The Corporate Affairs Department of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. has just sent to the Catholic League a statement by Ted Turner. It reads, “Mr. Turner regrets any offense his comments may have caused while in Washington, D.C. and extends his heartfelt apologies.”

Mr. Turner’s apology comes in the wake of yesterday’s news release by the Catholic League criticizing Mr. Turner for his ethnic joke about the pope (“Ever seen a Polish mine detector?”) and his comment that Pope John Paul II should “get with it. Welcome to the 20th century”; those remarks were made on February 16 at the 27th annual meeting of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, in Washington, D.C.

Catholic League president William Donohue responded as follows:

“Mr. Turner’s apology is accepted and thus it brings closure to this incident. But what will not go away is the knowledge that his offensive remarks about the pope were greeted with such enthusiasm by his audience. Anyone who has studied the population control movement knows that anti-Catholicism has unfortunately marred its record. If Ted Turner is dead serious about his regrettable comments, he should lead the way by imploring his ideological kinfolk to rid themselves of anti-Catholic bigotry once and for all.”

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