I read with amusement Gabriel Rotella’s Cityscape column, “Catholic Bashing: The Cry of Cowards.” As president of the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization

… I can assure Rotella that the Catholic League does not object to criticism of the Catholic Church. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t object when militant gays disrupt a mass.

And for the record, the disruption of a church service by gays has not been limited to one occurrence at St. Patrick’s. Indeed, gays disrupted a mass said by Bishop Daily on Aug. 29, fully three days before Mr. Rotella’s piece appeared. In short, his piece was as erroneous as it was embarrassing.

-William A. Donohue


Once again I must ask the editors of the Tribune to look inward toward what appears to be the continued bashing of Catholics. I speak of the cartoon depicting the pope … presiding over a church that is out of control. The cartoon was so offensive that our office received a barrage of phone calls voicing disapproval of the cartoon. To be ridiculed by Rob Rogers, a cartoonist for a Pittsburgh paper, is injury upon insult. The interesting part of this cartoon is that it continues to lampoon the Holy Father rather than salute his efforts to bring the youth of the world his message of peace. A cartoon of ridicule that portrayed the jewish hierarchy or African-American leadership in the same vein would result in justified outrage. Please consider the way you choose to show the Catholic faith and its leaders. In our opinion, the manner in which you have addressed this issue is ridiculous.

Tom O’Connell
Mid-west Regional Director


It is sad and petty, and rather vindictive, that on the happy occasion of the pope’s visit to the United States, a major newspaper serving a largely Catholic community could not resist the temptation to deliver a slap at the Catholic Church. (“The pope’s catholic church,” Aug. 12 editorial).

The Globe’s assertion that the Catholic Church was last officially recognized in Mexico when it was alledgedly “the ally of dictators and landowners,” is not only gratuitously offensive but historically inaccurate.

The Holy See last enjoyed diplomatic recognition from Mexico in 1865 during the liberal and somewhat anticlerical monarchy of Maximilian. Most of the dictators in Mexico’s history have been violent persecutors of the church.

It is unfortunate that the Globe chose to repeat a piece of anti-Catholic propaganda that has been used to justify repression against the Catholic Church in Mexico. One might not unreasonably infer that the editorial writer views the Catholic Church as an ideological opponent to be relentlessly attacked, no matter how remote the pretext or how inappropriate the occasion.

Daniel T. Flatley
President, Massachusetts Chapter


Whether Rob Rogers is just another anti-Catholic bigot working in the media or someone who hasn’t evolved from adolescence, I do not know. But his cartoon portraying Pope john Paul II as presiding over a church that is out of control was so offensive that I received a barrage of phone calls from Pittsburgh Catholics.

The cartoon also misrepresents the level of dissension within the church. Most Catholics are no more prepared to abandon their church today than they were in the past. Indeed, as a proportion of the population, Catholics have actually gained ground in the last few decades, making suspect the charge that the pope is presiding over a recalcitrant flock.

If church enrollment is up, and if the most orthodox seminaries are registering the largest increases, it suggests that Mr. Rogers does indeed have something to worry about. That’s right – we’re here, we’re everywhere and most important, we’re not going to take it anymore.

William A. Donohue


Margery Eagan persists in giving theological advice to a religion she neither comprehends nor believes in (“Annulment flap points up flaw in church doctrine,” Sept. 9).

Eagan’s assertion that the Catholic Church should recognize divorce is just one more example of her willingness to exploit any opportunity, even the tragedy of a broken marriage, to pursue her relentless ideological vendetta against the church.

The church’s defense of the sanctity of marriage is not rooted in policy or politics, but in the words of Jesus Christ: “What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” It is a teaching that is 2,000 years old, and it is not likely to be changed because some disaffected ex-Catholics in the feminist subculture find it objectionable.

Within the United States there are nine major Protestant denominations, unions of the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox jews, and 14 Eastern Orthodox churches.

It would be a refreshing exercise in diversity if we could hear Eagan express her views on a religious body other than the Catholic Church for a change.

Daniel T. Flatley
President, Massachusetts Chapter

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