David Brody, senior news correspondent for the Christian Broadcast System, has released the text of a letter by John Hagee wherein the Texas minister defends himself against charges of anti-Catholicism. Hagee says he is “shocked and saddened to learn of the mischaracterization of my views on Catholics that has spread while I spent the weekend celebrating the 50th anniversary of my entry into the ministry with family and friends.”

The following are direct quotes from Hagee:

“The Crusades were a motley mob of thieves, rapists, robbers, and murderers whose sins had been forgiven by the pope in advance of the Crusade.” [Jerusalem Countdown, p. 109]

“When Hitler became a global demonic monster, the Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII never, ever slightly criticized him.” [Jerusalem Countdown, p. 115]

Speaking of Hitler, Hagee writes that he “simply enforced policies that had been approved by the church over the course of history and that remained the official policy of the church when the Nazi party came to power.” [In Defense of Israel, p. 25]

“Need we be reminded that the loving theology of the New Testament, as translated by the Roman church fathers, is what sponsored the Crusades, the Inquisition, and ultimately produced the Holocaust?” [In Defense of Israel, p. 158]

Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented as follows:

“Did we also mischaracterize Hagee when he called my religion ‘The Great Whore,’ the ‘apostate church,’ the ‘anti-Christ’ and a ‘false cult system’? McCain cannot ignore Hagee’s lies any more than he can tolerate his bigotry. This is getting out of control.”

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