Catholic League president William Donohue released the following statement on Bill O’Reilly today:

“Last night on TV, Bill O’Reilly took the New York Times to task for op-ed articles in Tuesday’s newspaper that amounted to ‘a counterattack against the late pontiff.’  He said the Times ‘ran a couple of opinion columns saying that the pope was an autocratic guy who may have hurt his own church and that the Polish people love the pope but don’t listen to him.’ (My emphasis.)  He was referring to a screed by Thomas Cahill and a mostly flattering piece by Stefan Chwin, respectively.

“Ironically, O’Reilly’s condemnation of the New York Times means that he has indicted himself.  Here is what O’Reilly said on his radio show of March 5, 2003: ‘I have never liked this pope.  I have always felt he was an autocrat who had no vision about how people live in the real world.’ (Again, my emphasis.)  The year before, O’Reilly called the pope ‘an authoritarian guy,’ proving that his contempt for the pope is long standing.  And on the same radio show that he called the pope an ‘autocrat,’ O’Reilly questioned whether anyone was listening to him anymore: ‘Now is anybody going to listen to him?’

“Thus, O’Reilly has no business lecturing anyone about bashing the pope—he’s done a yeoman job himself.  Indeed, it is hypocritical of him to now feign anger at co

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