Fourth Quarter 2002
Press Releases

12/30/02 NEW YORK BISHOPS SUE NEW YORK STATE
12/27/02 HATE GROUP CLAIMS TO HAVE CLONED BABY GIRL
12/26/02 LONG ISLAND PASTORS NOTIFIED OF NEWSDAY'S DEFENSE OF BRESLIN'S BIGOTRY AND DISTORTIONS
12/18/02 ATTEMPTS TO SANITIZE CHRISTMAS OCCUR IN PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SQUARE
12/17/02 DEMOCRATIC HOPEFULS FOR THE PRESIDENCY ASKED TO OPPOSE DNC'S ANTI-CATHOLIC BIGOTRY
12/16/02 CATHOLIC LEAGUE'S NATIVITY SCENE ERECTED IN CENTRAL PARK
12/13/02 CARDINAL LAW'S RESIGNATION
12/11/02 TERRY McAULIFFE'S SELECTIVE INTEREST IN BIGOTRY
12/10/02 NEW YORK CITY SUED FOR RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION
12/6/02 MENORAH BANNED IN FAIR LAWN, NEW JERSEY; BOGUS RATIONALE OFFERED
12/5/02 NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN "HOLIDAY WARS"
12/4/02 RIPPING UP THE RELIGIOUS ROOTS OF CHRISTMAS
12/3/02 DAVID E. KELLEY LASHES OUT AGAIN: "BOSTON PUBLIC" USED TO VENT HIS BIGOTRY
12/2/02 SUPREME COURT PERMITS HOLIDAY DISPLAYS ON PUBLIC PROPERTY
11/26/02 MURDER OF CHICAGO CATHOLIC WOMAN SHOWS FUTILITY OF FBI HATE CRIME REPORT
11/22/02 AMERICANS UNITED WASHES THE FACE OF A BIGOT
11/21/02 TAMPA TRIBUNE KEEPS BIGOT ON PAYROLL
11/18/02 PLANNED PARENTHOOD STYMIES SEX REPORTING BILL; BISHOPS ARE ERRONEOUSLY BLAMED
11/15/02 NANCY PELOSI "CONSERVATIVE CATHOLIC"?
11/15/02 CATHOLIC BAITING ON LONG ISLAND: NEWS 12 OFFENDS & LAWMAKER JACOBS COMES CLOSE
11/13/02 BISHOPS ADOPT A PRINCIPLED POLICY
11/12/02 DATA ON PRIESTLY SEXUAL ABUSE DESERVES SCRUTINY
11/8/02 DAVID E. KELLEY'S OBSESSION WITH CATHOLICISM
11/8/02 BISHOPS SHOULD SHUN ROGUE CATHOLICS
11/7/02 REVISED NORMS AWAIT BISHOPS' APPROVAL: MIXED COMMISSION DOES A SUPERB JOB
11/6/02 "THE CRIME OF FATHER AMARO" IS THE SHAME OF SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS AND THE DNC
11/6/02 CATHOLIC LEAGUE TO DNC'S McAWFUL: WE'LL BE YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE IN 2004
11/4/02 CANDIDATES CAMPAIGN IN CHURCHES
10/31/02 CATHOLIC LEAGUE TO NASSAU LEGISLATORS: GRANT NO EXEMPTIONS TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD
10/30/02 SANTA FE CHURCHES DID NOT VIOLATE IRS RULES
10/29/02 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE DUMPS PORN SITE BUT KEEPS ANTI-CATHOLIC ONE
10/29/02 CBS DRAMAS EXPLOIT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
10/28/02 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE SPONSORS HARD-CORE TEEN PORN
10/28/02 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE RENEWS LINK WITH CATHOLICS FOR A FREE CHOICE
10/28/02 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE DUMPS CATHOLICS FOR A FREE CHOICE
10/24/02 NEWSDAY'S SHERYL McCARTHY: CLASSIC BIGOT
10/22/02 CBS WEBSITE FOR "CSI: MIAMI" INVITES NON-CATHOLICS TO JUDGE CATHOLICISM
10/18/02 VATICAN RESPONSE IS JUST; MERITS SUPPORT OF ALL CATHOLICS
10/15/02 KISSLING BARES HER ANTI-CATHOLIC STRIPES; SHE FURTHER SHAMES THE DNC
10/15/02 DNC REBUFFS U.S. BISHOPS; CONTINUES TO PLAY GAMES WITH CATHOLICS
10/11/02 MAYOR BLOOMBERG SHOULD DISINVITE MEMBERS OF "THE SOPRANOS" CAST
10/8/02 AP STORY REVEALS KISSLING'S LATEST SALVO; IMPLICATIONS FOR DNC ARE GRAVE
10/8/02 McAULIFFE GIVEN NEW EVIDENCE TO SEVER DNC TIES TO FRANCES KISSLING
10/7/02 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE TARGETED IN TODAY'S ROLL CALL
10/3/02 U.S.  BISHOPS ENTER THE FRAY AGAINST DNC
10/2/02 NEW HAMPSHIRE ATTORNEY UNLEASHES CATHOLIC "WITCH HUNT"


December 30, 2002

 

NEW YORK BISHOPS SUE NEW YORK STATE

 

The Roman Catholic Bishops of New York State filed a lawsuit today against New York State for mandating religious institutions to provide prescription contraceptives for their employees. 

 

Catholic League president William Donohue strongly supports the lawsuit and explains why:

 

“New York State legislators are to blame for this lawsuit.  Had they acceded to the requests of Catholic bishops to allow an exemption for religious institutions that object to prescription contraceptives, no court action would have been necessary.  Now it will be up to the judiciary to uphold the First Amendment right of Catholic institutions to exercise their religious liberty options. 

 

“What is driving this issue is not contraception—it’s abortion.  The abortion industry has no more use for the Catholic Church than it has for innocent babies.  What it wants is for the state to impose the will of abortionists on the Catholic Church.  It deplores diversity and has no respect for the First Amendment right to religious liberty.  From the beginning, the abortion movement in this country has been expressly anti-Catholic and this latest issue is just one more example of its zealotry.

 

“The Catholic League stands with the bishops in fighting for the right of Catholic entities to exercise their doctrinal prerogatives free from the heavy hand of the state.  Just as it would be wrong for a religious institution to determine health-care standards for state employees, it is equally wrong for the state to decide such standards for religious institutions.  We look to the courts to remedy this situation without delay.”



December 27, 2002
 

HATE GROUP CLAIMS TO HAVE CLONED BABY GIRL

 

Brigitte Boisselier, the head of Clonaid, said today her company is responsible for the world’s first cloned human baby; the company is tied to a religious group by the name Raelian.

 

Catholic League president William Donohue addressed both the cloning issue and the bigotry associated with Raelians:

 

“A woman who calls herself a Raelian ‘bishop’ holds a press conference alleging that her company has cloned the first human.  She will not say where the baby was born and admits she has no evidence to share at this time that would substantiate her claim.  Fortunately, not everything about Raelian is a mystery.  Here’s what we know.

 

“The central link between the cloning company, Clonaid, and the religious group, Raelian, is Claude Vorilhon.  He is both the founder of the company and the head of the group known as Raelians; he goes by the name Rael.  He claims that in the 1970s he met with aliens who arrived by way of a UFO.  They told him they used genetic engineering to create the universe and he believed them hook, line and sinker.  Sounds nuts but I didn’t make this up.

 

“Here’s some more info about the Raelians.  There is good news for hedonists, African Americans and Jews: Raelians are for free love and oppose racism and anti-Semitism.  But there is bad news for Catholics: they hate them.

 

“Raelians advocate cross burnings to protest Catholicism; they’ve blanketed Canada telling Catholic schoolchildren they must renounce their faith; they’ve posted anti-Catholic signs outside Catholic schools; they’ve appealed to the U.N. to denounce the Holy See; they want the Vatican sued for ‘crimes against humanity’; they’ve mocked Catholics during Gay Pride Parades; and so on.

 

“In short, Raelians have no respect for the sacredness of human life and treat baby sheep with greater kindness than they do Catholics.”



