Catalyst November Issue 2002
A group called Queens College Messianic Group brought a peculiar brand of anti-Catholicism to Queens College this fall. The group is related to Chosen People Ministries, an organization that is similar to Jews for Jesus. Their antics at the New York City campus managed to anger both Catholics and Jews.
No sooner had the new school year begun when Queens College Messianic Group began passing out hundreds of Chick Publications’ tracts to students (Chick is one of the most prolific publishers of anti-Catholic literature in the nation). One of the tracts, “Love the Jewish People,” blamed the Vatican for the Holocaust and asserted that “Hitler worked closely with the Jesuits.”
Father Paul Wood is the Catholic chaplain at Queens College. We were glad to offer some advice to him when he called. He was joined by a campus rabbi and minister in petitioning the president of the college to make a statement about the group. William Donohue also wrote a letter to Queens College president James L. Muyskens asking that he do so.
Father Wood’s and the rabbi’s objections were featured in the campus newspaper and some concessions were granted by the Messianic Group. The head of the organization said he did not know that Chick Publications was anti-Catholic; he promised not to distribute its literature again.
Dr. Muyskens wrote to Dr. Donohue saying he shared our “distaste” for what happened. He said the offending students had extended an apology and that an open letter was being sent to the entire Queens College community “emphasizing respect and sensitivity towards all faiths and denouncing false and defamatory information and attacks on any faith or denomination.” Donohue congratulated Muyskens for his efforts.
This is not the first time Father Wood has spoken up when anti-Catholic bigotry has hit his campus. He has the courage and intellect necessary to get the job done. He is a model campus minister.