2013 ANNUAL REPORT ON ANTI-CATHOLICISM
February 13 – 15
ABC News ran a story about a Catholic official from Purcell Marian High School who was fired for rejecting Catholic teachings on marriage and the family.
In response, a change.org petition campaign was launched attacking the decision. The petition stated, “I would like to respectfully express my disappointment with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati with the decision to fire the Dean of Students at Purcell Marian High School, Mike Moroski, on the grounds that he expressed his belief that gay marriage should be legal.” It went on to call the action by the Archdiocese “an act of tyranny.” The petition collected 7,500 signatures and was delivered to the Archdiocese.
We were upset about this issue for two reasons. First, why is it newsworthy to report on a decision reached by a private, religious institution concerning an employee who violated his contract? Second, since when is it the business of non-Catholics to pressure a Catholic school to reinstate a teacher who rejects the teachings of the Catholic Church?
It is particularly galling for the media to make a big deal about a Catholic school that fires a miscreant employee, especially given the fact that there is no shortage of men and women who have been fired by the media for the filmiest of reasons. Here are a few examples:
• In 2010, Juan Williams was fired from National Public Radio (NPR) because his employer objected to comments he made about Muslims on a television station unaffiliated with NPR.
• In 2012, Pat Buchanan was fired from MSNBC because he wrote a book his employer didn’t like.
• In 2010, Octavia Nasr was fired from CNN because she praised a radical imam on Twitter.
• In 2012, a reporter for the Houston Chronicle was fired for posting on her blog that she was a part-time stripper.
• In 2012, an African American female meteorologist was fired for replying to a racist comment on her Facebook page, even though her comments were inoffensive. The station that fired the black woman for responding to a racist comment was KTBS. It is an ABC affiliate.
In the week following the murder of a Catholic priest in Syria on June 23, the mainstream media omitted any mention of how Father François Murad was beheaded with a kitchen knife to chants of “Allahu Akbar.” Subsequent reports revealed that he may have been shot and not beheaded. This, too, was ignored by the mainstream media.
The media bias was shown in full force by a number of different media outlets reporting on a variety of subjects. The one thing they all had in common was a headline meant to deceive the reader into assuming the worst about Catholicism.
The ABC News headline read, “Gay Catholic School Teacher Fired for Wedding Plans.” Well, not really: he was fired for breaking a contract he voluntarily signed. Michael Griffin, who taught at a Pennsylvania Catholic school, said his principal didn’t care that he was gay, but when he publicly announced his “wedding” plans, he made a conscious decision to flout his contract. So he was canned. Does ABC allow its staff to violate their contracts with impunity?
The USA Today headline read, “Catholic Women Ordained Priest and Deacons in Kentucky.” Well, not really: the old gals were simply playing the game of pretend—dressing up like priests and pretending they were ordained in the Catholic Church. Some in the asylum think they are the pope. Will USA Today do a story on them as well?
The Dayton Daily News headline read, “Ex-Dayton Priest Faces Prosecution.” Well, not really: turns out that the “priest,” Annamalai Annamalai, is a “self-described Hindu high priest.” Readers were intentionally invited to believe he was a Catholic priest. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was more accurate: it called him a guru.
The CNN headline read, “Catholic College Police Officer Kills Student After Off-Campus Traffic Stop.” Has anyone ever seen a headline that reads, “Jewish College Police Officer Kills Student After Off-Campus Traffic Stop”? Yet CNN used the same words, “Catholic College Police Officer,” in its headline for two different stories. But would CNN ever run a story titled, “Catholic College Police Officer Saves Student Lives”?
Victor Navasky’s book, The Art of Controversy: Political Cartoons and Their Enduring Power, was published. In it, he lauded the work of Thomas Nast without mentioning the fact that the 19th-century artist consistently inflamed hatred against the Irish and Catholics alike. This was an example of bigotry by omission.
In a blog post titled “Child Rape, Inc.” at slog.thestranger.com, Dan Savage addressed news about a lawsuit settlement that involved the release of documents in the Diocese of Joliet. Savage wrote the following:
“Rape a kid making his first confession—holy s**t, that’ll f**ck a kid up for life. And you gotta love how certain the writer is that all of this sexual-abuse-of-children-by-Catholic-priests stuff ended in the 1990s. How can we know for sure? How do you prove that particular negative? And here’s a detail for all you non-Catholics out there: Catholic children make their first first [sic] confession at age seven—and they’re alone with a priest, in dark little box [sic], when they make it. When I was a Catholic kid we went to confession on a weekly basis. So one rapey parish priest could have access to dozens or hundreds of children, completely alone and with no parents present, week-in, week-out, for decades. Access to children alone—that’s built right into this particular sacrament.”
Savage also took a shot at Pope Francis by prefacing his post with the following: “Hate to spoil the new pope’s coming-out party—and it was such a lovely party—but this just in.”
On July 1, the Catholic League filed a complaint with Facebook about a page that showed an edgy picture of the Virgin Mary with the inscription, “Virgin Mary Should’ve Aborted.” This was the reply: “We reviewed the page you reported for containing hate speech or symbols and found it doesn’t violate our community standard on hate speech.” When others continued to protest, the page was taken down, but then other pages, similar in content, appeared and remained online. The Catholic League responded in a news release calling attention to Facebook’s duplicity in the application of its community standards. In 2012, Facebook censored a French page when a French magazine took liberties with Muhammad.
Dorothy Samuels, blogging on the New York Times website, termed the just-introduced Marriage and Religious Freedom Act “the latest example of political conservatives trying to use religion as an excuse to discriminate.”
In fact, as San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone pointed out, this was an anti-bias bill, designed to “prevent the federal government from discriminating against religious believers who hold to the principle that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.” Baltimore Archbishop William Lori further explained that the bill would protect against the federal government being “able to deny individuals and organizations a grant, contract, or employment because their belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman is informed by their religious faith.”
Samuels, however, found it “pernicious” that the government would be prevented from “taking any ‘adverse actions’ based on ‘acts in accordance’ with a person’s or group’s religiously motivated opposition to same sex marriage.”
In 2008 the Catholic League protested the desecration of a Communion Host by P.Z. Myers, an anti-Catholic atheist professor. In early October, Bill Donohue decided not to protest the antics of Kuma’s Corner, a Chicago restaurant, for serving a burger with a Communion wafer. The difference: Myers secured a consecrated Host and drove a nail through it; the sandwich shop played games with an unconsecrated wafer. While Kuma’s showed disrespect, what Myers did was despicable.
The New Civil Rights Movement, a homosexual outfit, predicted on their website that Donohue would be “stroking out.” They say that what Kuma’s Corner did risked the wrath of “every Christian born without a tolerance gene or a sense of humor.”