December 26, 2002
 

LONG ISLAND PASTORS NOTIFIED OF NEWSDAY’S

DEFENSE OF BRESLIN’S BIGOTRY AND DISTORTIONS

 

In addition to sending this news release to those on the Catholic League’s media list, this one is being faxed to all 134 Catholic parishes in Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.  Catholic League president William Donohue explained why he is taking this unusual step:

 

“Jimmy Breslin is out of control and Newsday is irresponsible for not firing him.  It is one thing to write critically of the Catholic Church, quite another to slander the Church and its leaders.  In 2002, Breslin wrote 31 articles mentioning the Catholic Church and all 31 are sprinkled with his venom.  Disdain and derision mark his comments about the pope, cardinals, bishops and pastors, and outright falsehoods are relentlessly told about Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre.

 

“Breslin is so far gone he doesn’t even know the names of those whom he bashes.  His latest screed attacking the Catholic Church, which Newsday deliberately ran on Christmas Eve, mentions ‘Cardinal John Law.’  But there is no one by that name in the Catholic Church.  This is, sadly, emblematic of a deeper problem: for whatever reason, Breslin’s ability to write cogently and to remember basic facts has deteriorated greatly in recent years.

 

Newsday’s publisher, Raymond Jansen, defends this man by saying, ‘Obviously, Mr. Breslin is angry.’  That is exactly what he told Rev. Msgr. Daniel S. Hamilton of Our Lady of Perpetual Help when Msgr. Hamilton wrote a rational letter of complaint to Jansen.  In short, Newsday has decided to stand by its man.  All Catholics on Long Island need to know this; the Catholic League will get the word out.

 

“How ironic it is that Newsday continues to employ a man whom they had to suspend for two weeks in 1990 because of his sexism and racism.  Breslin was suspended for calling a 25 year-old Korean Newsday reporter a ‘yellow cur,’ ‘slant-eyed’ ‘c---.’  Breslin can now add anti-Catholic to his resume of racism and sexism.  And this is the man Newsday defends.”



December 18, 2002

 

ATTEMPTS TO SANITIZE CHRISTMAS

OCCUR IN PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTORS ALIKE

 

Catholic League president William Donohue today listed recent attempts to sanitize Christmas in both the private and public sectors:

 

·        Every year on New York’s Park Avenue the Helmsley Building nightly features a huge display of lights in the shape of a cross.  This is the first year it has been discontinued.

·        GAP stores on the East Coast have banned Christmas decorations because they might make some feel “uncomfortable.”

·        For the first time in 30 years, a Rossmoor retirement community in Walnut Creek, California has banned a nativity scene.

·        The song “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” has been censored from this year’s Old Town School of Folk Music holiday party in Chicago because some Jews labeled it anti-Semitic.

·        All religious songs were forbidden by the Los Angeles Unified School District and replaced by tunes about snowballs.

·        Teachers in a public school in Sacramento, California have been told they are not allowed to utter the word “Christmas.”

·        Virginia Tech has issued a memo to all university employees warning that they “do not promote one cultural/religious tradition at the exclusion of another” and that they should “make all students and employees feel included.”

 

Yet it was reported this week that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to erase a stay of Justice John Paul Stevens’ ruling that Cincinnati could not ban a menorah from Fountain Square during the holidays.  It is because there is so much madness in the land that the Catholic League—after fighting with New York City for over a year—arranged to find a plaintiff for the Thomas More Law Center to sue New York for banning crèches from the public schools while allowing menorahs and crescents and stars.

 

It is so much bunk to say all religious displays must be banned because some feel excluded or uncomfortable.  Christians, who are 86 percent of the population, feel excluded and uncomfortable by this kind of censorship!  The answer is respect for diversity and free speech.

 



December 17, 2002
 

DEMOCRATIC HOPEFULS FOR THE PRESIDENCY

ASKED TO OPPOSE DNC’S ANTI-CATHOLIC BIGOTRY

 

Catholic League president William Donohue has written a letter to Democratic hopefuls for the presidency in 2004 asking them to oppose the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) association with an anti-Catholic organization, Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC); the DNC provides a link on its website to CFFC.  His letter has been sent to the following: Senator Thomas Daschle; Governor Howard Dean; Senator John Edwards; Congressman Richard Gephardt; Senator John Kerry; Senator Joseph Lieberman; and Rev. Al Sharpton. 

 

The closing paragraphs of Donohue’s letter are as follows:

 

The Catholic League is strictly non-partisan.  I spoke out against George W. Bush on the Bob Jones matter and went on the “Today Show” to accept his apology.  I led the fight against the Republicans when they unfairly treated a Catholic priest in his bid for the House Chaplain post (the priest did not get the job but another one did, thus becoming the first Catholic to hold this position).  In short, we are neither Republican nor Democrat at the Catholic League: our job is to fight Catholic bashing whenever and wherever it occurs.

 

You are in a particularly critical spot to help Catholics.  By publicly opposing the DNC’s link with Catholics for a Free Choice, you could have a direct impact on its willingness to continue this affiliation.  And it would certainly endear yourself to Catholics.

 

Catholic newspapers all over the country have been following our protest of the DNC-CFFC link and I have garnered the help of many Catholics, Protestants and Jews on this issue.  All we want is for the DNC to drop CFFC from its website.  In a time when Republican notables are being questioned about their sentiments towards African Americans, it is more important now than ever before that everyone who either holds or seeks positions of high office stand strongly against bigotry of every kind.



December 16, 2002

 

CATHOLIC LEAGUE’S NATIVITY SCENE

ERECTED IN CENTRAL PARK

 

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights erected a nativity scene today in New York’s Central Park.  Every year the Catholic League obtains a permit from the Parks Department of the City of New York allowing us to put up a manger scene on the corner of 59th Street and 5th Avenue.  It will be blessed today at 4:00 p.m. by Msgr. John Woolsey, pastor of St. John the Martyr in Manhattan; it will be taken down on December 30.

 

Catholic League president William Donohue issued the following remarks today:
 

“It is of symbolic importance to erect a crèche in Central Park: it represents an important public statement signifying the religious roots of Christmas.  Those who truly believe in diversity will be pleased with our nativity scene.  Those who are aghast at this display need to pray for tolerance. 

 

“Last week the Catholic League helped to arrange a lawsuit by the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, suing New York City for prohibiting the display of a manger scene in the public schools.  The lawsuit claims religious discrimination because the City allows the display of Jewish and Islamic religious symbols in the schools (the menorah and the crescent and star).  How ironic it is that the Parks Department of New York City allows us to put up a crèche in Central Park and New York’s Department of Education bans it in the schools.  It is our hope that the courts will educate New York education officials about the immorality of religious discrimination.”  



December 13, 2002

 

CARDINAL LAW’S RESIGNATION

 

Catholic League president William Donohue addressed what Cardinal Bernard Law’s resignation means to most Catholics:

 

“Most Catholics are greeting the resignation of Cardinal Law with a sigh of relief and sadness.  While no one blames Cardinal Law for the entire scandal in the Church, his departure nonetheless represents an important step towards recapturing the trust of the laity.  Now the mending process can proceed with alacrity.

 

“There is a small, but vocal, minority for whom nothing will ever satisfy.  SNAP president Barbara Blaine, ex-priest and psychotherapist Richard Sipe and victims’ attorney Mitchell Garabedian are already whining and making new demands.  Worse, some are given to reckless charges against the Church.  Take, for example, the recent remarks of a radical group called the Coalition of Catholics and Survivors.  They have accused the pope of ordering a coverup of the sex-abuse allegations. 

 

“Their so-called smoking gun theory boils down to this: the pope in 1999 recommended that a defrocked priest ought not return to the area where he committed his offenses.  They take this eminently sensible advice and use it as a hammer to bludgeon the pope.  Just so everyone understands what’s going on here, what the pope did was to say that a former priest—someone who had been returned to the status of a layman—ought to start a new life in a new location.  Isn’t this what parole boards recommend to released inmates—that they not return to the neighborhood that nurtured their maladies?  Shame on Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly and others for disseminating this mindless charge.

 

“Finally, some are already beating the war drums going after bishops of other dioceses.  This is absurd: everyone knows that no other diocese in the nation was qualitatively or quantitatively comparable to Boston.  To suggest otherwise is to play into the hands of Fifth-Column Catholics.”



December 11, 2002

 

TERRY McAULIFFE’S SELECTIVE INTEREST IN BIGOTRY

  

Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Terry McAuliffe is calling on Republican leaders to “denounce” the recent statements made by Senator Trent Lott regarding the record of Senator Strom Thurmond. 

