If a Catholic newspaper published a cynical, in-your-face, wholly gratuitous article detailing a Catholic’s regrettable experience with Jews, there would be howls of protest. Catholics, as well as Jews, should protest the Forward’s decision to run this piece by Anna Katsnelson.
Katsnelson begins by telling us how her Jewish parents elected to place her in a Catholic elementary school in New York. Along the way we learn about the Holy Eucharist, which she disrespectfully compares to matzo, attendance at Mass, religious instruction, the nuns, etc. She expresses disappointment with her parents for subjecting her to Catholicism, complaining that they should have known more about the Inquisition before sending her to the school.
“Although there was no Judas cradle, Spanish donkey, head crusher or rack in her office,” Katsnelson writes, “the local Torquemada of my junior high school was not below chastising me for chewing gum and interrogating me about my pseudo-Christian identity.” Moreover, the nuns tried to instill chastity, something she says backfired. For good measure, she adds that “Catholic schoolgirls dressed like sluts in training.”
I have never heard of this woman, but I am very familiar with the Forward. Well-written and left-leaning, it has occasionally printed articles that are highly critical, sometimes stridently so, of Catholicism. But usually my disagreements are over policy issues, historical matters, or something that a bishop or a pope might have said. I don’t recall finding a trashy piece like this one that sticks it to Catholics—for no apparent reason—written by a theater critic for the newspaper.
An apology is in order.
Contact Adam Langer, culture editor: firstname.lastname@example.org