The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, owned by the wealthy Richard Mellon Scaife, is known for its conservative political bent, especially when it comes to financing its war against President Clinton. Not as well known is its raging enthusiasm for the politics of abortion. Another addition to its legacy is affording columnists an opportunity to bash Catholicism.

On April 4, Donald Collins wrote a piece, “In time, papal apologies will cover reproductive rights, immigration,” summoning the call for more abortions and more restrictions on immigration; he also took a cheap shot at Pope Pius XII.

Collins reflected that Pius was not around anymore “to shoulder the blame for the Vatican’s behavior during World War II.” Evidently, Collins is unaware that Israel scholar and diplomat, Pinchas Lapide, found that Pius was responsible for saving 860,000 Jews during the Holocaust. This prompted William Donohue to ask: “how many Jews did Protestants save?”

Collins wasted no time blaming Pope John Paul II for the deaths of women who undergo botched abortions, especially in places like Africa. True to form, he had absolutely nothing to say of the millions of children who lose their lives each year at the hands of licensed abortionists. What was particularly noteworthy about his article was his whining that 90 percent of all new immigrants to the U.S. are Catholics. Why he didn’t summon the sirens is not known.

Population purists, from the Rockefellers to the Scaifes, have long championed abortion and a man-the-borders paranoia. The target groups, of course, are dark-skinned minorities and Catholics. “No wonder,” said Donohue, “some liberals think conservatives are bigots.”

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