 

Catholic League president William Donohue shot back today:
 

“There is no question that what Senator Trent Lott said was inexcusable.  But it is the height of arrogance and hypocrisy to hear Terry McAuliffe lecture others on their need to denounce bigotry.  This is the same man who refuses to break his ties with anti-Catholic bigotry: the DNC still maintains a link on its website to a professed anti-Catholic organization, Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC).  As I have repeatedly said, it is the anti-Catholic words and deeds of CFFC president Frances Kissling that the Catholic League, along with the U.S. bishops, condemns. 

 

“Our protest of Kissling’s Catholic bashing has triggered an avalanche of letters and phone calls from Catholics and non-Catholics alike directed at Terry McAuliffe.  Yet he stubbornly refuses to break his association with her.  Now he has the gall to demand that others condemn Senator Lott for his admittedly irresponsible comments.  What Lott did was bad, but it was a one-shot deal for which he has apologized.  What McAuliffe has done has now dragged on for six months and he shows no signs of remorse or changes in his conduct. 

 

“What price Senator Lott will pay for his remarks, I do not know.  But I know one thing—it is the firm position of the Catholic League that we will hound this issue of the DNC’s support for anti-Catholicism right up to and including the Democratic National Convention.  We are busy on many fronts these days but we will not let go of this matter until someone gets McAuliffe to drop CFFC from its website altogether.”



December 10, 2002

 

NEW YORK CITY SUED FOR RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION

 

A lawsuit has been filed by the Thomas More Law Center against the City of New York, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and another school official challenging the Department of Education’s policy regarding “Holiday Displays”: the policy allows the display of the Jewish Menorah and the Islamic Star and Crescent while banning the Christian religious holiday symbol, the Nativity Scene.  Catholic League president William Donohue helped arrange the lawsuit and issued the following remarks today:

 

“Last December and January, I wrote several letters to then-Schools Chancellor Harold Levy and Chad Vignola, General Counselor to the Chancellor, protesting the Department of Education’s ‘Holiday Display’ policy.  That policy expressly allows the display of ‘secular holiday symbol decorations’ such as ‘Christmas trees, Menorahs and the Star and Crescent.’  It was this policy that was used to justify the banning of a Nativity Scene.  But it is disingenuous to maintain that the Menorah is not as fully religious in heritage as the Nativity Scene is (the Thomas More brief also asserts the religious nature of the Star and Crescent).

 

“The disagreement I had with Mr. Vignola on this matter did not result in a lawsuit last year because I did not have time to find a plaintiff that would grant us standing.  But we did find someone early this year, Andrea Skoros, a Catholic League member from Queens.  I then contacted my friend at the Thomas More Law Center in Michigan, Richard Thompson (the Center’s president), to see if he wanted to take the case.  He agreed and put attorney Robert Muise on it.  So when the Catholic League learned this fall that Mr.Vignola was not going to change the ‘Holiday Display’ policy, a decision to file suit was made.

 

“It is outrageous that New York City public school officials allow some religious symbols in the schools every December while banning others.  Catholics are sick and tired of being discriminated against by bureaucrats who tell us we should be satisfied with a Christmas tree in the schools.  No, we want the real thing—the manger scene—and will not accept a secular substitute.  All we want is parity with Jews and Muslims.”



December 6, 2002
 

MENORAH BANNED IN FAIR LAWN, NEW JERSEY;

BOGUS RATIONALE OFFERED

 

Rabbi Levi Neubort’s request to have a menorah placed next to a holiday display in front of Borough Hall in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, has been rejected by the borough council.  Borough Attorney Richard Lustgarten said he was following legal precedent.  He also said that putting up a menorah would open the doors of Borough Hall to “hate groups such as the neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, other race supremacists, and other groups that have a non-mainstream theme.”

 

Catholic League president William Donohue wasn’t buying it:

 

“No one in public life wants to admit to bigotry, so when bigoted decisions are made, spin follows.  It’s amazing—the display of pornographic art will be defended in a public park on the grounds of free speech and the remedy cited to those who are offended is ‘avert your eyes.’  Yet when a religious symbol is placed in the same spot, the First Amendment is thrown to the wind and the remedy of averting your eyes is labeled inadequate.

 

“One week ago today, U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens declared that the city of Cincinnati could not bar a Jewish organization from displaying a menorah on a downtown plaza during the holidays.  Now either the members of the Borough council in Fair Lawn do not read the newspapers or they are willfully ignorant of the law.  In either case, local residents need to remember this at the next election.

 

“It is so bogus to maintain that if Jews are allowed to put up a menorah, Nazis will be next in line.  If this were true, then there would be plenty of precedents: townships across the country that do not practice intolerance have erected menorahs and manger scenes for years without local Hitlerians taking over their parks.  Moreover, there is no reason to believe that the Imperial Wizard of the KKK is waiting in the wings in Fair Lawn.

 

“What is needed is a lawsuit.  We hope Rabbi Neubort goes that route.”



December 5, 2002


NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN “HOLIDAY WARS”

 

Yesterday, the Catholic League issued a news release on the “holiday wars” over the display of crèches and menorahs on public property.  The release stated, among other things, that a menorah had been banned from display in public land in Watchung, New Jersey; it also said that in Airmont, New York, a crèche had been banned. 

 

But now a Jewish group, the Watchung Memorial Lighting Group, is seeking an injunction in the courts to block the town from enforcing its ruling.  And in Airmont, Mayor John Layne has pledged to add a crèche to its annual holiday display.  He disputes a newspaper account that implied he would not accede to requests to erect a manger scene; it was never his intent to do so in the first place. 

 

On a related matter, the Catholic League commented on December 2 that U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens had ruled on November 29 that the city of Cincinnati could not grant itself exclusive use of Fountain Square during the holiday season, thereby banning crèches and menorahs.  The city has now decided to appeal this ruling to all nine members of the high court.

 

Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:

 

“We are delighted that a Jewish group in Watchung, New Jersey, is standing up for its rights in challenging those who would deny them their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  We are similarly delighted to learn that Mayor John Layne never had any intention of banning a manger scene from the holiday display; a conversation I personally had with him today clarified this matter in a most satisfactory manner.

 

“With regard to the city of Cincinnati, the brazenness of these public officials is astounding.  It’s time the whole court taught them a definitive lesson on the First Amendment.

 

“We will continue to monitor this issue throughout the Christmas season and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure justice for all.” 



December 4, 2002
 

RIPPING UP THE RELIGIOUS ROOTS OF CHRISTMAS

 

Catholic League president William Donohue offered the following observations today on attempts to rip up the religious roots of Christmas:

 

“The controversy over the display of religious symbols on public property has already begun.  While the U.S. Supreme Court has not spoken with clarity on this issue, there is some settled ground that public officials can repair to in making decisions.  For example, in 1984 the high court said it was okay to have a city-sponsored nativity scene as long as it was part of a larger secular holiday display.  In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled that it was okay to display a menorah on public property because it was situated next to a secular symbol (a Christmas tree) but it was not okay to put a crèche standing by itself on public property.  In any event, the current status in the U.S. is troubling.

 

“In New York City, a menorah and a crèche (the latter owned by the Catholic League) are allowed to be erected in Central Park.  In Chicago, Daley Plaza is home to both religious symbols.  But in Airmont, New York, menorahs are allowed and crèches are banned.  The same is true in Birmingham, Michigan.  In this instance, the town’s mayor, Seth Chafetz, has unwittingly insulted Christians by saying his city is a model of ‘tolerance and diversity’ because it allows a menorah and a Christmas tree.  He mistakenly drew on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court decision in 1986 that banned the nativity scene from being erected in front of City Hall in Birmingham because it was not adorned by secular symbols.  In short, he could okay a crèche in the same spot as the menorah. 

 

“Portland (Maine) City Hall’s Ganley Plaza gives a green light to a menorah but a red light to a nativity scene (it is relegated to other public parks).  Watchung, New Jersey, has banned a menorah from the town circle but is allowing a Christmas tree.  And so on.

 

“The Catholic League believes the state has no business allowing some religious symbols on public property while denying others.”



