Catholic League president Bill Donohue issued the following statement today on Bill O’Reilly’s remarks about the Vatican that he made last night on his Fox News show:

“Bill O’Reilly cannot blame his ignorance of all things Catholic on his high school because Chaminade, located in Mineola, Long Island, is the flagship Catholic school in the New York metropolitan area. So it must be his intellectual sloppiness. For example, last night he said that ‘the Vatican is calling the proposed fence on the southern border inhuman’; a picture of the pope was shown on the screen.

“O’Reilly is wrong—the Vatican has said no such thing. As a matter of fact, Pope Benedict XVI never once mentioned the fence in his recent annual World Day for Migrants and Refugees message. Neither did Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers; he spoke at a press conference about this issue yesterday. The person who made the remark at the press conference was Cardinal Renato Martino, temporary president of the migrants council.

“More important, unlike one of O’Reilly’s guests, Pat Buchanan, who disagreed with Martino’s remark without becoming disrespectful, O’Reilly went for the jugular saying, ‘the Vatican needs to wise up or shut up.’ O’Reilly’s outburst signifies his tyrannical approach: those who disagree with his ‘wisdom’ have no right to speak. To top it off, he showed how much wisdom he possesses when he said that the Martino remark was the kind made by ‘a lot of secular progressives.’ It is not everyday that ‘the Vatican’ (as he sees it) is charged with promoting a secularist agenda; his other guest, Sally Vance-Trembath, was wise enough to chastise him for making this absurd comment.

“O’Reilly ended this segment by saying, ‘The Vatican wants all the illegals to come here but it does want them to be Catholic.’ Looks like the time has come for O’Reilly to take some of his own medicine and wise up or shut up.”

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