Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the remarks made last night by Lawrence O’Donnell on his MSNBC show:
Lawrence O’Donnell has issues with the Catholic Church. That’s his problem. But that doesn’t give him the right to grossly distort reality. Last night he opened fire on Bishop Daniel Jenky, the Vatican and me.
Peoria Bishop Jenky recently said that President Obama’s radical secular agenda is violative of the First Amendment. Moreover, he warned that this path to religious intolerance had been followed before by the likes of Hitler and Stalin. Anyone is free to agree or disagree, but it is just plain stupid to argue that Jenky is putting the tax-exempt status of the Catholic Church in jeopardy. O’Donnell obviously knows nothing more about the First Amendment right to free speech than he does the right to religious liberty. Maybe Rev. Al can educate him.
The right of the Vatican to discipline its flock is called into question by O’Donnell. He is upset because the Vatican is concerned about some nuns who are not in line with Church teachings on abortion and gay rights. Of course, if an MSNBC host were all of a sudden to adopt a pro-life or pro-traditional marriage position, he would be fired. By contrast, the Vatican is quite liberal in its handling of such matters.
O’Donnell says the Catholic League “has absolutely no official affiliation” with the Church, and that it is run by a “fraudulent operator.” Really? While we are independent, maybe O’Donnell can explain why the Catholic League is listed in the Official Catholic Directory and has the support of many bishops. To show how clueless the man is, he then interviewed Sister Jeannine Gramick and an official from Dignity. Last year, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, representing the bishops, said that Gramick’s New Ways Ministry group was not authorized “to identify itself as a Catholic organization.” Similarly, Dignity has long been rejected as a Catholic entity. And we’re the fraud? O’Donnell is out of his league.
Contact MSNBC Communications Director Lauren Skowronski: firstname.lastname@example.org