After a recent private e-mail exchange between Bill Donohue and Rabbi Arthur Waskow was leaked to the press, we quickly set the record straight.
Donohue wrote to Waskow following his screed condemning the bishops for standing up for the First Amendment rights of Catholics. Not content to act civilly, he said of the bishops, “For these men, ‘religion’ happens only in the genitals.” In the same article, Waskow cited “Vatican arrogance” for its inquiry into an internal Church matter, i.e., legitimate concerns over a minority of nuns who have gone “beyond Jesus.”
Donohue’s comment about Ed Koch saying Jews should not make enemies with their Catholic friends was a summation of Mayor Koch’s statement made in January before a Jewish audience: “We’re 13 million Jews in the whole world—less than one-tenth of 1 percent. And we need allies. The best ally we can have is the Catholic Church.” On January 30, we publicly commended him for his remark, adding, “The Catholic League is proud to stand with the Jewish community in this time of unrelenting attacks on both Catholics and Jews.” We also said that Ed Koch was “one of the greatest friends that Catholics have ever had.”
It is not just this one article by Waskow that is upsetting to the Catholic community. In February, he said that the bishops’ opposition to the Obama administration’s HHS mandate seeking to force Catholic entities to pay for abortion-inducing drugs in their health plans was “an outrageous attempt to impose sharia law on the U.S. government and the American public.” Sharia law? So when the bishops defend constitutional rights they are, in effect, seeking to impose totalitarianism! Waskow has also said of Pope Benedict XVI, “He was a villain before he became Pope, and he is a villain still.”
It should be obvious that Rabbi Waskow has a Catholic problem.
To read the full Donohue-Waskow exchange and other related statements, see our news release on this subject posted on our website. [click here]