In a letter to John Cardinal O’Connor, Gov. George W. Bush said he deeply regrets not taking the opportunity to separate himself from the anti-Catholic and racially divisive views of Bob Jones University; a copy of the letter was also sent to Catholic League president William Donohue. Donohue discussed this subject this morning on the Today Show and issued the following remarks today:

“For the past few weeks, the Catholic League has criticized Gov. Bush for not apologizing to Catholics for the way he has handled his visit to Bob Jones University. Over the weekend, Bush apologized for not ‘disassociating’ himself from ‘anti-Catholic sentiments and racial prejudice.’ He continued saying, ‘It was a missed opportunity, causing needless offense, which I deeply regret.’

“This settles the issue. Bush has now moved beyond perfunctory comments criticizing anti-Catholicism and is addressing this issue squarely, without reservation.

“A touchstone of Catholicism is forgiveness, the recognition that wrongdoers who are sorry for their offense should be forgiven. It would be inconsistent with our faith, therefore, if we as Catholics did not forgive Gov. Bush for this incident.

“Those who cannot let up and want more from Bush have now become the issue. We need to know what they want and whether they will hold all other candidates to the same standard. To needlessly politicize this issue any longer is a mistake and certainly does not have the support of the Catholic League.”

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