarks about the Crusades and the Inquisition.

February 3
Bill Maher, host of ABC’s “Politically Incorrect,” prefaced a discussion of the pros and cons of abortion by saying Pope John Paul II “had his dress up” about the abortion issue during his visit to the United States.

March
The cable television station TNT aired a movie about a priest who tried to break the color barrier in the sports program in a Louisiana High School. In the film, the priest is shown wearing his collar and is portrayed as a hero. In the promotional material, the collar is missing and there is no indication the hero of the movie is a priest.

March 1
Fox’s “Ally McBeal” featured a scene in which Ally feels guilty for kissing the husband of one of her colleagues. In her mind, she sees an image of the Pope, who looks at her, shakes his head and says “Malla Donna, Malla Donna” ["Bad girl, Bad girl."] Later, discussing her feelings of guilt, she says “…and the pope is stalking me.”

April
After watching an episode of “The Practice” on ABC Television, a viewer sent an e-mail to ABC—citing the Bible—to express his unhappiness with the show’s promotion of homosexual marriage. Here is the e-mail he received in reply from the ABC Online Webmaster:
“How about getting your nose out of the Bible (which is ONLY a book of stories compiled by MANY different writers hundreds of years ago) and read the Declaration of Independence (what our nation is built on) where it says ‘All Men are Created Equal’—and try treating them that way for a change!?
“Or better yet, try thinking for yourself and stop using an archaic book of stories as your crutch for your existence.”
After the matter was brought to the attention of ABC executives, they wrote to the offended viewer offering their apologies. They assured him that they had conducted a thorough investigation, which resulted in the termination of the individual responsible.

April 2
HBO’s “Dennis Miller Live” used Good Friday to poke fun at the Pope, and to joke about a man relieving himself on a picture of Christ on the Cross.

April 14
Comedy Central’s “South Park” used Christ’s suffering and death on the Cross as part of a skit about sexual dysfunction. The show opened with one of the characters, Kyle, telling his friends he needed to get an “erection” for his father. The boy had learned that his father’s inability to get an erection was causing marital discord. Not knowing what an erection is, Kyle thought he could buy one for his father at the store. Then he and his friends met a priest, who invited them to participate in the Stations of the Cross. The priest explained that Jesus was crucified on the Cross, and after three days had a resurrection. “Res-erection?” Kyle exclaimed. “That’s what my dad needs.” So he and his friends designated another boy, Cartman, as Jesus, hung him on a cross and waited for him to die and have an erection.

April 21
CNN devoted one of the “Voices of the Millennium” clips that it runs during commercial breaks to the subject of “Women in the Pulpit.” Two of the three sources featured in the two minute segment took the opportunity to hammer the Catholic Church. Swanee Hunt, who heads the Women’s Leadership Institute at Harvard University, declared that if the Church is to “live, grow and thrive,” it will have to ordain women. She further lamented that “As long as God looks like Michelangelo’s image of the Sistine Chapel with a long, flowing white beard, we will continue to worship maleness.”

April 23
Referring to Pope John Paul II’s plans to say Mass at a raceway in Mexico, Conan O’Brien (“Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” NBC) declared that “Apparently, the Pope had a special vestment designed for the occasion.” He then held up a picture of the Pope wearing a vestment covered with the kinds of decals usually seen on race drivers’ jump suits: “Texaco,” “STP,” “Prestone,” and the like. While not the most egregious offense, it continued O’Brien’s obsession with making the Pope and the Catholic Church the constant targets of his ridicule.

April 24
Fox’s “MAD-TV” reran a skit depicting Mother Teresa as a voluptuous woman who strips off her clothes to warm a dying man, then performs an exotic dance while clad only in red bikini underwear.

May 16
Miami, FL – Throughout the CBS TV movie “Joan of Arc,” CBS Miami affiliate WFOR ran a promo plugging a story on Catholics and the sacrament of Penance, which would be featured on its late night news following the movie. When the piece ran, it typified the forced symmetry so popular with certain segments of the media: the strategy that puts Catholics who reject Church teachings on the same ground as those who are loyal to the Church. “The fact is that many Catholics never go to confession,” observed one of the commentators. “They simply don’t feel comfortable confessing their innermost thoughts to a priest. Yet these same people consider themselves to be good Catholics.” The segment used Confession scenes from the movies “Moonstruck” and “Mortal Sins” to further trivialize the sacrament.

May 19
An interview with Madonna on “60 Minutes II” (CBS) contained her predictably denigrating comments about the Catholic Church: “The Catholic Church needs to move into the 21st century. I mean I’m all for rules and discipline and all of those things, but they have to make sense.” More shocking was host Charlie Rose’s gratuitous remark when Madonna’s daughter was brought on camera: “… and for a moment we glimpsed a portrait few have seen—Madonna and child.”

