Three cartoons that were recently printed earned a letter of protest from the Catholic League.
In August, the Valley Mirror, a newspaper in the area of Sacramento, California, published a cartoon of the Pope receiving a cross from a Nazi with the inscription “Nazi Gold” emblazoned on it; the Pope answers, “Bless You, My Son.” The league shot back with a letter to the editor stating that “The suggestion that the Vatican was busy selling out Jews during the Holocaust is without historical foundation and is scurrilous on the face of it.”
The August 29-September edition of the Jewish Star, a weekly from Skokie, Illinois, showed a cartoon of the Pope greeting Fidel Castro. On the Pope’s robe is printed, “American Tourists to Cuba,” and Castro is saying “Stay with me three more days, and I’ll throw in a free car rental!” The league objected stating that only someone with malice would suggest that the Pope’s interest in visiting Cuba is motivated by servicing American greed.
In the September Esquire, the men’s monthly magazine, there was an interesting piece on Dallas Cowboy Michael Irving. What wasn’t necessary was the cartoon that showed Irving hanging from a cross with two buxom women posed in a sexually suggestive manner next to him. The league labeled the cartoon “crude” and asked, “Don’t those of us who believe in Jesus as the Son of God (we constitute 86% of the population) deserve better than this?”
The league understands satire but it also understands bad taste. It would be refreshing if more cartoonists understood, and accepted, this distinction.