PAPAL BASHING

Catalyst April Issue 1999

In the last issue of Catalyst we said that “Media treatment of the pope’s visit to St. Louis was overwhelmingly fair.” We stand by that assessment, though there have been some new developments.

The “Daily Show” on Comedy Central did a segment wherein they poked fun at the pope’s mental health, took a cheap shot at teenagers who turned out to see the Holy Father and managed to throw in a few choice words about the Crusades and the Inquisition. We complained to the network.

Student newspapers at the University of New Hampshire and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale also contributed to Catholic bashing. In the pages of the New Hampshire, senior Sam Epstein proved that after four years of college, he was still an anti-Catholic bigot (assuming that his bigotry wasn’t learned on campus). Carolyn Skaggs at Southern Illinois bragged about her Catholic-bashing exploits in the pages of the Daily Egyptian. An embittered ex-Catholic, Ms. Skaggs cannot understand why so many love the pope.

A mild offense took place in the pages of the Waco Tribune-Herald around the time of the papal visit. Under the banner, “Papal Worship,” was a picture of a woman kissing the pope’s ring. When we pointed out the obvious—that it is a sign of respect to kiss the ring, not worship—we received a sincere apology from the editor.

The magazine, Wired, printed another attack on the pope, only this time it was coupled with all kinds of shots, ranging from the Inquisition to the Holocaust. We labeled it “mindless anti-Catholic diatribe.”

Talking about the Holocaust, here we go again. Actress Anne-Marie Johnson on the “Leeza” program said that Pope Pius XII collaborated with the Nazis. We set the record straight, something we will never tire doing.


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Written by Bill