December 3, 2002
 

DAVID E. KELLEY LASHES OUT AGAIN:

“BOSTON PUBLIC” USED TO VENT HIS BIGOTRY

 

Last night’s Fox TV show, “Boston Public,” featured a reckless boy who admits to his concerned teacher that he has been sexually abused by a priest, Father Egan.  It turns out that the molesting priest previously abused the boy’s teacher, Danny Hanson.  Hanson then confronts Father Egan threatening him with violence.  The next episode will continue the storyline.  The show is the creative work of producer David E. Kelley.

 

Catholic League president William Donohue remarked as follows:
 

“There is no one in Hollywood who hates the Catholic Church more than David E. Kelley.  We know this by his acts: he has written or produced more anti-Catholic shows than any of his peers.  Less than a month ago, I issued a news release titled, ‘David E. Kelley’s Obsession With Catholicism.’  It addressed the November 10 episode of the ABC show, ‘The Practice.’  Like last night’s attack, this episode drew on the scandal in the Catholic Church for script.

 

“It cannot be argued that Kelley is a master of adapting current events for TV material.  For instance, he has shown no interest in portraying Muslims as terrorists.  To do so would be to invite charges of stereotyping Muslims, and this is one sin Kelley avoids like hell.  But when it comes to painting an ugly face on Catholic priests, he shows his masterful credentials.  More important, Kelley did not need the scandal to vent his bigotry—he’s been doing it for years.  Consider this: the November 9, 2000 episode of ‘Boston Public’ painted the Catholic Church as anti-gay.  Yet for some reason, Kelley’s interest in the role of gays in the Church never extends to portraying gay priests as molesters.  This is another sin Kelley avoids like hell.

 

“The scandal in the Catholic Church is of its own doing.  But the outburst of anti-Catholicism that has come in its wake is not.  If it is wrong to bash X for its dirty laundry, why is it acceptable to make exceptions for the Catholic Church?  After all, 99.3 percent of priests are in good standing.  This should matter, even to the likes of David E. Kelley.”



December 2, 2002
 

SUPREME COURT PERMITS 

HOLIDAY DISPLAYS ON PUBLIC PROPERTY

  

On November 29, U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens ruled that the city of Cincinnati cannot bar the display of a menorah on a downtown plaza during the holidays.  The municipal ordinance that was overturned said that only the city can use Fountain Square during the last two weeks of November through the first week of January.  Stevens, who oversees the Sixth Circuit, upheld U.S. District Court Judge Susan Dlott’s ruling that the city could not grant itself exclusive use of the square during the holidays; Stevens overruled an appeals court decision blocking the display of the menorah.

 

Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:

 

“The Catholic League is delighted with this Supreme Court ruling.  Now is the time for Christians and Jews to demand that all municipalities accommodate public displays of religious symbols during the holiday season.  Supreme Court Justice Stevens has given us

the green light to proceed and it is up to the rest of us to get the job done.

 

“U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott was right to say that the city’s ban was ‘offensive.’  It was also a frightening reminder of just how intolerant many public officials are of the concept of diversity.  Moreover, no one should be fooled when separation of church and state zealots cloak their contempt for the public expression of religion by invoking terms like ‘inclusive.’  To wit: Balboa Park officials in San Diego justified changing the name of a holiday event from Christmas on the Prado to Balboa Park December Nights by saying the new name was more ‘inclusive.’  The truth is the name was changed because of an anti-religious animus.  But to admit to this is to admit to bigotry.

 

“As we do every holiday season, the Catholic League will closely monitor how public officials handle this issue.  What we want is an even playing field: where a menorah has been displayed, a nativity scene should follow.  A Christmas tree is no substitute for a crèche.”



November 26, 2002
  

MURDER OF CHICAGO CATHOLIC WOMAN

SHOWS FUTILITY OF FBI HATE CRIME REPORT

 

Yesterday, the FBI released its annual report on hate crimes; it reported a 21 percent increase between 2000 and 2001.  Recently, a 51 year-old Chicago Catholic woman was murdered by a 19 year-old man because he objected to the woman’s questioning of his homosexual lifestyle. 

 

Catholic League president William Donohue connected the two events:

 

“The FBI says that for an act to be dubbed a hate crime it must be determined that hate speech accompanies intimidation in the commission of a crime.  It is clear to nearly everyone that such determinations are highly subjective and open to serious abuse.  That is why the Catholic League opposes hate crime legislation: ascertaining motive is difficult enough but it is further complicated in today’s highly-charged milieu of political correctness. 

 

“To demonstrate the utter futility of hate crime legislation, consider what happened to Mary Stachowicz.  On November 13, after she received Holy Communion at St. Hyacinth Catholic Church, she walked across the street to volunteer at a funeral home.  Above the funeral home is Nicholas Gutierrez’s apartment; he is a janitor at the funeral home.  It was in his apartment that an argument took place about the young man’s gay lifestyle.  Mary asked, ‘Why do you [have sex with] boys instead of girls?’  This was enough to provoke Gutierrez to mutilate her with a knife, place a plastic garbage bag over her head, strangle her and then jam her body in a crawl space under the floor of his apartment.

 

“A few thoughts on this matter: a) this will not be listed as a hate crime, thus showing how useless this category of crime is b) the killer is going to be charged with a capital offense, thus showing once again how useless this category of crime is c) Mary Stachowicz will never be remembered the way Matthew Shepard is, thus showing how politically corrupt the whole concept of hate crime legislation really is.  The fact is she was murdered for having a Catholic-informed conscience.”



November 22, 2002
 

AMERICANS UNITED WASHES THE FACE OF A BIGOT

 

On November 15, Dr. Glenn L. Archer died at the age of 96.  In 1948, he served as the first executive director of Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State; he held this post until he retired in 1976 (the organization changed its name to Americans United for Separation of Church and State in 1982). 

 

Yesterday, Barry Lynn, the current executive director of Americans United, issued a statement saying, “Glenn Archer was a figure of towering energy and intellect” and cited him as “a strong defender of religious liberty through the separation of church and state.”

 

Catholic League president William Donohue does not agree:

 

“Barry Lynn’s appraisal of Glenn Archer is incomplete.  As with anyone, no doubt there was a good side to Archer, but it remains undeniably true that he used his ‘towering energy and intellect’ to bash Catholicism. 

 

“It was under Archer’s tutelage that the Roman Catholic hierarchy was dubbed in 1949 as being ‘more dangerous and clever than communism.’  That this was said after Stalin had murdered tens of millions of his own people—starving the Ukrainians to death in the world’s first man-made famine—is truly astonishing.  It was Archer who petitioned the FCC to deny TV licenses to Jesuits because they were ‘an alien organization.’  It was Archer who demanded that cardinals in the Catholic Church have their citizenship revoked.  And it was Archer who asked the House Un-American Activities Committee to investigate ‘the intentions, scope and achievements of Vatican espionage here,’ charging that the Catholic clergy had learned ‘American secrets hardly anyone except the president knows.’

 

“Not to acknowledge that Archer was an inveterate Catholic basher who received his largest per capita contributions from Christian Scientists, Seventh-day Adventists and Jews is to wash the face of a bigot.”



November 21, 2002
 

TAMPA TRIBUNE KEEPS BIGOT ON PAYROLL

 

On November 18, Tampa Tribune columnist Daniel Ruth wrote a column questioning the relationship between Governor Jeb Bush’s religion (he is a convert to Catholicism) and his suitability for public office.  Bush supports school prayer, limits on abortion, school vouchers and the like. 

 

As Ruth sees it, “if Jeb Bush appears for his second inaugural wearing a miter, vestments and carrying a staff, one might conclude he has taken this whole ‘Christian conservative political agenda’ thing just a pinch too far.”  Ruth implores readers to remember that Bush “was re-elected governor of Florida, not vicar general”; Bush, he says, should recall he “won an election, not a canonization.”  Ruth also warns that Bush might “turn the state into a regulatory theocracy.”  Finally, Ruth mocks Bush for converting to Catholicism saying, “he missed out on all the fun of having the living daylights beaten out of him as a child by the Sisters of Holy Inquisition.”

 

Here’s how Catholic League president William Donohue responded:
 

“Imagine a columnist from a mainstream newspaper questioning Joseph Lieberman’s Jewishness and his suitability for public office.  Lieberman, after all, is a rabid defender of Israel and partial-birth abortion, two issues that are popular among Jews.  Let’s go further: ‘If Joseph Lieberman appears for his next inaugural wearing a yarmulke, Star of David and prayer shawl, one might conclude he has taken this whole Jewish liberal political agenda thing just a pinch too far.’  Or this: ‘It is worth remembering that Lieberman was re-elected senator of Connecticut, not Chief Rabbi.’  Picture this: ‘Lieberman might turn the state into a regulatory theocracy.’  Finally, because Lieberman never converted to Islam, ‘he missed out on all the fun of learning how brutal and oppressive the imperialist theocratic-state of Israel really is.’