An extremist pro-abortion website, rhrealitycheck.org, led a rash of attacks from left-wing circles against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishops were exercising their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion to fight for the conscience rights of Catholics against the health care policies of the Obama administration. Specifically, the bishops were seeking to incorporate into a “must-pass” Congressional Continuing Resolution and debt ceiling bill, protection against Catholics being forced by the state to violate their conscience by funding abortion-inducing drugs. Adele Stan led the pack at rhrealitycheck.org with her screed, “At Any Cost: How Catholic Bishops Pushed for a Shutdown—and Even a Default—Over Birth Control.” She was supported by colleague Jessica Mason Pieklo, who said, “Catholic Bishops Meddle With Health-Care Benefits.” Stan was unrestrained in her anti-Catholicism, saying the bishops want to “block access” to “health care for the masses, food for the hungry, and shelter for the homeless.” Also, “they wouldn’t mind seeing the global economy brought to its knees,” and they continue to discriminate against women. Indeed, “no bishop ever endured the pain, blood, and terror of a life-threatening labor.”
Ian Millhiser titled his thinkprogress.org article, “Catholic Bishops To House: Shut Down the Government Unless We Get Our Way On Birth Control.”
Joining the left wing attacks against the U.S. Bishops’ stand for religious freedom, blogger Khier Casino’s piece on opposingviews.com, “USCCB Demands Special Rights On Birth Control,” charged that “Seven days before House Republicans shut down the government, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) wrote to House members about forcing the government to shut down – even a default – unless they were given authority to control what women do in the privacy of their own homes.”
Dailykos.com, in its story, “Catholic Bishops Demand Congress Abort U.S. Economy,” charged that the U.S. Bishops, because of their effort to protect against being forced to fund abortion-inducing drugs, were demanding “that Congress shut down the federal government and trigger a global economic calamity.”
The City of Angels Blog, which describes its purpose as “ongoing coverage of pedophile priest crisis in the Catholic Church,” published an entry titled “Pope Mouth on Baby Jesus Thigh Image Turns Pedophile Priest Victims’ Stomachs.” The post objected to an image of Pope Francis kissing a statue of baby Jesus during Christmas mass in the Vatican. The blogger, Kay Ebeling, described the scene as “the Pope appears to be nibbling on the Baby Jesus’s thigh while the child looks up in ecstasy.”
The cover of the April issue of the UK magazine Loaded featured the words “For God’s Sake!” and “for men who should know benedict [sic]” together with a photo of a female glamour model scantily covered in a priest’s stole stitched with crosses.
The New Yorker ran a Liam Walsh cartoon showing communicants receiving the Eucharist. An altar boy is shown with a pepper mill. The caption reads, “Freshly ground pepper?”
On the film website, Awards Daily, an interview with director Alex Gibney focused on his new movie, “Mea Maxima Culpa,” in which he accused then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of covering up the deeds of Father Lawrence Murphy. Gibney’s attacks went unchallenged by the interviewer. For example, Gibney said, “I got interested in this story for two reasons. One, because it was clear that by following the paper trail of the Milwaukee tale, it would take you to a criminal conspiracy that went right to the top. That is, to say, the Vatican. And not only the Vatican, but the current pope.” The interview engaged in mudslinging; there was never any evidence that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was involved in a scandal.
HBO aired “Mea Maxima Culpa” by director Alex Gibney. The movie engaged in libel by leveling serious and unfounded charges against the pope.
In an interview posted on The Daily Beast, Gibney called the pope “a criminal.” He accused Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of covering up the deeds of Father Lawrence Murphy, a priest who molested deaf boys in Milwaukee in the 1950s. The New York Times advertised the HBO show by saying there was a “cover-up from rural America to the Vatican.”
The charge that Ratzinger was involved in a cover-up was libelous. The fact of the matter is that no one contacted the civil authorities about Murphy until the mid-1970s (following a probe, the case was dropped), and it wasn’t until 1996 that the Vatican was contacted. Instead of dropping an investigation—the statute of limitations had long expired—the Vatican ordered a trial. Not only was Cardinal Ratzinger not at the trial, his name was never even mentioned. We know this because of the presiding judge’s testimony. Moreover, it wasn’t until 2001 that Pope John Paul II asked Cardinal Ratzinger to police these matters, and when he did, he moved expeditiously and fairly. An honest rendering of these events would conclude that no one at the Vatican has ever taken these cases with greater seriousness than Joseph Ratzinger.
Gibney said he was inspired to do the film after reading an article by Laurie Goodstein in the New York Times. Gibney referred to Goodstein’s reporting in which she said that “Vatican delegates” were aware of Murphy’s abuse “as early as 1958.” In fact, this false claim did not appear in Goodstein’s reporting and was repeated by the film.
“Don Jon,” a film that premiered earlier in the year at the Sundance Film Festival, opened in theatres across the United States. The film’s protagonist, portrayed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt who also wrote the screenplay and directed the movie, is a sex addicted man who spends his time looking at pornography on the internet or cruising bars for one night stands.
The film also focuses on the man’s faith and depicts him as a church going Catholic. However, the biggest swipe comes at the movie’s portrayal of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The man goes to Confession weekly and boasts about his sexual exploits. The priest gives him no impetus to change and assigns him little more than a token penance.
The message of overcoming lust to find love could, on its own, present a respectable story, but the anti-Catholic bias is so deeply ingrained that the film is more about making the Church appear hypocritical than anything else.
Movie critic David Edelstein, writing in New York Magazine, was delighted that Gordon-Levitt is “brilliantly subversive on Catholicism.” “In Don Jon, religion doesn’t simply allow you to function with your eyes and heart closed” (its normal purpose, apparently, in Edelstein’s view). “It benefits from tunnel vision. It’s another form of masturbation.”
The film “Philomena” opened in movie theaters across the United States. This movie tells the story of an Irish woman who gave birth to a son out-of-wedlock a half-century ago, and gave him up for adoption; he was born in an abbey, a venue that allowed the mother to avoid being stigmatized.
There is nothing particularly startling about this, other than the fact that film reviewers were suddently aghast about the “horrors” these fallen women experienced; many are making reference to the Magdalene Laundries. As Bill Donohue had detailed earlier in the year, it’s bunk. Those who were neither scholars nor principled observers have swallowed this propaganda, so debased is their appetite for anti-Catholic fare.
However, there was one reviewer who was exceptionally fair, Kyle Smith of the New York Post. He is worth quoting at length:
“The film doesn’t mention that in 1952 Ireland, both mother and child’s life would have been utterly ruined by an out-of-wedlock birth and that the nuns are actually giving both a chance at a fresh start and that both, indeed, in real life, enjoyed. No, this is a diabolical-Catholic film, straight up.”
Kyle Smith’s closing remark says it all, “A film that is half as harsh on Judaism or Islam, of course, wouldn’t be made in the first place, and would be universally reviled if it were. ‘Philomena’ is a sucker punch, or maybe a sugary slice of arsenic cake.”
David Bowie released the music video for his song, “The Next Day.” In the video, one priest bashes a homeless man, while others are busy hitting on women. Self-flagellation is depicted. A dancing woman with bleeding hands makes a stigmata statement. A customer is served eyeballs on a plate. The lyrics refer to the “priest stiff in hate” and “women dressed as men for the pleasure of that priest.” The song concludes with, “They can work with Satan while they dress with the saints.”
