Catholic League president William Donohue remarked as follows:
“The storm is about to hit. For the most part, anti-Catholic bigots and the disaffected dissidents within the Church have been quiet. What they have been waiting for is about to happen: the week between the end of the mourning and the beginning of the conclave is upon us. And that means the Left is ready to explode.
“Consider what we’ve heard already. Amidst the mostly favorable coverage by the media of Pope John Paul II, he has been branded as follows: an authoritarian who seeks to silence dissent; the enemy of homosexuals; a misogynist; a polarizing figure; a man who is out of touch with the modern world; a contributor to death due to AIDS in Africa; responsible for the sexual abuse scandal; and so on.
“And we’ve heard a CBS newsperson blast the pope for ruling the Church with ‘an iron fist’ (this was said between the final four basketball games on Saturday); the JewishForward said whatever good he did may be undermined by his ‘battles around the world for sexual repressiveness and against reproductive freedom’; the Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church in Minneapolis posted a sign on its property saying, ‘ALL WELCOME, CHRIST IS ALIVE, THE POPE IS DEAD’; the president of the J. Paul Getty Trust commented on ‘the spectacle of grotesquerie and human ruin that has lately filled the balcony above St. Peter’s Square’; Christopher Hitchens said he was ‘part of the coverup and obstruction of justice’ attendant to the homosexual scandal; Sister Helen Prejean, who is soft on abortion, took him to task for not changing his mind soon enough on capital punishment (and in doing so managed to misrepresent his pronouncements on the subject—the pope never said it was an intrinsic evil like abortion); and a website called ‘HillaryNow,’ operated by Robert Kunst, said that when the pope went to Israel, he ordered an ambulance to follow him so that in the event he needed a transfusion, he would not have to access ‘Jewish blood.’
“But this is nothing. Many have been waiting for this moment for more than a quarter century. When they lose again, watch out.”