 

“Ruth is more than a bigot, he’s a hypocrite.  He wants professors fired for views he abhors (see Tampa Tribune, Aug. 25) yet he regularly abuses his own free speech rights.”



November 18, 2002
 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD STYMIES SEX REPORTING BILL;

BISHOPS ARE ERRONEOUSLY BLAMED

  

New York State does not have a law that mandates the clergy to report sex abuse crimes to the authorities.  This has led some public persons to criticize Catholic bishops for the exemption.  Just last week, Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro blasted the new norms on sex abuse that were approved by the U.S. bishops and called for new state legislation that would add the clergy to the list of mandatory reporters of child abuse.

 

Catholic League president William Donohue spoke to this issue today:

 

“I am writing to every member of the New York State legislature urging him to mandate all professionals to report instances of the sexual abuse of minors to the authorities.  In doing so I will also address the reason why a bill of this nature has been stymied by Planned Parenthood and its allies.

 

“When a comprehensive bill on this issue was put forth last June, it was put on hold because of opposition from Family Planning Advocates, the lobbying arm of Planned Parenthood, and the New York Civil Liberties Union.  They objected to having abortion providers report instances of statutory rape to the authorities.  And with good reason: a recent study showed that 91 percent of Planned Parenthood staff members currently do not report such cases to the authorities.

 

“People like Jeanine Pirro are more than dishonest when they suggest that it is the bishops who are holding things up—they are literally giving cover to those who work in the abortion industry. 

 

“It is time for everyone to put his cards on the table.  If the real issue is protecting minors, then everyone should be blanketed by the same law.  But if the real issue is to ‘get the priests,’ then the exemption for the abortion industry will shamefully continue.  It is time to pull the mask off the Pirros of this world and force them to come clean.”



November 15, 2002
 

NANCY PELOSI—“CONSERVATIVE CATHOLIC”?

 

On yesterday’s CNN show, “Inside Politics,” Nancy Pelosi said, “Yes, I’m a liberal Democrat, but I’m a conservative Catholic.”  Her comment was also cited in today’s edition of USA Today. 

 

Catholic League president William Donohue found this amusing:

 

“Nancy Pelosi, the new Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, has voted against school vouchers and the Faith-Based Initiative.  When it comes to abortion, no one in the U.S. Congress has a more extreme record than she does.  Whether the issue is parental consent or partial-birth abortion, she can always be counted on to deliver a proabortion vote.  Yet she calls herself a ‘conservative Catholic.’  It would be instructive to know what she considers a liberal Catholic to be.

 

“It’s actually worse than this.  The October 12 edition of the PBS program, ‘To the Contrary,’ showed Pelosi playing host to anti-Catholics.  Frances Kissling and other staff members of the notoriously anti-Catholic organization Catholics for a Free Choice, were featured walking out of Pelosi’s office after a lobbying session. 

 

“Pelosi’s contacts with these anti-Catholics is nothing new: in 1995 she was critical of the U.S. bishops for blasting Kissling’s outfit as anti-Catholic.  At that time, the bishops objected to the inclusion of Kissling’s group at the U.N. Conference on Women that was to be held in Beijing.  In reference to Kissling, William Cardinal Keeler, then head of the bishops’ conference, said ‘To use the name Catholic to promote the taking of innocent life is offensive.’  Pelosi defended Kissling saying ‘Many women are concerned about freedom of speech and association at the conference.  Accreditation should not be a politicized process.’  It is not surprising, then, that Pelosi refuses to condemn the DNC for its support for Kissling’s group today.

 

“In short, Pelosi’s spin game is insulting.  No conservative Catholic we know okays the killing of kids 80 percent born.”



November 15, 2002
 

CATHOLIC BAITING ON LONG ISLAND:

NEWS 12 OFFENDS & LAWMAKER JACOBS COMES CLOSE

  

Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon has come under fire for recommending a bill that would mandate all professionals to report cases of sexual abuse.  Last April Nassau lawmakers passed a law requiring the clergy to report such cases but did not extend it to cover teachers, abortion providers, school coaches et al. 

 

Judy Jacobs, Presiding Officer of the Nassau legislature, recently said Dillon’s interest in mandating that abortion providers be required to report cases of sexual abuse “crossed the line between his personal beliefs and upholding the law.”  In response, Catholic League president William Donohue wrote to Nassau lawmakers saying that Jacobs’ remark “comes dangerously close to suggesting that Dillon’s Catholicism is getting in the way of his professional duties.”  Yesterday, Jacobs criticized Dillon again, saying his antiabortion position accounts for his interest in this bill.  She then said, “If he hasn’t crossed the line, he’s come dangerously close.”

 

Last night News 12 covered this story noting Dillon’s interest in expanding the bill to cover abortion providers.  It was even more blunt than Jacobs: a reporter found it necessary to inject that Dillon is “a staunch supporter of the Catholic Church.”

 

Catholic League president William Donohue addressed  this issue today:

 

“News 12 ought to stop with the Catholic baiting immediately.  Judy Jacobs is getting a little too cute for us as well: she ought to stick to the issue at hand without making oblique references to Dillon’s religion.

 

“It is unfathomable that any media outlet on Long Island, or any public office holder, would ever play this game with a Jewish D.A.  News 12 and Jacobs cannot reasonably argue that what they are doing is providing a descriptive: what they are doing is using Dillon’s Catholicism as a red flag implying he is violating the principle of separation of church and state.  This is Catholic baiting, pure and simple.”



November 13, 2002
  

BISHOPS ADOPT A PRINCIPLED POLICY
  

Catholic League president William Donohue commented on the sexual abuse policy passed today by the U.S. bishops:

 

“Virtually every Catholic in the nation has been greatly upset this year by all the scandalous news about the Catholic Church.  In some parts of the country, emotions turned to anger as outrageous stories about molesting priests and enabling bishops were being reported daily. 

 

“What the bishops did today, however, will go a long way towards restoring the trust of the rank and file.  The final document that was approved is a principled statement that is a model of fairness to all parties.  We commend the bishops, especially those who worked on the revisions, for producing a document that is canonically sound and organizationally effective.  Their goal has been justice for all and that is what they delivered today.

 

“The central message of the new policy is this: There will be no more tolerance for intolerable behavior.  The kids come first.  At the same time, however, the bishops made it clear that this will not be done at the expense of tossing overboard the rights of the accused.  This is just the kind of symmetry fair-minded Catholics have wanted and now they have it. 

 

“Not everyone, however, is fair-minded.  Those who have agendas—for example, those who reject the Church’s teachings on sexuality—are already complaining.  That’s because all they want is power.  The media give them a stage but most Catholics are repelled by them.

 

“As a lay Catholic organization, the Catholic League treasures the role of the laity in the Catholic Church.  But unlike those with agendas, we do not seek to govern the Church.  Indeed, such hubris is the mark of a small band of half-educated but fully politicized whiners.  Nothing will ever satisfy them—nothing save turning the Catholic Church inside out.”



November 12, 2002
 

DATA ON PRIESTLY SEXUAL ABUSE DESERVES SCRUTINY

 

An AP story that was just released reports that a group led by Paul Baier, Survivors First, has listed the names of 573 U.S. priests who have faced public accusations of child sex abuse since 1996.  The group claims to possess the names of 2,100 clerics in its database and boasts that it also lists the names of priests who have been falsely accused.

 

Here’s what league president William Donohue said about this today:

 

“Last Friday, Paul Baier said he was going to release the names of 800 priests who have either been convicted or have had allegations made against them for sexual abuse.  This morning Baier said the figure had been scaled back to over 600 and now he’s adjusted the figure to 573. 

 

“This area is fraught with difficulties.  To begin with, there is a profound difference between the guilty and the accused, though Baier is apparently unimpressed.  Included in his database are seminarians as well: he lumps them in with priests, thus giving a false impression.  Regarding falsely accused priests, Survivors First lists a grand total of three!

