Catholic League president Bill Donohue participated in a teleconference today with other Catholic leaders demanding the ouster of Harry Knox from President Obama’s Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He explains his position as follows:

“On April 6, wrote a story about the appointment of ‘pope basher’ Harry Knox to Obama’s faith-based program; Knox said he stood by his hate speech against the pope and activist Catholics opposed to gay marriage. The next day, the Catholic League, citing several of Knox’s anti-Catholic remarks, said he was ‘unfit to serve.’ Subsequently, people like Rep. Mike Pence have asked for Knox’s dismissal. When questioned about Knox’s appointment, Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi and White House spokesman Robert Gibbs always claim ignorance of his anti-Catholic record. Thus, the reason for the teleconference.

“If all Knox had done was to criticize the Catholic Church on public policy issues, there would be no problem. But he is not content to disagree—he must demonize the opposition. If Knox were appointed to an advisory board on the environment, his role would not trigger such a strong response. But when Tony Dungy is pressured to decline an invitation to serve on the same board—simply because he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman—then justice demands that Knox be removed.

“Moreover, Knox, who is not Catholic, has a record of slamming the Catholic Church on internal matters that are none of his business. To wit: he blasted the decision of a priest not to give Holy Communion to a lesbian activist couple, and he accused the Catholic Church of promoting ‘mind control’ and a ‘dangerous’ position for simply saying that candidates for the priesthood cannot support the ‘gay culture.’

“In short, the letter by Catholic leaders to President Obama requesting him to remove Harry Knox from his post is entirely warranted.”

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