Last night on the CNN show “The Situation Room,” commentator Jack Cafferty posed the following question to viewers: “Should the Catholic Church be commenting on how the United States chooses to protect its national sovereignty?”

Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded as follows:

“I’m not sure what’s worse: Cafferty’s shallow understanding of the Catholic Church or his contempt for free speech. To begin with, the Catholic Church did not speak out about the propriety of building a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border. It was one Vatican official, Cardinal Renato Martino, who spoke against the fence—not the pope or any spokesman for the Vatican. Just as it would be wrong for me to blame CNN for Cafferty’s remark, it is wrong for Cafferty to blame the Vatican for Martino’s comment. Second, since when do clergymen give up their right to free speech? Does Cafferty want to silence all clergymen, or just Catholic priests? Third, the Vatican is not only a nation-state, the Holy See holds a Permanent Observer seat at the United Nations, and as such is free to voice its opinion about any world event.

“Cafferty ended his commentary by making a snide remark to Wolf Blitzer about the Catholic Church having lots of problems of its own these days. In other words, because of the scandal, no one affiliated with the Catholic Church has a right to address contemporary moral issues. I have news for Cafferty—people like myself bear no responsibility for any wrongdoing committed by any priest, and we will not be silenced by people like him. So he better get used to it. Not only that, but if institutional wrongdoing is an automatic disqualifier to participation in national discourse, it would end all discourse. Which means Cafferty would be out of a job.

“On October 31, Cafferty said on air that ‘I’m tired of doing this for four hours a night.’ So maybe the time has come, Jack.”

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