Kanye West kicked off his “Yeezus” tour in Seattle. On the opening night of his new tour, a tall Jesus character appeared on stage prior to West’s “Jesus Walks” number. “White Jesus, is that you?…Oh, s***,” West said. Nothing that the Jesus figure said was irresponsible, but West could not stop there. His performance also included a Virgin Mary, incense, a crucifix, etc., all trotted out to make a Catholic statement. That it was not exactly reverential is obvious.
The New York Times website’s “Room for Debate” section of its “Opinion Pages” featured the following question: “With Children, When Does Religion Go Too Far?” Commentators were invited to respond.
This was not just an attack on all religions; the Times‘ history of Catholic bashing made it clear that the question was meant for Catholics, in particular. The bias at the Times is such that it would never invite commentators to discuss when secularism goes too far.
In a piece that appeared in the Beirut newspaper, The Daily Star, Ian Buruma began by recounting the brutal rape of a young woman by six men on a New Delhi bus in December of 2012. He then segued to Pope Benedict XVI’s speech on gay marriage, which was given a few days before Christmas, in order to say that the pope was responsible for the gang rape. Buruma said that, even though the pope does not advocate violence against homosexuals, “I would argue that his speech [the pope's] actually encourages the kind of sexual aggression that can result in the savagery that took place in New Delhi.”
Ian Buruma is a Henry R. Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College and has won several awards from prestigious institutions in the U.S. and Europe.
The weekly Miami Sun Post published a free-association opinion column on the news of the day which included a paragraph about the Vatican ordering new sets of armor for the Swiss Guard. The following anti-Catholic comment was made: “Who else but a stuffy old church hierarchy, immersed in antiquated dogma and outdated rules, would still have a need for medieval armor? A Vatican woefully out of step with today’s world would do better to instead order straitjackets for the pope, the College of Cardinals, and the whole kit-and-caboodle bureaucracy that buttresses these old farts.”
The Hark blog of the Denver Post published an article titled “U.S. bishops’ attempts to demonize Obama and claim martyrdom worse than ridiculous” by Terence R. Kelly, an author with a history of engaging in anti-Catholic rants. Among other things, he wrote that “the key moral story of the 2012 elections is the Catholic bishops’ collective, shameful and toxic immorality.” He concluded his article by accusing the U.S. bishops of hate speech.
Editorials in the Newark Star-Ledger and The Record (Bergen County) concerned the appointment by Newark Archbishop John J. Myers of Rev. Michael Fugee as co-director of the Office of Continuing Education and Ongoing Formation of Priests (a post he assumed in October 2012).
In 2001, Father Fugee was charged with groping a teenager while wrestling. He initially said he touched the boy’s crotch, but later recanted. He was initially found guilty, but later had the verdict thrown out by an appellate panel of judges. He was subsequently investigated by the archdiocesan review board and was also cleared of wrongdoing. Over the past 12 years, there had been no allegations against him.
The Star-Ledger said that Father Fugee’s promotions “insult all victims of clergy abuse.” Similarly, The Record said the priest “should not be in active ministry.” This was an attack on the autonomy of the Church by outsiders who took it upon themselves to instruct Archbishop Myers on how to interpret the meaning of a charter drawn up by the bishops to handle these matters. Furthermore, the implication that a priest cleared of any charges of wrongdoing was nevertheless guilty was an attack on the civil liberties of priests.
At the end of 2013 Father Fugee was in the process of petitioning the Vatican for his removal from the priesthood.
The New York Times published an op-ed piece about a homosexual priest who molested someone. He died after being suspended from ministry in the 1990s. The article was accompanied by an illustration depicting a priest resembling a creature from Hell. The article was gratuitous and had no bearing on the current situation; there is almost no abuse being committed by priests in the U.S. today. When reports surface, in almost every instance they are about old cases. The Times‘ fishing for stories that happened decades ago showed a clear agenda.
The media coverage of priests accused of wrongdoing has long been skewed and there are plenty of examples of the media’s relentless coverage of priests with little or no attention paid to clergy of other faiths. The following example shines as bright a light on this problem as one can imagine.
The New York Times ran two stories on a Bridgeport, CT priest who was arrested, Msgr. Kevin Wallin, one of the stories was on the cover. Meanwhile, two New York rabbis were arrested, each meriting one story in the Times: Rabbi Yoel Malik was arrested on January 31, and Rabbi Nathan David Rabinowich was arrested on February 14.
Msgr. Wallin was arrested for a drug related charge. Rabbi Malik was arrested for sexually abusing three teenage boys. He was charged with 12 counts of sexual abuse, 4 counts of criminal sexual contact, 11 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and a single charge of forcible touching. Rabbi Rabinowich was charged with four sexual offenses, including the attempted rape of a 14-year-old girl.
The total number of words in the Times story on the priest was 3496 (the front-page story merited 2745 words). The total number of words on the two rabbis combined was 828 (the stories appeared on pages 22 and 25, respectively).
It was not just the Times that gave rabbis a pass: the New York Daily News had two stories on Malik (only mentioning him by name in one!); the New York Post ran one story on him; the Daily News ran one story on Rabinowich; and the Post had none. (Only the print editions were counted.)
Wallin had multiple problems (he was a cross-dressing drug addict and, like Malik, he was a practicing homosexual). But he was not a child rapist. So why the heightened interest in him, and the relative disinterest in the rabbis? The disparity of treatment was an indication of anti-Catholic bias.
Furthermore, Malik’s arrest came less than two weeks after another member of his ultra-Orthodox Jewish group, an unlicensed therapist, was sentenced to 103 years in prison for sexually abusing a young woman from the time she was 12. Additionally, a rabbi who publicly criticized this rapist had a cup of bleach thrown at him, burning his eyes and face. It never made the front page of any newspaper.
During the Oscars, The Onion, a satirical publication, made an obscene comment on its Twitter account about Quvenzhané Wallis. It referred to the 9-year-old girl as a “c***.” After fielding a deluge of complaints, an apology was granted. The writer of the tweet said his remarks were “crude and offensive.” He added, “No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire.” Steve Hannah, CEO of The Onion, said “we are taking immediate steps to discipline those individuals responsible.” He closed by saying, “Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.”
The apology underscored the fact that The Onion has no standards regarding “crude and offensive” work when it comes to Catholics. Nor does it discipline those who make vulgar comments about Catholicism.
On December 13, 2012, The Onion printed a vile piece about the pope. The article said the pope gave permission to make a porn flick at the Vatican. The film crew had to “install glory holes in the confessional booth” (they are used by homosexuals for fellatio). “This place has some f***ing beautiful art and s***. And it’s only going to look better dripping with hot jizz.”
The movie was said to feature “masturbation, blow jobs, girl-on-girl action, strap-on crucifixes, cum shots, triple-anal penetration, semen swapping, papalingus, bondage, and a gang-bang scene titled, ‘Immaculate Erection,’ which features several archbishops and the Virgin Mary.”
