Catholic League president William Donohue wrote the following today:
“In the 12 years that I have been president of the Catholic League, I have never witnessed a more vicious attack on Catholicism than what appeared this week on the Showtime program, ‘Penn and Teller.’ The episode, ‘Holier Than Thou,’ was a frontal assault on Mother Teresa and her order of nuns, Missionaries of Charity (as well as Gandhi and the Dali Lama).
“Like most Americans, I like parodies and have no problem, per se, with irreverent humor. But when humor becomes insult, that is a different story. And that is what happens here: comedy quickly morphs to vitriol. Indeed, as the show progresses, the level of anger becomes palpable and the degree of distortion becomes mindboggling. This is no comedy—it is Nazi propaganda right out of the Leni Riefenstahl school of filmmaking.
“The Mother Teresa that the world has come to love and revere is made to look like a cruel, exploitative, self-serving nun who ripped off the poor. We are told that Mother Teresa intentionally let the poor suffer, providing neither beds nor bathroom facilities. ‘She had the f—king coin and pissed it away on nunneries,’ says Penn. As for the nuns who worked with Mother Teresa, they are referred to as ‘f—king c—ts.’
“It does not bother me when they call me ‘Catholic Boy’ on the show (though the term ‘Jew Boy’ would never cross their lips), nor does it concern me when they talk about ‘f—kers like Bill Donohue [who] only see good in her.’ But when they mock the Catholic Church’s teaching on the meaning of suffering, and when they say of the poor that ‘They had to suffer so that Mother F—king Teresa could be enlightened,’ then they are behaving like monsters.
“We will mail a tape of select portions of this broadcast to many interested parties, including the bishops. And we will hold a press conference tomorrow outside the hotel where Viacom is holding its annual stockholders meeting. They haven’t heard the end of this yet.”