On March 24, the Bernie Ward Show, which originates in KGO San Francisco, defamed Catholicism by belittling the terrorism of the gay group ACT-UP. Ward was upset with the recent invasion of a mosque, but justified the 1989 invasion of St. Patrick’s Cathedral by saying “homosexuals had a good case to make.” He explained his answer by arguing that the Church “has encouraged homophobia and homophobic actions.” He even went so far as to say that the Roman Catholic Church “is encouraging people to be violent against gays, that is justifying the violence against gays, and that is taking a position that will spread a fatal disease, then you can understand why people would be upset by that and would consider the need to do some kind of form of public protest.”
Just eight days earlier, on March 16, Ward charged that the “right wing fascist” who ran the Catholic Church during the Vietnam war did not allow opposition to the war.
Catholic League president William Donohue replied as follows:
“Bernie Ward’s hatred of the Catholic Church has allowed him to misrepresent history and promote instead a bigoted portrayal of Catholicism. Terrorism is never justified and that is exactly what happened in 1989 in St. Patrick’s Cathedral when militant gays disrupted Mass and spat the Host on the floor.
“The Catholic Church has never encouraged violence against gays or any other group. Moreover, its teachings on sexual ethics have promoted restraint, the very virtue that is a necessary toxin against sexually transmitted diseases.
“Ward’s apparent fixation on discrediting Catholicism will not win but it is a sad commentary on his twisted sense of reality.”
The Catholic League is the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization. It defends the right of individual Catholics and the institutional Church from defamation and discrimination.