On April 28, an editorial in the Newark Star-Ledger called on Newark Archbishop John J. Myers to resign. The occasion of the editorial was the alleged failure of the Newark Archdiocese to police Father Michael Fugee. In 2001, he was charged with groping a teenager while wrestling. After initially being found guilty, the verdict was overthrown by an appellate panel of judges. Fugee agreed to certain conditions, which the newspaper said had been violated. The Star-Ledger wanted Archbishop Myers to resign because he allegedly did not hold Fugee to the terms of the agreement. This accusation was patently false.
The court agreement expressly allowed Father Fugee to have contact with minors, provided he was supervised. Nothing in either the news story or the editorial even suggested that Fugee was at any time unsupervised in his contacts with minors. If the Star-Ledger had such evidence, it would have said so.
Accompanying the editorial was a front-page story on Father Fugee. The Sunday article, which ran over 2,000 words, recounted various aspects of this issue. It did not mention, however, that in addition to being cleared by the civil courts, the archdiocesan review board cleared Fugee of any wrongdoing. Nor did it mention that the case was sent to Rome for review; no charges were brought against him. In other words, Fugee’s case was thrice thrown out. Also, the newspaper failed to mention that there has not been one allegation made against this priest in the past 12 years.
At bottom, the Star-Ledger unfairly maligned Archbishop Myers, and treated Father Fugee like a political football. If Myers strapped a GPS tracking device on Fugee’s body, it wouldn’t have satisfied the newspaper’s craving for punitive action.
The accusations that Father Fugee broke the terms of his court agreement forbidding unsupervised contact with minors were reviewed by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and no charges were filed. In November Father Fugee reached a new agreement with the Archdiocese of Newark and the Prosecutor’s Office that he would petition Rome for laicization from the priesthood.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released the 2012 Annual Report on priestly sexual abuse. Not a single secular newspaper in the United States reported on it. This was an example of bias by omission. What was omitted was good news: The fewest allegations and victims were reported since data collection for the annual reports began in 2004.
The Philadelphia Inquirer turned down a statement written by Bill Donohue that called attention to an egregious miscarriage of justice involving three Catholic priests and one Catholic layman. The Catholic League was told that the decision was made by those “at the top.”
The editorial was submitted to the newspaper as a two-page ad scheduled to run on May 20. The rejection came after the League pledged to pay the newspaper $58,000 for the ad, not an insignificant sum for a paper that filed for bankruptcy in 2009.
The Inquirer’s rejection suggested that those “at the top” would rather forego the money before ever disseminating a defense about the way three Catholic priests, and one Catholic layman, were treated in court. Indeed, one of the reasons why these Catholic men were treated so unjustly is the failure of the Philadelphia media, led by the Inquirer, to raise serious questions about what happened.
Although the Catholic League was turned down without explanation, this did not stop the truth from getting disseminated. On May 20, the League sent the statement to over 900 members of the media in Philadelphia and Harrisburg and blanketed the parishes in Philadelphia. The Catholic League also went national with this story.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a Rob Rogers cartoon attacking Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh for speaking out against the “naked pope” stunt at Carnegie Mellon University. Bishop Zubik is portrayed as intolerant for exercising his First Amendment right to free speech. In addition, he is compared to an imam demanding the institution of Sharia law. The Catholic Church is smeared in its entirety as lax in policing “pedophile scandals.” In the last panel, the Church is portrayed as intolerant.
The Catholic League released Bill Donohue’s booklet, Myths of the Magdalene Laundries. It debunked the conventional wisdom about these Catholic-run facilities in Ireland. Based on the McAleese Report, the Irish government study that was released in February, the booklet examined the origins of the many myths that have surfaced about the laundries.
Virtually all the horror stories that the public was told—nuns cruelly torturing and sexually abusing “fallen” women—were lies. Worse, Irish officials, such as the current prime minister, Enda Kenny, continued to misinform the public, even in the face of indisputable evidence.
Media outlets, the BBC and major newspapers such as the New York Times, in particular, refused to discuss the McAleese Report, leaving the impression that the falsehoods told by Peter Mullan in his propaganda film, “The Magdalene Sisters,” offers an accurate picture of what happened. Thus, this was a clear instance of bigotry by omission.
Copies of the booklet were widely distributed to the media, Irish historical societies, Irish fraternal and sororal groups, the clergy—including all the bishops—and those who made a donation to the Catholic League to cover the costs of publishing and distributing the booklet.
Bill Donohue commented: “Fair criticism of the Magdalene Laundries, or any other Catholic institution, is not only acceptable, it is welcome. That’s the only way progress can be made. But agit-prop films, and agenda-driven activists and writers, must be challenged. The truth is we’ve been lied to about the Magdalene Laundries, and it’s time to set the record straight.”
June 11 – June 17
The U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, was accused of soliciting prostitutes and minor children. In particular, Gutman “routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children.” (Italics added.) This charge was largely omitted by the major newspapers and highlighted a double standard with respect to the reporting of the sexual abuse of minors: current allegations of child rape by government officials were far less interesting to the media than decades-old stories about priests. While no newspaper was more outraged over minors being molested by priests than the Boston Globe, it did not run a single piece on this story. The New York Times ran one story; the Washington Post ran one story, but unlike the Times, it never mentioned “minor children”; the Los Angeles Times, like the Globe, ignored the story altogether. The scope of the omission was evidence of a veiled anti-Catholic animus.
The cover of the Summer Guide 2013 issue of the Santa Fe Reporter featured a parody of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Virgin Mary was shown in a bikini and sunglasses sipping on a cocktail. The magazine issued an apology after the Catholic League demanded one to the publication’s Catholic readers in a letter to the editor.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reacted to the public disclosure of Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s deposition regarding his tenure as the Milwaukee Archbishop by featuring the pictures of 45 priests who at one time or another had substantiated allegations made against them. Yet this was hardly news since it was Archbishop Dolan who had posted the names of the priests in 2004. Furthermore, many of the bishops in the Catholic Church have made public the names of suspected sexual offenders. By contrast, there is not a single institution, secular or religious, that has done likewise. The Sentinel said the following about the bishops’ conference 2002 charter that addresses the sexual abuse of minors: “How effective that charter has been is a matter of some debate.” In fact, the success of the charter was beyond debate: In the past six years, the average number of credible allegations made against over 40,000 priests was exactly 7. By falsely portraying Cardinal Dolan as someone who created the problem and not someone who fixed it, the Sentinel showed its bias against the Catholic Church.
The Plain Dealer ran a Jeff Darcy cartoon mocking the news that Pope John Paul II was cleared for sainthood. The cartoon was accompanied by an essay in which the cartoonist said, “The miracles I associate with Pope John Paul II, are the miracles of all those children surviving after being abused by priests the Vatican enabled and sheltered. They are the real saints.” The cartoon showed one panel in which Pope John Paul II was shown under the words, “Declared Saint.” He is shown wearing two medals: one said “Fall of USSR,” the other said “Global Outreach.” In an adjacent panel a flock of sheep are shown under the words “Undeclared Saints.” The sheep are labeled, “Kids molested on his watch.”
