The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is deeply disturbed by an anti-Catholic statement made by New York City Council person Ronnie Eldridge. On August 11, on WNYC radio, Ms. Eldridge commented that Rudy Giuliani’s Catholic school education makes him “suspect” as a candidate for the Mayor of New York. Ms. Eldridge’s apology to Mr. Giuliani notwithstanding, this is a matter that the Catholic League cannot ignore.
In a statement made today, Dr. William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League, stated the following:
“Ms. Eldridge’s remark was an appeal to the worst in us. It was a scare tactic designed to influence voters by drumming up fears about the nefarious effects of a Catholic education. We thought that we had long since past the day when attendance at a parochial school disqualified a candidate for public office. Being that Ms. Eldridge is herself a public servant, it would be instructive to know exactly what the source of her complaint was. Perhaps she will tell us the next time she runs for office.
Ms. Eldridge was right to apologize for her comment, and the Catholic League is equally right to bring this matter to the attention of the public. By doing so, we do not pass judgment on Mr. Giuliani’s fitness for public office, only that he should be considered independent of the religious nature of any school that he may have attended.”
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization. It defends the right of Catholics—lay and clergy alike—to participate in American life without defamation or discrimination.