February 22
Hilliard, OH – A statue of the Virgin Mary that had been kept in front of a resident’s condo for ten years was ordered to be removed by The Hilliard Village Association. It claimed the presence of the statue was against the Association’s rules and had to go. Moreover, one resident said that lawn statues in front of his condo didn’t seem to pose a problem, but his Christmas lights were ordered to be taken down.

March 24
Apple caved to pressure from gay activist organizations to pull an app that it had once given a high rating. The app, created by the Christian group Exodus International, was intended to educate those who had questions about homosexuality. Gay groups objected and Apple dutifully caved.

New York, NY – Showtime began airing a series, “The Borgias,” on April 3 about a corrupt Spanish family, one of whose members became pope. Everyone, including devout Catholics, agree that this was a sordid story in Catholic history. That Macy’s chose to celebrate this ugly chapter was another matter altogether.

On the 7th Avenue side of the Macy’s Herald Square store, there was a large window display of manikins dressed as the pope, bishops, et al. In plain letters it said, “The Borgias: The Original Crime Family”; it advertised the season premiere, with the Showtime logo off to the side.

After receiving complaints from our members, Catholic League vice president Bernadette Brady called one of Macy’s media managers, Alyssa Bendetson, registering our concerns, but the manager was nonplussed.

October 4 – December 4
When word got out that the NFL was weighing a decision to invite pop singer Madonna to perform at the 2012 Super Bowl, we pressed officials to drop the idea.

We wrote to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell explaining why the NFL should reconsider its invitation. For decades, Madonna has blatantly offended Christians, especially Catholics. The offensive lyrics, lewd behavior and misappropriation of sacred symbols were reason enough not to have her perform. Worse, she has repeatedly mocked the heart and soul of Christianity: Jesus, Our Blessed Mother, the Eucharist and the Crucifixion.

On December 4, it was announced by the NFL and NBC that Madonna was indeed chosen to perform at the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show.

November 16
Paris, France – Benetton unveiled its “UNHATE” campaign that digitally altered photos of world leaders to make it appear that they are kissing. After the Vatican disapproved of the one featuring an image of Pope Benedict XVI kissing an Egyptian imam, the ad was pulled. But, the damage that Benetton did was done—the offensive photo of the Holy Father and the imam was posted on the Internet.

Benetton deserved no credit for withdrawing the pope-imam ad. It knew what it was doing, and we know what its intent was. What was particularly striking about all this is that the ad campaign was launched to promote tolerance.

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