A poll was taken on the website of USA Today asking respondents to choose which video they liked best: the one where David Letterman compared all priests to molesters, or the one where Jay Leno said Pope Francis could be mistaken for Lady Gaga. While Leno’s jab was inoffensive, Letterman’s July 23 monologue was vile. His “altar boy” quip—World Youth Day is called by the Vatican “salute to altar boys”—was a vicious hit on 40,000 innocent priests.
USA Today took Letterman’s offensive remarks to a new level. It not only flagged his bigotry, it celebrated it. Many more respondents preferred Letterman’s obscene statement to Leno’s throw-away line.
The Newark Star-Ledger ran a Drew Sheneman cartoon that mocked Pope Francis for his comments on homosexual priests. Under a caricature of the pope, the caption read, “If someone’s gay, who am I to judge? Don’t get me wrong, according to divine law you’re still going to burn for all eternity, but on a personal level, we’re cool.”
The movie, “Paradise: Faith,” opened in New York and Los Angeles. The New York Times found it “riveting.” In the movie, a “devout” Catholic woman masturbates with a crucifix, flagellates herself, walks around the house praying on her knees, goes door-to-door with a statue of the Virgin Mary, and fights off her paraplegic Muslim husband who tries to rape her.
The weekly Orange County, California news publication OC Weekly attacked Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange. The article titled “Orange Diocese Bishop Kevin Vann Doing His Damndest to Stop CA Bill that Would Help Child-Abuse Victims” attacked Bishop Vann for his opposition to SB 131, a deeply flawed bill that would target the Catholic Church with millions of dollars in lawsuits, but provide no relief to abuse victims of public schools. OC Weekly summarized Bishop Vann’s opposition in the following way: “Yeah, we let pedo-priests rape children, then covered it up. But NOW you should really, really trust us!” The OC Weekly article also attacked Bishop Vann’s diocesan newspaper, calling it a “rag” and said that it publishes “gobbledygook.”
The National Catholic Reporter gave top billing – the lead story on the home page of its website – to Adele Stan’s vicious attack on the U.S. Bishops, blaming them for the government shutdown and accusing them of wanting to “block access” to “health care for the masses, food for the hungry, and shelter for the homeless.” In the piece, titled, “At Any Cost: How Catholic Bishops Pushed for a Shutdown – and Even a Default – Over Birth Control,” she charged that “they wouldn’t mind seeing the global economy brought to its knees,” adding that not only do the bishops discriminate against women, “no bishop ever endured the pain, blood, and terror of a life-threatening labor.” That Stan’s article was first published on a pro-abortion and anti-Catholic website, rhrealitycheck.org, did not deter NCR editor Dennis Coday from prominently headlining it.
On “Imus in the Morning,” actor Rob Bartlett is a regular on the show who plays a character called “Don Corleone, The Godfather” and imitates Brando. Bartlett did a piece titled “Pope John Paul’s Sainthood.” Bartlett said the following: “John Paul II, rest in peace, has been beatified, which is the next to the last step before becoming a saint. He has still to make his bones; not the same way as someone would in my business. The Vatican requires he perform two miracles…One of Pope John Paul’s miracles was to cure a nun of Parkinson’s disease. Personally I would have settled for his being able to (speaks in mock Italian and then translates) get the priests to keep their paws off the altar boys…”
When the new film, “Paradise: Faith,” opened in New York and Los Angeles, NPR declared the movie “recommended.” In the movie, a “devout” Catholic woman masturbates with a crucifix, flagellates herself, walks around the house praying on her knees, goes door-to-door with a statue of the Virgin Mary, and fights off her paraplegic Muslim husband who tries to rape her.
On “Imus in the Morning” the topic of the National Security Administration spying on the Vatican was brought up. Don Imus repeatedly stated that spying on the Vatican was a good idea because priests are child molesters.
Imus: “Well they got a whole mafia going on at the Vatican, and a bunch of guys glomming onto the kids, not the pope, but they got some icky stuff going on at the Vatican.”
Imus: “Not a bad idea considering what’s going on there. Them glomming on the kids, that whole mafia deal […] a bunch of sick dudes there […] which is why the pope, God bless him, he’s over there at the Motel 6 …”
Imus: “Well we know what’s going on at the Vatican, you’re not denying that are you, I would hope? The funny business going on at the Vatican which is why the Pope… (co-hosts interject that the pope has cleaned up the Vatican and its “all good”) It’s not all good, they’re still covering up for these priests glomming on to the kids and Cardinals covering up for that. And in some cases the Cardinals glomming onto the kids.”
On the “Dennis & Callahan Morning Show” on WEEI radio in the Boston area and simulcast on the New England Sports Network, sports talk show hosts John Dennis, Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane attacked the pope’s compassion for a man severely disfigured by disease. Minihane remarked that Pope Francis was “making out” with the man. Insulting the pope’s mercy was not enough for them. They said that the pope belongs in the mall with Santa, and implied that he molests children.
Callahan: “Have a pope at every mall? … Have all the little boys sit on his lap?”
Minihane: “Yeah, that might be an issue.”
WEEI (Boston, MA) sports radio talk show hosts Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan compared the Blessed Mother to a pregnant television star on the “Dennis & Callahan Morning Show,” which is simulcast on the New England Sports Network. During a segment about recent headlines, Minihane and Callahan discuss the announcement that Evelyn Lozada is six months pregnant with her second child. Lozada is a star of “Basketball Wives” and is known for having relationships with several professional athletes.
Minihane: “So Evelyn Lozada, she’s pregnant, I know it’s hard to believe much like the Virgin Mary, sometimes there’s a…”
Callahan: “Here I thought she kept her knees together.”
Minihane: “Well, it happened again, only the second coming of the baby Jesus.”
The “Dennis & Callahan Morning Show” on WEEI radio used the selection of Pope Francis as Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” as an opportunity to spread lies and insults about the Holy Father. Discussing the selection of the pope, host Kirk Minihane says that Pope Francis hates religious people. Co-host Gerry Callahan responds “Now that they know he’s pro-choice and he’s pro-gay marriage and he doesn’t go to church, and he doesn’t wear that, like weird funny hat – they love him. This is the mainstream media’s favorite religious figure, like ever.” Minihane responds “he’s bisexual, he’s going to start dating a woman.”
On his MSNBC show, Lawrence O’Donnell attacked Atlanta Pastor Louie Giglio for accepting Biblical teachings on the sinfulness of homosexuality. In the 1990s, Giglio addressed this subject and cited Christian teachings. Giglio bowed to pressure from homosexual activists by agreeing not to give the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration. For O’Donnell, the problem was the Bible itself. He readily admitted that the Bible condemned homosexuality, but falsely claimed that the Bible condemns “gay people.” He neglected to draw the distinction between behavior and status. He said the practice of presidents putting their hand on the Bible is “one of our most absurdist [sic] traditions.” He said that because Obama embraces the gay agenda, he should not swear on the Bible.
