Catholic League president William Donohue faxed Vice President Al Gore the following letter today:
Dear Mr. Vice President:
On August 15, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, chosen by you to be vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is scheduled to hold a fund-raiser to benefit Hispanic Unity at the Playboy Mansion. News reports indicate that you are opposed to this event. I am asking that you cancel it: not to do so would be to send a message to Catholics that is disconcerting.
Over the years, Hugh Hefner and his daughter Christie have made disparaging remarks about Catholics and the Catholic Church; some Playboy writers have done likewise. Indeed, the Playboy Foundation has even contributed to Catholics for a Free Choice, an organization that is so anti-Catholic that it has been denounced by the bishops in 1993 and 2000.
Worse yet is the timing: August 15 is a holy day of obligation for Catholics, the Feast of the Assumption. This holy day commemorates the taking into heaven of Mary, soul and body, at the end of her life on earth. As such, to hold an event on this date at a place that celebrates the denigration of women is particularly offensive to Catholics. To top it off, since most Hispanics are Catholic, it is sending a message that is doubly objectionable.
Please cancel this event. There are other dates and venues available for legitimate fund-raising activities. Thank you for your consideration.
William A. Donohue, Ph.D.