June 14
Appearing on “The Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS), comedian Dane Cook ridiculed the Catholic Mass and the Eucharist. He began by mocking the sign of the Cross, then continued: “…And the only reason you knew peace was even coming cause the priest would say ‘peace’ like five times rapid fire. He’d be like [chanted in an Italian-like accent] ‘and the peace for disciples said my peace I leave my peace I give to you as we eat Reeses pieces with the Lord. “The priest would do this thing during the Mass that I never understood as a kid. He wasn’t singing, but he wasn’t talking either. It was this weird kinda like [again, chanting in an Italian accent] ‘and the Lord said after the dinner, um, wasn’t that delicious’ [then Cook made a "ding-a-ling" sound, imitating the ringing of a bell to mark the moment of transubstantiation]. And then after that it was snack time, right in the middle of Mass. Yeah, the priest would look and be like [chanted again] ‘let’s have some yum yum.’ And then you would go and get in line, you’d get in line like you were waiting for concert tickets…The best thing is you could take it two ways, you could play…it’s like you had options. You could either take it like [he held out his hands in an exaggerated form] or if you were really tired [he hung his tongue out in an exaggerated fashion]. I always wanted to mess with the priest, though, just go up [both his hands and his tongue were extended in an exaggerated manner]… ‘your move, holy man.’”

June 23
New York, NY – A segment of the “Today” show featured a news story on Scott Falater, who claimed that he killed his wife while sleepwalking. Reporter George Lewis referred to Falater as a “former altar boy” while never pointing out his current status as a member of the Mormon Church which was reportedly a critical factor in his relationship with his wife. Nor did he relate any other aspects of his childhood.

August 2
Fox Network’s “King of the Hill” featured a child who, while performing a magic trick for the PTA, declared that for his next trick he was going to change water and wine into the body and blood of Christ. He then asked if there were any volunteers to get up on the cross.

August 25
An episode of the HBO series “Oz” featured a nun allowing one of the inmates she counsels to fondle her breast. She then held his hand to her and looked as if she was enjoying the encounter. Later, she went to see the priest at the prison and tells him she is leaving the convent.

October 25
The NBC show “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” featured a story line about a young woman who was raped and killed on the campus of a Catholic college. The school is shown as corrupt. The school president is a priest who, when asked to have the male suspects provide a semen sample, says it is a “venial sin in the eyes of the Church.” The police captain responds, “Is confession still at five, Father? Because I think we’ll done by then.”

November 11
On ABC’s “Politically Incorrect,” host Bill Maher discussed Catholicism with several guests including Kevin Smith, the writer/director of the movie “Dogma.” Maher remarked, “Catholics practice what they want to practice. They go to see the Pope because he is a big celebrity, but they go home and they masturbate, they practice birth control…well they do.” When someone remarked that people are not attending churches or synagogues, Maher continued, “But if I may pause to correct something, you shouldn’t, I don’t think, lump the synagogue in with the Church. They operate very differently, OK. The synagogue…was never as corrupt as the Catholic Church.”

Internet

July
Among the items being advertised online by a company called FISH were the “Nunzilla” doll that mocks Catholic religious Sisters, and an “Immaculate Conception Shirt” described as “Perfect for Xmas with the family. An alien looks on at a blessed Virgin and innocent babe.”

September 13
The internet site “Heckler’s Online” offered a new “Pokémon” character called “Popémon.” It depicted the character (complete with animal-like fangs and paws) in religious garb, holding a staff. The object of the game is to capture another character, “condemn it as a sinner…when you come back, Popémon will be there.”

September 25
The internet website “Humor Database” sponsored by “BigWarehouse.com” posted a joke about a monk and a nun having sex in their old age. The punch line had the monk saying he had a beautiful wife and children and the nun saying she was actually a male.

October 4
The internet website “Salon.com” featured a piece on the Virgin Of Medjugorje by Christopher Hitchens. Titled “Our lady of lies,” the piece attacked Pope John Paul II, the process of sainthood, the wartime record of the Church and Catholic sensibilities in general.
Of the Medjugorje site he wrote, “So holy mother church has reached a compromise, whereby the faithful were neither enjoined to worship…nor discouraged from doing so. On the verge of the new millennium, Rome does not need another embarrassing bogus revelation.”

November
The internet website “Public Offender” featuresd sections attacking Catholics, gays, Jews and blacks. The material, written by a Paul Taylor, insinuated Catholic priests and nuns are all homosexuals and enter religious life as “the perfect cover.” He also accuseed the Vatican of stealing artwork in support of the Nazis and buying up expensive oceanfront land for retired priests and nuns. The site featured tasteless jokes about each group.
Jews are referred to as “barbarians” and blacks as “niggers.”

October
The large internet auction house eBay made available for sale “Catholic School Girl Used Panties.” Making such items available for sale violated eBay’s own policies against selling such items as well as the policies of Hotmail, the e-mail provider used by the vendor to advertise the items.

October
The internet magazine Salon.com featured an article about seeing a recent concert by singer Tom Jones. The author, Virginia Vitzmun, was describing the act of women throwing their underwear onstage. She described it as follows: “In a different context it might have seemed that Jones was burying his face in p—- by proxy, but the middle-aged innocence of the crowd made the ritual seem more like the transubstantiation of the communal wafer.”

December
The internet website www.juicycerebellum.com started up what is being called the “Anti-Catholic League.” The site claims to “keep Americans who are not crazy, safe from psychotic Catholics.” Among other things, the site claims William Donohue is the anti-Christ.


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Written by Bill