From November 28 to December 22, ten major American newspapers carried anti-Catholic ads. All of the ads were sponsored by the Eternal Gospel Church of Seventh-Day Adventists (a splinter group from the Seventh-Day Adventists). The ads identified the Catholic Church as the “WHORE” and the “BEAST,” and charged the Holy Father with breaking down the barriers between church and state.
The “Earth’s Final Warning” full-page ads were run on November 28 in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; on December 1 in the Miami Herald ; on December 1 in El Nuevo Herald(Miami); on December 2 in the Dallas Morning News; on December 5 in some copies of the Greenville News (South Carolina); on December 10 in the Indianapolis Star; on December 13 in Diario Las Americas (Miami); on December 14 in the Los Angeles Times; on December 20 in the Tallahassee Democrat; and on December 22 in The Herald (Everett, Washington).
The official position of the Catholic League, as released to the media, was as follows:
“This is not the first time that we’ve had problems with the anti-Catholic ads run by the Eternal Church Gospel of Seventh-Day Adventists. Our experience has been that when we register our complaint with the publishers of the newspapers which accepted the ads, they proved to be uniformly reasonable.
“Despicable though the ‘Earth’s Final Warning’ ads are, they are not half as disturbing as the decision of newspaper advertising executives to run them. It is not likely that the Klan would find space in a mainstream American newspaper, and the same should be true of the Eternal Church Gospel of the Seventh-Day Adventists. The Catholic League is determined to fight these ads every time they appear and to convince as many publishers as possible as to the impropriety of running them.”
We are delighted to say that the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, Diario Las Americas, Dallas Morning News, the Indianapolis Star, the Greenville News, The Herald, the Tallahassee Democrat and the Los Angeles Times all made quick and sincere apologies to the Catholic League, pledging never again to run these ads. In fact, when the publisher of the Greenville News spotted the ad in print, he ordered the printing press stopped and thus not all copies of the South Carolina daily published the ad.
Deserving of special mention is attorney Charles Helms, president of the Dallas chapter. He was successful in his efforts to extract an apology from the Dallas Morning News and in getting them to agree to run a column by him explaining the chapter’s objections.
We are awaiting a response from the other newspapers. The Eternal Gospel Church of Seventh Day Adventists is currently being sued by the Seventh Day Adventists for misuse of their name.