Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the way European critics of the pope’s trip to the U.K. are behaving; the trip extends from September 16 to September 19:
The Catholic League does not exist to fend off legitimate criticism of the Catholic Church. To be specific, any of the Church’s public policy positions are fair game for critics. What we object to are intemperate and wholly unfair characterizations, along with criticism by non-Catholics of the Church’s doctrinal prerogatives. Unfortunately, much of the criticism about the papal trip emanating from the other side of the Atlantic crosses the line.
The most organized attempt to smear the pope comes from the Protest the Pope campaign. Some two dozen organizations, ranging from Atheism UK and the Gay & Lesbian Association to the National Secular Society, have launched an all-out attack on the pope and the Catholic Church. To read a sample of the commentary, click here. Some clergymen have joined the chorus, including long-time anti-Catholic bigot Rev. Ian Paisley.
When militant atheists like Richard Dawkins threaten to make a citizen’s arrest of the pope, and when gay activists like Peter Tatchell make a “documentary” about the pope to be shown on TV, then there is cause for concern. While some Brits have condemned these attacks, there needs to be a much more vocal response from responsible leaders in the U.K.
We will monitor the pope’s critics at home and abroad, providing rejoinders when necessary.