The lead editorial in the June 25 edition of the Forward, a prominent Jewish weekly newspaper, accuses Catholic bishops of being a threat to democracy. Commenting on the editorial is Catholic League president William Donohue:
“Never have I read a more anti-Catholic editorial in my life. It is the height of arrogance and intolerance for a Jewish newspaper to lecture Catholic bishops on the propriety of denying Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. At issue is not a matter of public policy; on the contrary, it is purely an internal matter. As such, it is none of theForward’s business what disciplinary measures the bishops decide.
“This is how the editorial begins: ‘The threat by Catholic bishops to withhold communion from politicians who uphold abortion rights is an affront not just to democracy, but also to the best moral teachings of Catholicism.’ This is the oldest canard in the arsenal of anti-Catholics—to accuse them of being a threat to democracy. Not only that, the editorial presumes to know better than the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops what the best moral teachings of the Catholic Church are.
“And there’s more—just read this astounding comment: ‘Where democracy is affronted is at the point where a church—the nation’s largest single church, as it happens—attempts to impose its views from above by threatening to withhold what its believers consider an essential religious rite. That’s nothing more than bullying, trying to bludgeon believers into substituting obedience for conscience. It’s unfair to believers and unfair to the system.’ (My italics.) Talk about chutzpah!
“The editorial ends by saying the bishops have failed to abide by their own creed because they ‘dishonored [the] doctrine of life’ by not condemning ‘free-market fundamentalists’ and the like. Which makes me wonder: What is more egregious—the ignorance or the bigotry?
“If the bishops threatened sanctions against anti-Semites, the Forward would congratulate them. In any event, Catholics are owed an apology.”