ABC’s “World News” broadcast on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI demonstrated anti-Catholic bias. The following comments were made:
• In an interview with New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, reporter Diane Sawyer asked if the “burden of what the Church has been through with the scandals” caused the Pope’s resignation—with no basis in fact.
• During the same interview, Sawyer said, “There has to be fundamental change” to the Church’s positions on social issues.
• Posing as a papal historian, Jeffrey Kofman declared that the Pope’s “papacy will be remembered for its scandals.” This supposed authority on the Catholic Church then said that Benedict had “tried to hold back the forces of modernity.”
• ABC correspondent Cecilia Vega, according to Sawyer, “spent the day gathering American reaction from all over,” but then delivered reaction only from liberal Catholics who pushed ABC’s liberal narrative that the Church must “modernize.”
• ABC did not name one single accomplishment of Benedict XVI.
“Saturday Night Live” aired the skit, “Djesus Uncrossed,” a take-off of “Django Unchained,” a violent film that had caused much controversy. The SNL segment was itself uncharacteristically bloody; there was also a snide remark by the announcer saying the skit was less violent than “The Passion of the Christ.”
In early March, both Sears and JCPenney indicated that they had pulled their advertising from “Saturday Night Live” as a result of this incident. Sears removed all its advertising from running during “Saturday Night Live.” JCPenney did not advertise during the following episode of “Saturday Night Live,” and removed its commercials from online rebroadcasts of that episode. NBC removed the offensive clip from its online video shortly thereafter.
On the NBC hidden camera show, “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” an older woman impersonating a nun in habit stopped a young man on the street and informed him that she was thinking of getting breast implants. She asks his opinion on whether she should go up one size or two. The “nun” also asks the young man if he is a “boob man” to which he replied “I’m more of an a** guy.” The “nun” concludes by telling the man “I have a date with a really hot priest. You know what I mean? He’s kind of young. I’m so excited.”
Appearing on MSNBC’s “The Chris Matthews Show” guest Andrew Sullivan was asked if a change in opinion among Catholics on the topic of same sex marriage might impact the selection of the new pope. Sullivan responded that “there are many gays electing the next pope.” When Matthews asked him to clarify if he meant the Cardinals, Sullivan responded “Yes.”
On the Comedy Central program “Tosh.0″ host Daniel Tosh showed a video of two men blowing cigarette smoke into each other’s faces. One man opens his mouth and “eats” the smoke. Tosh responds with a sexual joke, “this means we have a new pope, and he’s a swallower.” The episode was re-aired on December 17.
During his opening monologue on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” host Jay Leno claimed Pope Francis said the use of condoms is acceptable in certain circumstances: “We’re learning more and more about this new pope, Pope Francis. A very gracious man, unlike many in the Catholic Church leadership, he says the use of condoms is acceptable in certain cases. That’s what he said. He said condoms are acceptable in certain cases. But not those glow in the dark condoms. No, those are out, doesn’t like those at all, just forget those. Leave that for the next guy.”
Starz featured what one critic described as a “fact-fiction-mash-up” series entitled “Da Vinci’s Demons” about Leonardo da Vinci. The series featured gruesome instances of brutality including hangings and beheadings. In one scene, Pope Sixtus IV was shown in a sexual embrace with a boy in a pool while holding a knife against the boy’s throat. A count enters the scene to share secret information with the pope, after which the pope kills the boy.
Even before the series premiered, the scene was recognized as anti-Catholic. One reviewer stated that this scene was “bound to be attacked by some within the Catholic Church.” Another reviewer said, “The demons, at least in this world, are the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church.” Another reviewer wrote that “It’s the pope…who is burdened with playing the vicious gay stereotype here, preying like a crocodile on young men who have the misfortune of taking a dip in his vast Vatican hot tub.”
“The 700 Club” featured a segment titled “God and Hitler,” in which Gordon Robertson (son of Rev. Pat Robertson), hosted a discussion on the Catholic Church’s response to Hitler. The errors were many, serious, and indefensible:
• It was wrong to paint Hitler as a Catholic. Though he was baptized, he excommunicated himself, latae sententiae, when he sought, in his words, to “crush [the Catholic Church] like a toad.” He made good on his pledge by persecuting 8,000 priests, over 500 of whom were killed in concentration camps. He also sought to assassinate the pope.
• The 1933 Nazi-Vatican Concordat was not a show of solidarity. As Rabbi David Dalin has shown, it was a protective measure designed to protect German Catholics from persecution. In fact, at least 34 letters of protest were sent from the Vatican to the Nazis between 1933 and 1937, culminating in a 1937 encyclical that condemned Nazi violations of the Concordat and Nazi racial ideology. It was smuggled out of Italy and distributed on Palm Sunday to Catholics in Germany. Nothing like this happened in Protestant churches in Germany.
• It was not true that Hitler met resistance from Protestants alone. Former Israeli Diplomat Pinchas Lapide estimated that the Catholic Church, under the auspices of Pope Pius XII, saved as many as 860,000 Jewish lives. During the war, the New York Times twice said the Church was “a lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent”; Albert Einstein also singled out the Church during the war. After the war, Golda Meir praised the work of the Church, as did the ADL, the World Jewish Congress, and scores of other Jewish organizations.
• It was factually wrong to say the Vatican archives have “never been seen.” Many scholars have had access.
As for Pope Pius XII being “Hitler’s Pope,” it must be noted that John Cornwell, the ex-seminarian who originated this term, retracted it years ago. Yet, “The 700 Club” continued to cite it.
On “The Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” the following exchange occurred between host Craig Ferguson and English comedian Simon Amstell:
Amstell: “The trouble with the pope…you can’t kill him, can you? Because…”
Ferguson: “No, no, you can’t! No! No, no, no, no you can’t! No, not just the pope. Anyone at all! You’re not allowed to kill anyone!”
Amstell: “No. But, even like, with the pope, it is especially pointless with the pope, because he, you know, they just replace him with a new one.”
On “Conan,” host Conan O’Brien said the following in his opening monologue: “I don’t know if you heard this story. A Catholic bishop from Massachusetts was arrested for drunk driving. Yeah, still it was a relief to find a Catholic official get in trouble for only having a beer on his lap.”
NBC’s “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” episode entitled “Her Negotiation” featured a suspect who is arrested for exposing himself and taken to the police station. Once there it is revealed that he said “get down on your knees, open your mouth and take Communion” while attempting to pressure two women to engage him in oral sex.
On “The Colbert Report,” host Stephen Colbert had Dan Savage on as a guest to promote his new book. After discussing homosexual marriage, they talked about ObamaCare. Savage mentioned the single-payer model of health insurance. The following exchange occurred:
Savage: “You know who has the single-payer model? Vatican City.”
Colbert: “This is it right here.” [Makes the sign of the cross away from himself in the manner of a priest.]
Savage: “It covers everything but birth control because altar boys can’t get pregnant. When altar boys start getting pregnant, they’ll cover birth control, too.”
Colbert: “We’re going to gloss over that for a moment.”
Savage: “As the Catholic Church has done for decades.”
