At the end of May, William Donohue told the media, “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.'”
Donohue was referring to the episode, “Holier Than Thou,” that aired May 23, 24 and 27. It was a frontal assault on Mother Teresa and her order of nuns, Missionaries of Charity (as well as Gandhi and the Dali Lama).
What began as a comedy quickly morphed to vitriol. Indeed, as the show progressed, the level of anger became palpable and the degree of distortion became mindboggling. This was no comedy—it was Nazi propaganda right out of the Leni Riefenstahl school of filmmaking.
The Mother Teresa that the world has come to love and revere was made to look like a cruel, exploitative, self-serving nun who ripped off the poor. The show says Mother Teresa intentionally let the poor suffer, providing neither beds nor bathroom facilities. “She had the f—ing coin and pissed it away on nunneries,” said Penn. As for the nuns who worked with Mother Teresa, they were referred to as “f—ing c—s.”
Donohue said it did not bother him when they called him “Catholic Boy” on the show (though the term “Jew Boy” would never cross their lips), nor did it concern him when they talked about “f—ers like Bill Donohue [who] only see good in her.” But when they mocked the Catholic Church’s teaching on the meaning of suffering, and when they said of the poor that “They had to suffer so that Mother F—ing Teresa could be enlightened,” then they were behaving like monsters.
We mailed a tape of select portions of this broadcast to many interested parties, including the bishops. And we held a press conference outside the hotel where Viacom was holding its annual stockholders meeting. More needs to be done—we need your help.
We have launched a nation-wide campaign demanding that CBS initiate a probe into this matter. Why CBS? Showtime is owned by Viacom, and Viacom owns CBS (its most prominent company). To see what Donohue wrote to Sumner Redstone, the CEO of Viacom, see p. 4.
Please get your family and friends to sign our petition (see p. 5). It is important to rally as many people as possible, so make copies and pass it along.