The Catholic League never condemns anyone for expressing disagreement, in a reasonable manner, with a public policy position taken by the Catholic Church or a Church leader. Thus we have no reason to condemn Donald Trump for simply expressing his disagreement with Pope Francis on the issue of immigration.
Yet we have the spectacle of Niall O’Dowd, a chronic Catholic-basher, labeling Trump’s remarks “anti-Catholic rhetoric.” This is the same Niall O’Dowd who has repeatedly used his Irish Central website and other media platforms to attack the Catholic Church, its hierarchy and its teachings.
He has gone out of his way to support Quinnipiac University President John Lahey’s efforts to detach the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade from its Catholic heritage, falsely claiming that the parade had “banned gays” from marching. He has labeled the Catholic Church “too conservative and intrusive in its teachings,” and his writings, publications and interviews over the years have been filled with similarly disparaging and snarky comments about the Church. He accused Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley of “insulting the Irish” because O’Malley boycotted an address by Ireland’s pro-abortion prime minister. And he lectured Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin for “treading on dangerous turf” because the bishop had called Catholic Congressman Patrick Kennedy to task for his support of abortion.
Nor can O’Dowd’s own political agenda be ignored. He has long worked to ingratiate himself with Irish-American Democrats, before ultimately achieving status as a consummate Clinton insider—a fact that cannot be ignored when pondering his motives for attacking Donald Trump.
Agree or disagree with Trump on immigration. But please spare us the selective indignation of professional Catholic-bashers like O’Dowd who suddenly “get religion” when it becomes politically expedient.