 

“The website of Survivors First has a link to Linkup, another victim-advocacy group.  Using the most absurd arithmetical model imaginable, Linkup contends that ‘as many as 10,076,800 people have been victimized by priests.’  It is not clear how the handful of priests found guilty (99.3 percent of priests currently have no charges against them) ever had time to eat, never mind attending to the sacraments.  It needs to be emphasized that a Washington Post survey (released in June) found that over the past four decades, less than 1.5 percent of the estimated 60,000 priests have been accused of child sexual abuse. 

 

“What’s behind the disparity in the figures?  Politics.  Baier is currently seeking to employ a lawyer for the purpose of finding ‘a loophole in any Vatican treaties’ and supports the idea of having members of Voice of the Faithful (of which he is a founding member) withhold donations to their parish every first Sunday.  In short, this guy’s got an agenda.”



November 8, 2002


 

DAVID E. KELLEY’S OBSESSION WITH CATHOLICISM

 

This Sunday’s episode of the ABC show, “The Practice,” uses the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church for script.  According to the show’s writer, David E. Kelley, the purpose of this episode is to pose a question to Catholics: “Can Catholics adequately express their rage without quitting the church?”  

 

Catholic League president William Donohue answers Kelley this way:

 

“There is not much about the Catholic Church that David E. Kelley likes.  We know this because Kelley has been very busy over the years writing scripts that are highly critical of virtually every Church teaching on sexual ethics.  Like many former Catholics, Kelley just can’t pack it in and find another home.  So he hangs around.  His credentials include a series of Catholic-baiting shows he wrote for ‘Picket Fences’ and a slew of crabby shows he’s penned for ‘The Practice.’  Indeed, the very first month that ‘The Practice’ aired, Kelley unloaded on Catholicism. 

 

“To give him his due, Kelley has corresponded with me at some length on this issue and always in a congenial manner.  Yet he always returns to dish out more dirt.  Now the scandal in the Church has gripped him.  Indeed, he has several episodes on this issue scheduled.

 

“Kelley is not wrong to use the scandal for a script.  Nor would he be wrong to use the upswing in syphilis and AIDS among reckless gays as a script.  But this is not what interests him.  He wants to seize on the less than 1.5 percent of priests who have been guilty of sexual abuse over the last 40 years.  The fact that 99.3 percent of priests today are not even being questioned about sexual abuse means nothing to Kelley: there is a scandal in the Catholic Church and it is his job to exploit it.  That is why he irresponsibly casts a mother who will not allow her son to be baptized because in a few years he might be raped in the confessional.

 

“Here’s my answer to Kelley’s question: Yes, Catholics can adequately express their rage at the Church’s handling of this problem without quitting.  But I have a question for him: can he adequately express his contempt for Catholicism without showing his hand?”



November 8, 2002

BISHOPS SHOULD SHUN ROGUE CATHOLICS 
 

When the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) meets in Washington, November 11-14, they will be pressured by agenda-ridden Catholics to institute various reforms.  Addressing this issue today is Catholic League president William Donohue:
 

“Yesterday, I issued a news release that was highly supportive of the new norms regarding priestly sexual abuse that were written by the mixed U.S.-Vatican commission.  Today, I am making a statement that is highly critical of those who are condemning the work of the commission.

 

“Rogue Catholics should be ignored.  Who are they?  A good place to begin is by identifying the 22 reform groups who comprise Catholic Organizations for Renewal (COR).  This is a  motley crew of anti-Catholics (Catholics for a Free Choice) and those who are at war with the Church’s teachings on sexuality (all the rest).  They feign interest in reforming the Church when their real goal is to topple it. 

 

“Many Catholics these days are calling for a greater role for the laity.  The Catholic League stands with the bishops in insisting that this role should be advisory only.  Yet COR and others insist ‘The Vatican and U.S. bishops [every last one of them!] have simply lost their credibility as agents of due process’ and should therefore institute ‘impartial and independent lay review boards with deliberative power and the imperative to report directly to civil authority itself.’  This, of course, is just for starters.  As anyone who has tracked these disaffected Catholics knows, their goal is to reconstruct the Church from top to bottom.

 

“The National Review Board headed by Frank Keating and the Office for Child and Youth Protection headed by Kathleen McChesney will do what lay Catholics should do: act as monitors and facilitators.  Their role is not to govern the Church.  More important, the very last persons that any sensible Catholic would ever want governing the Church are the likes of rogue Catholics that comprise COR.”



November 7, 2002

 

REVISED NORMS AWAIT BISHOPS’ APPROVAL:

MIXED COMMISSION DOES A SUPERB JOB

 

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will meet in Washington, November 11-14, to vote on the revised sex abuse norms as written by the mixed U.S.-Vatican commission.  Commenting on the changes is league president William Donohue:

 

“Francis Cardinal George, who was one of four panel members from the U.S. who drafted the revisions, has said that the new norms are ‘fairer overall.’  Having read both the Dallas norms and the new ones, I can honestly say that no reasonable person would disagree with that assessment.  Cardinal George, Archbishop William Levada, Bishop Thomas Doran and Bishop William Lori, along with the Vatican contingent, did a magnificent job.  Bishop Wilton Gregory, who heads the USCCB, also deserves great praise.

 

“In many respects, the new norms are stronger than the Dallas ones.  First of all, they apply to all priests: the Dallas charter applied only to diocesan priests, leaving religious order priests—fully a third of the clergy—exempt from coverage.  Second, the new norms explicitly say that when ‘even a single act of sexual abuse’ is either admitted or established, the ‘priest or deacon will be removed permanently from ecclesiastical ministry, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state, if the case warrants.’  This is a no-nonsense approach.  So is the new emphasis on putting an end to the practice of transferring a guilty priest to another parish for ministerial assignment: it is specifically prohibited.

 

“Some are carping that the statute of limitations in the new norms are unfair.  But the standard—10 years past the age of 18—exceeds the time-line as conventionally understood by civil law.  Others are complaining that there will be a preliminary investigation before steps are taken to relieve an accused priest of his ministry.  That’s right—even priests have due process rights—so get used to it.  As for the role of the laity, their role is advisory—not in Church governance.

 

“The Catholic League looks forward to defending the new norms and debating the issue with its critics.”



November 6, 2002
 

“THE CRIME OF FATHER AMARO” IS THE SHAME

OF SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS AND THE DNC

 

When the Catholic League learned that a controversial new movie was to open in the U.S., “The Crime of Father Amaro,” we asked Samuel Goldwyn Films if we could preview it.  They graciously agreed.  The movie, which opens in select theaters on November 8, was previewed in New York on November 5 by Louis Giovino, the Catholic League’s director of communications.  He prepared a report for league president William Donohue who, in turn, issued the following news release today:

 

“Imagine a film script that is wholly fictitious and portrays in the most vicious way every member of the clergy introduced to the audience.  That’s right—there are no exceptions: if the clergy are not dishonest and corrupt, they are vile and abusive.  Is there anyone who wouldn’t question the motive of the writer and producer?  We do.  After all, it’s our religion that’s being assaulted in ‘The Crime of Father Amaro.’

 

“Here’s whom viewers meet: a) a bishop who abuses his powers to squelch a scandalous news story b) a hypocritical pastor who launders money and has an affair with his housekeeper c) a liberation-theology priest who is at once corrupt, supportive of guerillas and soft on abortion d) and Father Amaro.  He hits on a 16-year old catechism teacher, gets her pregnant, refuses to marry her and then gets her to have an abortion.  Oh, yes, she hemorrhages and dies.  Move over Bing Crosby—make way for Father Amaro.

 

“Scenes include an old eccentric woman who steals from the collection plate, spits out the Host at Mass and feeds it to her cat.  Then there is Father Amaro in the buff dressing his girl in a robe meant for the statue of the Blessed Mother commenting, you’re ‘more beautiful than the Virgin.’  And all the way through, celibacy is ridiculed.

 

“But guess who likes this flick?  The DNC’s favorite ‘Catholic’ organization, Catholics for a Free Choice (see the Autumn issue of Conscience, the group’s journal).  And the Democrats wonder why they are so hated these days.  When will Terry McAwful finally get it?”