On a segment of “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart called “Gaywatch,” anchor John Oliver focused on Pope Francis’ alleged “gay lobby” remarks.
John Oliver: “Gays are coming under attack in France and Russia, but there is one place apparently where they have found a home.”
Switch to female reporter speaking: “A stunning revelation coming from the head of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis says there is a gay lobby in the Vatican.”
John Oliver: “I don’t know if I would call a Vatican gay lobby a stunning revelation, really. The whole building is basically a Liberace fever dream, unless you don’t mean an architectural lobby.”
Switch to clip of Fr. Edward Beck speaking: “‘Gay lobby’ is kind of a confusing term. I think we use lobby to mean somebody setting forth a certain agenda.”
John Oliver: “I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening to a word that man was saying, because I was lost in his eyes. Look at them, so piercing blue, and his hair, so snowy white. It’s as if Anderson Cooper and a Siberian Husky made love and had a baby priest. I want one of those. I want one of those. I’m sorry, Father McDreamy, you were saying that lobby is not a good word for it.”
Switch to clip of Fr. Edward Beck speaking: “Probably a better word would be ‘gay cabal,’ ‘gay clique.”
John Oliver: “Right, and other nouns include a gay lunch, air, man pile, a cabin crew, an Oscar party or a Palm Springs traffic jam. If there is a gay lobby, what is it they want? How much damage could they do?”
Switch to female reporter speaking: “So there have been big rumors here that the gay lobby drove Benedict from the Catholic Church.”
John Oliver: “That is just ridiculous. A gay lobby did not drive Pope Benedict from the Church, because if they did it would have looked like this:”
[Switch to clip of a silver bus with silver ribbons streaming, with Pope Benedict's head imposed on the body of a woman in a silver dress, singing opera.]
John Oliver: “You’ve got to admit, that would have been one hell of an exit. The bottom line to all of this is no matter what country you live in, what religion you belong to, it seems crazy that in this day and age anyone has a problem with which gender you want to, um, what’s the phrase?”
[Switch to clip of Pat Robertson saying the words "want to do sex with each other."]
On an episode of E! Entertainment Television’s “Fashion Police”, host Joan Rivers made an offensive comment about Catholic priests. Rivers compared actress Laura Linney’s outfit to a girl’s Catholic school uniform: “She looks like a Catholic school girl. And now I suddenly understand why priests resorted to boys.”
On NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” a woman drugged and raped a priest in order to get revenge against the priest’s mother. The sexual encounter is videotaped and later shown during a wedding that the priest was presiding at.
Showtime’s new drama “Ray Donovan” was breaking records by its second episode. The show is about a Boston man, Ray Donovan, who “fixes” problems for the rich and famous. The show includes Donovan’s father who is released from jail and then immediately murders a priest, as well as a plotline about Donovan’s brother Bunchy, a drug addict, alcoholic and sexual anorexic. Bunchy stands to win millions in a settlement with the Archdiocese of Boston because he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest as a young boy.
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations. “American Horror Story: Asylum,” the anti-Catholic show on the FX Channel, lead the pack with 17 Emmy nominations. The show depicted a Catholic home for the criminally insane run by sadistic and libidinous nuns. The plot was sinister. Characters included a nymphomaniac, a lesbian, a degenerate bully, a serial killer, and a doctor who enjoys torturing patients.
On “The Late Show with David Letterman,” host David Letterman commented on Pope Francis’ appearance at World Youth Day and said the following: “And I’m telling you if there’s anything the kids can’t get enough of, it’s a 76-year-old virgin. Come on! World Youth Day. Or as the Vatican calls it, salute to altar boys.” It was also noteworthy that this line did not go over well with his audience.
During the opening monologue of the “Late Show with David Letterman,” host David Letterman showed a mock video of the bishops in Brazil reacting enthusiastically to Pope Francis’ remarks concerning gay priests, inferring the bishops are gay. Letterman said the following: “So Pope Francis goes to South America. He’s down there in Brazil and he announced that he would not – he says, ‘I don’t care, I would not judge anyone who is gay.’ That’s what Pope Francis said. That must have been some trip to Rio. But I’ve got to tell you, when the pope said he would not judge gay priests, the bishops went absolutely crazy. They loved it. Here, watch.” Footage was then shown of the bishops in Brazil waving their arms and singing. The caption read, “BISHOPS REACT TO POPE FRANCIS DECREE ON HOMOSEXUALITY.” The video was accompanied by the song, “It’s Raining Men,” the lyrics of which were, “It’s raining men, Hallelujah, It’s raining men, I’m gonna go out, I’m gonna let myself, get absolutely soaking wet.”
In the opening monologue of “Conan,” host Conan O’Brien made light fun of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Baptism. The monologue included a one-liner subtitle about children being molested by priests: “Kids can opt out of fondling by texting #nothanks to the Vatican.” This was a blatant attempt to smear all priests as molesters.
The new Comedy Central show, “The Jeselnik Offensive” featured a “Worst Best Thing of the Week” with host Anthony Jeselnik, Dave Attell and Joan Rivers. The following exchange occurred:
Jeselnik: “Finally, the Vatican is giving gay priests the same respect they show pedophiles.”
Rivers: “The pope, surprise, is the gayest. The man wears a dress, lives with all guys, you know.”
Attell: “And the cool thing about it is I’m a Jew and I could really care less about the whole thing. I mean, you know, an Easter egg hunt is an Easter egg. If it ends in an ass, it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t care.”
Rivers: “He’s bringing the church into the 21st century, and let’s be happy about that. I mean, ass-less altar boy costumes….We all have to kiss the pope’s ring. I love it now because he likes gays, and he says, fine now—lower, lower, lower, and, uh, don’t forget the balls.”
On “CBS This Morning,” host Mark Phillips discussed Pope Francis’ prayers against military action, and in favor of peace in Syria. Phillips says that Francis had “taken sides” with Russian President Vladimir Putin by appealing to world leaders not to use military force on Syria.
Phillips then introduced Michael Walsh with a graphic labeling Walsh a “Vatican Historian.” Walsh is a former priest who called Pope Benedict XVI a “dictator.” Walsh called the Vatican “obviously incompetent and dysfunctional.”
Phillips also labeled Pope Francis’ call for mass prayer and fast against violence a “religious street protest.”
On Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart, after joking inoffensively that according to Pope Francis, “gays are cool, priests can marry, and you don’t even have to believe in God to get to Heaven,” moved on to the following: “What, exactly, of Catholicism is left? I mean, you take away Jesus and celibacy—Catholic Church is just an ordinary restaurant that only serves wafers.” At this point, a woman was shown receiving Communion. This was followed by several obscenities.
On the E! show “Chelsea Lately,” priests and Germans were libeled by two of Chelsea Handler’s guests, Kurt Braunohler and Moshe Kasher.
The objectionable part began with a discussion of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the German bishop who was suspended by Pope Francis for his opulent lifestyle.
Braunohler: “I love that the Catholic Church has like a zero tolerance policy on everything other than child abuse.”