November 6, 2002

 

CATHOLIC LEAGUE TO DNC’S McAWFUL:

WE’LL BE YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE IN 2004

 

Catholic League president William Donohue commented today on the league’s new strategy in dealing with the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) alliance with an anti-Catholic organization:

 

“Whether Terry McAwful (a.k.a. McAuliffe) is fired as the DNC’s chairman makes no difference to the Catholic League.  What does matter is the DNC’s obstinacy in defending anti-Catholicism.  For the past three months, the Catholic League has protested the DNC’s link with Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC), a notoriously anti-Catholic organization headed by Frances Kissling.  But the DNC won’t drop CFFC from its links page.

 

“There is little doubt that in close elections, neither party can afford to alienate its base.  Catholics, as everyone knows, hold the key to the White House and they are roughly evenly split between the Republicans and the Democrats.  The Catholic League is attached to neither party and has indeed fought both of them on several issues, ranging from the tricks the Republicans played in the House Chaplain issue to the tricks the DNC is currently playing with Kissling.  A prudent DNC chairman would have dumped Kissling by now but McAwful has chosen not to do so.  So he loses and, by extension, so does his party.

 

“Here is the Catholic League’s new strategy: over the next two years, our goal is to inform every Catholic in the United States about the support the DNC shows for anti-Catholicism.  Let me be clear about what we want.  If the DNC wants to support abortion rights, it can do so without getting any flak from the Catholic League.  While we are, of course, pro-life, it is not our job to fight abortion.  Our job is to fight anti-Catholicism and that is why we are adamantly opposed to the anti-Catholic efforts of Frances Kissling.  If the DNC continues to list CFFC anywhere on its webpage, it does so at its own peril: the Catholic League will be the DNC’s greatest nightmare in 2004.  We’re in this for the long haul and only a fool would doubt us.”
 



November 4, 2002

 

CANDIDATES CAMPAIGN IN CHURCHES

 

Over the weekend, Republicans and Democrats running for office campaigned in churches.  Catholic League president William Donohue commented on this today:

 

“Yesterday, candidates for public office campaigned in churches in many states, including Maryland, Virginia, Florida, New York, Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Tennessee.  Most of the churches were African American. 

 

“In some cases, candidates were literally endorsed from the pulpit.  For example, today’s Washington Post says that Maryland Bishop Harry R. Jackson of Hope Christian Church ‘gave the challenger [Christopher Van Hollen] an enthusiastic plug, and the mostly black congregation bathed him in applause.’  And in today’s Dallas Morning News, it says Rev. Joe Samuel Ratliff of Brentwood Baptist Church actually instructed the congregation to ‘vote for Ron Kirk’ [a Democratic candidate for office].

 

“Not all those who stumped in the churches were candidates: Bill Clinton and Al Gore campaigned for Democratic candidates in several churches.  And Donna Brazile of the Democratic National Committee went so far as to admit that ‘we have our literature for our churches.’

 

“This kind of rank electioneering in black churches would never be tolerated in Catholic churches.  That the zealots who worship at the altar of separation of church and state have gone mute only proves how utterly unprincipled they are.  But let a Catholic priest mention to the faithful that the life issues should be weighed carefully before voting and all hell breaks loose.  Finally, ministers disgrace themselves when they allow their churches to become the venue for a political rally.”



October 31, 2002

CATHOLIC LEAGUE TO NASSAU LEGISLATORS:
GRANT NO EXEMPTIONS TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD



Excerpts of a letter written today to Nassau County legislators by Catholic League president William Donohue appear below:

I understand the Nassau County legislature is considering legislation that would require clergy to report cases of sexual abuse involving minors. Such legislation makes sense but it is incomplete: it needs to be broadened so that non-clergy adults are included as well.

For example, last spring it was revealed that Planned Parenthood employees agreed to keep secret 91 percent of the reported cases of statutory rape that came to their attention.

Moreover, when Albany considered a mandated sexual abuse bill last June, it was opposed not by the New York State Catholic Conference but by the New York Civil Liberties Union and Family Planning Advocates. They thought it appropriate that the clergy be forced to report such cases but asked for an exemption for those engaged in medical and counseling services. Thus did they reveal their real agenda: get the clergy but give abortion counselors a pass.

Just as disturbing is the story in the October 31 edition of
Newsday that mentions the irresponsible comments of presiding officer Judith Jacobs. She lambastes Denis Dillon for suggesting that the sexual abuse bill being considered be extended to abortion providers as well. She charged that Dillon “crossed the line between his personal beliefs and upholding the law.” This comes dangerously close to suggesting that Dillon’s Catholicism is getting in the way of his professional duties.

If the bill being considered is not made inclusive to cover counselors, social workers, abortion providers et al., then it will be seen for what it is: political gamesmanship aimed at getting the clergy. It will also demonstrate the selective interest that lawmakers have in protecting minors from adult predators.


 

October 30, 2002

 

SANTA FE CHURCHES DID NOT VIOLATE IRS RULES

 

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate the Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe for violating IRS rules governing electioneering by churches. 

 

Americans United charges that Archbishop Michael Sheehan violated the tax-exempt status of the Church when he directed Catholic parishes to send a flier detailing how candidates in the New Mexico gubernatorial race voted on abortion.  The flier, prepared by the Right to Life Committee of New Mexico, listed Republican candidate John Sanchez as pro-life and Democratic challenger Bill Richardson as pro-abortion. 

 

In one of the parishes, Holy Child in Tijeras, a secretary typed in an additional few sentences saying that Richardson’s voting record “shows a lack of respect for human life,” thus indicating that “he would not serve the people of New Mexico on the life issues any better than he did as a congressman.”  Americans United is pressing the case as being analogous to the Pierce Creek case in 1995 which resulted in a forfeiture of the church’s tax exempt status.

 

Catholic League president William Donohue doesn’t see it this way:

 

“The reason why the Church of Pierce Creek in upstate New York lost in 1995 is because a) it was the voice of the institution and b) it flagrantly violated the law by running newspaper ads against presidential candidate Bill Clinton in 1992.  In the Santa Fe case, Rev. Bennett J. Voorhies, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, issued a flier on September 27 providing voting information on the candidates.  Not only was it totally legal, he specifically warned pastors against endorsing any candidate for public office.  The fact that a secretary in one of the 92 parishes added two unauthorized lines hardly makes this case analogous to Pierce Creek. 

 

“We find it interesting that candidate Bill Richardson, who is claiming victim status, literally campaigned in Mesa Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque on October 3.  Not surprisingly, Americans United has had absolutely nothing to say about this blatant abuse of the tax laws.”



October 29, 2002

 

DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE

DUMPS PORN SITE BUT KEEPS ANTI-CATHOLIC ONE

 

Yesterday, the Catholic League issued a news release on the existence of a hard-core teen porn site listed on the links section of the Democratic National Committee (DNC); the entry that connected the porn site was the Willie Velasquez Institute.  The DNC now says that it was unaware of the fact that this site began moving traffic to an unrelated site and has since corrected its website.

 

Catholic League president William Donohue commented on this today:

 

“Thanks to the Catholic League, the DNC has now adjusted its website to rid itself of pornography.  What it hasn’t rid itself of is bigotry.

 

“It may be that the porn website was inadvertently linked to the DNC.  But there is nothing resembling human error regarding the conscious decision of the DNC to provide a link with an anti-Catholic organization, Catholics for a Free Choice.  The DNC is guilty of playing games with Catholics: first it padded the ‘Catholic’ section with legitimate Catholic links, then it deleted both the section and Catholics for a Free Choice from its website altogether, then it added the bigoted organization to other sections—including one called ‘Religious Affiliated.’ 

 

“Scores of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and non-sectarian organizations are being mailed a letter today asking them to join with us in denouncing the DNC for its continued alliance with a Catholic-bashing organization. 

 

“We are working to subvert Frances Kissling’s efforts on many fronts.  I have already written to every member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child exposing the real agenda of Catholics for a Free Choice, thus disabling its efforts to undermine the Vatican.  We take particular joy in noting that Kissling’s scheduled talk at Holy Cross College has been cancelled.  No respectable organization—Catholic or not—would ever have anything to do with her.  Get the point, DNC?”



October 29, 2002

 

CBS DRAMAS EXPLOIT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

 

The October 26 edition of the CBS show, “The District,” was an hour-long drama based on the current scandal in the Catholic Church.  Viewers were introduced to molesting priests, diocesan cover-ups and the like.  It comes on the heels of another CBS show that dealt with the same subject, the October 21 edition of “CSI: Miami.” 