Kasher: “It’s a German priest, so that’s a difficult set of circumstances. You know what I mean, it’s like—do I make out with that kid or do I kill that Jew.”
The remark by Kasher, which fails to distinguish between Germans and Nazis, suggests he doesn’t know the difference between those Germans who resisted Hitler—they were disproportionately Catholic—and those who followed the genocidal policies of the National Socialist Party run by an atheist who hated the Catholic Church. Both of the guests are ignorant, but that is hardly an excuse to smear all priests and Germans.
Jenny McCarthy went into a tizzy on “The View” about the Catholic Church because her mom was once denied an annulment. Jenny said her mom “cries during Communion because she watches all her friends go up there,” while she sits and weeps. Jenny said “I hope the pope gets smart and does something about it.”
McCarthy also shared her delusional story about being in the pope’s apartment. “I went to the Vatican [and] I actually went into the apartment, into the pope’s apartment and I was literally there and I’m going, oh my God, I could take a chunk of this gold cherub and feed a country.” This is not the first time she has made these claims. In 2012 on a TV program known as “Access Hollywood,” Jenny was more explicit. She credited a few “mafia guys” with sneaking her into the pope’s apartment in 1995; she said she even tried on some of his clothes.
CBS aired a rerun episode of “Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen,” which originally aired on February 26, 2007. The episode featured comic Lori Chase who said “I actually did that low carb Atkins thing, and it was really hard, by the third day I wanted bread so badly I became Catholic. And then, honestly they loved me there, because I would get so excited during communion, I was like yay! Its communion time! Oh yay! God this body of Christ is good (while making the sign of the cross). In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy toast, this is delicious.”
On the E! show “Chelsea Lately,” speaking of the inclusion of Pope Francis on the Forbes list of the most powerful people in the world, Chelsea Handler said, “So, and the new pope is on the list. That’s interesting since he’s never had penetration. How can he be that powerful?”
MSNBC’s coverage of a proposed law in Albuquerque, New Mexico that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, included two pro-abortion positions, one of which claimed to represent the Catholic Church. After MSNBC contributor and abortion-rights advocate Irin Carmon expressed her position host Thomas Roberts introduced Sara Hutchinson, a spokesperson for Catholics for Choice. Roberts said, “Okay, so let’s talk to the Church side.”
Bill Donohue wrote to MSNBC saying: “There is nothing “Catholic” about Catholics for Choice, and everyone knows it. Would MSNBC allow someone from Jews for Jesus to speak for Jews?”
George Lopez was a guest on “The Arsenio Hall Show” and made several jokes about Pope Francis being Latino. After a remark about the pope’s cooking ability, Lopez said “It’s about time we have a pope who can actually make something other than altar boys nervous.”
E! network’s “Chelsea Lately” was particularly vicious. The pretext to the vulgar comments made by Chelsea Handler, and guests Dan Levy and Josh Wolf, was the news that Pope Francis was once a bouncer, and rumors that he sneaks out at night to feed the poor.
Handler: “It’s a very popey thing to do, to help the homeless; I mean that’s kinda what he should be sneaking out and doing. It’s not like he can go to a glory hole [a hole in the stall in the men's room in public places used by homosexuals for anonymous oral sex], I mean he could. I’m not making fun of Catholics. I’m thinking that he’s so liberal – he’s right around the corner from taking confession through a glory hole. That’s how advanced he is.”
Levy: “Catholics can’t win, because the only thing more embarrassing than being a child molester is being a bouncer at a [the familiar homosexual voice inflection is used] club.”
Wolf: “I was a doorman for a while which means—and all doormen are the same—which means at some point in time before he was pope this dude got a BJ [oral sex] in a bathroom from a girl wearing a tiara.”
Comedy Central’s new show “Adam Devine’s House Party” did not wait long to attack Catholics. Comedian Pete Davidson went after priests while talking about his experiences in Catholic school. “Here’s something that should never happen at an all boys school, don’t get an erection. There’s no excuse for that at all, it just shouldn’t happen ’cause there’s priests there, and priests are like sharks when you get a cut in the water. I got my priest to stop hitting on me though, it was easy, I introduced him to my little brother. I got an A!”
Comedy Central aired a one-hour special, “Chris D’Elia: White Male: Black Comic,” which was part of a two-hour performance recorded in November. The television special coincided with the release of the performance on CD and DVD by Comedy Central Records.
The D’Elia special featured a 13-minute segment that treated viewers to one of the most offensive anti-Christian attacks ever to be shown on TV; it made a deliberate effort to offend Catholics. Here’s a sample:
Speaking of Jesus, D’Elia said, “No way—he died for us so that we could all live? Awesome. He hung himself on the cross for that many days….”
Speaking of Catholic churches, D’Elia said, “There’s people on the stain glass windows with thorns around their head, they’re bleeding from the thorns, crying out of their eyeballs, their clothes are all ripped….”
Speaking of the Eucharist, D’Elia said, “They make you eat a guy’s body and you don’t even think about it. You’re just lining up—’I got to eat a guy’s body, yeah I got to eat a guy’s body man’….If this isn’t creepy enough, there’s a guy down there, you can drink his blood….”
Daniel Tosh of Comedy Central’s “Tosh.0″ defamed the pope while reviewing headlines from 2013. Tosh said “What can I say about 2013 that hasn’t already been retweeted a thousand times … we have our first gay pope.” (A picture is shown of Pope Francis with a rainbow flag on his mitre and rainbow flags on his vestments.)
The guests on E! Network’s “Chelsea Lately” discussed Pope Francis’ selection as Time “Person of the Year”. Guest Whitney Cummings expresses her disapproval of the pope’s position on gay rights and states that popes wear dresses. Another guest, Moshe Kasher, responds “They don’t just wear dresses, they also have sex with men.”
ESPN refused to air a Christmas commercial from a Catholic children’s hospital because it included references to God and the birth of Jesus. Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center submitted the advertisement to ESPN which said the hospital “celebrates the birth of Jesus and the season of giving, bringing hope to many children.” According to reports, the commercial was denied “due to religious advocacy.” Within a few hours of the story coming out in the media ESPN reversed its decision and agreed to run the commercial.
The “Pete Holmes Show” on TBS opened with a skit about a man trying to get into heaven. The man was met at the entrance by Holmes, who was portraying St. Peter. A very eccentric St. Peter denies the man entrance into heaven saying that “it’s a sausage party in there.” He continues “the last time I saw Jesus surrounded by 12 dudes was 2,000 years ago.” The skit says that heaven has been overhauled and St. Peter says that he can be bribed with drugs.
Television personality Joan Rivers attacked another star’s plastic surgeries. Rivers said “she has been touched up more than a choir boy at the Vatican.”
Just two days after Christmas, CBS re-aired the November 25, 2006 episode of “Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen” in which guest comedian Kyle Cease attacked the Holy Family and the Blessed Mother.
On the E! show “Fashion Police,” host Joan Rivers spoke about Miley Cyrus saying “at her age she has stuck her tongue out more times than the entire Catholic congregation taking communion in this country.”