 

Catholic League president William Donohue explains why “The District” crossed the line and offers some remarks on CBS:

 

“It is one thing to use current issues as the basis of a TV script, quite another to have actors turn directly into the camera to deliver a caustic statement on a world religion.  That is exactly what happened last Saturday night on ‘The District.’  When detective Temple looked right into the camera and pronounced on the virtue of putting faith in the Lord—but not in an institution—he was offering propaganda designed to denigrate the Catholic Church. 

 

“Similarly, there is a scene where detective Debrino is pictured alone, peering into the camera, commenting on celibacy.  He opines that the discipline of celibacy is not God-given, but is rather a rule from the Middle Ages mandated by the Vatican to protect its economic assets.  He says it is ‘man who banned sex, not God.’

 

“There is a lot of dirt in the news these days about many racial, religious and ethnic groups.  But we will not see these current events made the object of a CBS script.  Catholic priests are another story.  It needs to be said that two-thirds of one percent of Catholic priests have stepped aside this year pending accusations against them.  No one knows how many perverts work at CBS, but even if it were determined that the figure exceeded one percent, it is a sure bet it would never morph into a script.

 

“In short, it is a lie to say that what CBS is doing is allowing art to imitate life.  As a matter of fact, the makers of ‘CSI: Miami’ said last week that they will postpone an episode on a sniper after what happened in the Beltway area.  This proves how duplicitous these guys really are.”



October 28, 2002

 

DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE

SPONSORS HARD-CORE TEEN PORN

 

The Catholic League has recently been monitoring the website of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).  At issue is the DNC’s determination to provide a link with an anti-Catholic organization on its website, Catholics for a Free Choice.  In the course of doing so, we have uncovered startling news: the DNC is openly sponsoring hard-core teen pornography.

 

In the “links” section, there is a category titled “Hispanic.”  The second to the last entry in this category is Willie Velasquez Institute.  Clicking on this entry leads to a hard-core teen porn site, www.wcvi.org.  On the home page are the pictures of four young women depicted in full frontal nudity with the inscription, “FREE, Live Amateur, Teen, Anal, Hardcore Picture SEX site.” 

 

Catholic League president William Donohue addressed this issue today:

 

“The DNC is spinning out of control.  Its support for anti-Catholic bigotry is now matched by its support for hard-core teen pornography.  Whoever is operating its website should be fired immediately. 

 

“Hispanic Catholics have now been hit in the face twice: the DNC has made its bed with anti-Catholicism and now it’s made its bed with pornography, using an Hispanic organization as a front for its debased appetites.  None of this is by accident: our monitoring of the DNC’s website shows that someone has been tinkering with it on a regular basis.  This suggests a degree of deliberateness that is malicious.  It is also self-destructive.

 

“The DNC may have violated federal law by sponsoring a website with arguably under-age girls.  In any event, we will blanket the Catholic and Hispanic communities with pictures of the DNC’s idea of good humor.  If there is anyone with an ounce of responsibility left at the DNC, he or she should quickly dump both Catholics for a Free Choice and the Willie Velasquez Institute.”



October 28, 2002

DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE

RENEWS LINK WITH CATHOLICS FOR A FREE CHOICE

 

After deleting Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) from the “links” section of its website, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has reestablished its relationship by adding CFFC to its “Religious Affiliated” section.  Catholic League president William Donohue addressed this latest move by the DNC today:

 

“Someone at the DNC isn’t too bright.  Now they’ve really created a hornet’s nest for themselves.  First they delete Frances Kissling’s Catholics for a Free Choice from their website and now they put her back up.  There’s obviously a fight going on at the DNC over this and for now the Kissling forces have won.  But they won’t win in the long run.

 

“The Catholic League will now enlist the support of scores of allied organizations.  We will contact our friends in many circles and will not limit our coalition to Catholic institutions.  There are millions of Catholic Democrats who abhor the anti-Catholicism that Kissling represents and there are millions of other Democrats who detest all expressions of bigotry.  They will not be too pleased to learn that the DNC is insulting Roman Catholics by toying with them.  

 

“Had the DNC simply left CFFC on its website, it would have been preferable to its latest gambit.  Had there been no change, we certainly would have continued our campaign against the DNC, but now we are more emboldened than ever before.  Now we’ll drop the hammer on them.  The clock is still running and this is one game the Catholic League is determined to win in overtime.”



October 28, 2002

DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE

DUMPS CATHOLICS FOR A FREE CHOICE

 

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) no longer lists Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) on its website.  The “links” section of the DNC website was rearranged over the weekend.  There is no more “Catholic” entry, but there is a new category, “Religious Affiliated”; it lists some legitimate Catholic and Jewish organizations and publications, and CFFC is not among them.  CFFC has also been deleted from the “Pro Choice” entry on the DNC’s “links” page.

 

Catholic League president William Donohue commented on this development today:

 

“For the past three months, the Catholic League has led a protest against the DNC for its association with Frances Kissling’s anti-Catholic organization, Catholics for a Free Choice.  We spent thousands of dollars on ads in Catholic newspapers and secular magazines pressuring the DNC to dump CFFC; we enlisted the support of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; we wrote to every member of the House and Senate detailing the Catholic-bashing activities of Kissling; we mobilized our members via our monthly journal, Catalyst; we posted information on our website about the DNC; and we issued 15 news releases on the subject.  Finally, we have won.

 

“We’re not finished with Kissling.  I will now personally write to all of her major donors letting them know they are wasting their money on her.  If the DNC wants nothing to do with her, what sense does it make to fund her?  Our goal is to disable Kissling’s anti-Catholic work and nothing will stop us from doing so.  Not until she’s toast will we back off.  Indeed, not even her filthy-rich friends in elite foundations can save her.

 

“We will not congratulate the DNC for doing the right thing.  They backed down because their alliance with Kissling wasn’t worth all the heat they were getting.  But for Catholics, this victory is oh, so sweet.”



October 24, 2002

NEWSDAY’S SHERYL McCARTHY: CLASSIC BIGOT

 

Sheryl McCarthy, columnist for the Long Island daily, Newsday, has an article in today’s newspaper that provides a classic example of anti-Catholic bigotry.  Catholic League president William Donohue offered the following remarks today:

 

“The Catholic League is mailing a copy of Sheryl McCarthy’s article in today’s Newsday to every bishop in the nation and to all 235 Catholic colleges and universities in the United States.  With regard to the latter group, we are asking the English department chairs to distribute copies of McCarthy’s column to professors of journalism.  Catholic students need to know how anti-Catholic bigotry has been mainstreamed and no one offers a better example than Sheryl McCarthy’s piece of October 24.

 

“McCarthy has some cute ideas about Halloween costumes this year.  Her list of characters include Martha Stewart, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Kenneth Lay, Lizzie Grubman, Michael Bloomberg and Johnnie Cochran.  There is one entry that is not a character: it is a group. 

 

“‘A Catholic priest’s costume would also be a crowd pleaser this year,’ McCarthy says, ‘replete with clerical collar and a lascivious grin.’  Notice she wants a bin Laden and a Hussein costume but not a Muslim one.  That’s because McCarthy has learned that it is wrong to generalize from the individual to the collective.  Except for priests.  They deserve it—all 46,000 of them.  Never mind that a whopping two-thirds of one percent of priests have had to step aside awaiting an investigation of charges against them, McCarthy says it’s time to stick it to them all. 

 

“But she is sensitive to others: ‘Some characters would be in bad taste for Halloween costumes. There should be no suicide bombers with dynamite strapped to their waists, and no Beltway snipers carrying rifles and cell phones.’  What is not in bad taste, however, is to mock priests as perverts, even though 99 and a third percent of them are not even being questioned about sexual misconduct.  What McCarthy has done is classic bigotry, plain and simple.  She owes priests an apology.”
 



October 22, 2002

CBS WEBSITE FOR “CSI: MIAMI” 
INVITES NON-CATHOLICS TO JUDGE CATHOLICISM

The episode of the CBS show “CSI: Miami” that aired last night revolved around a priest who learns that a boy has been abused by his father (at first the priest was suspected as the abuser).  The priest tries to convince the boy to go to the police, but the boy refuses.  The boy’s mother subsequently kills the priest, blaming him for not protecting her son. 

On today’s CBS.com website, there is a survey question on the home page of “CSI: Miami.”  It asks, “Do you think Catholic priests should be obligated to inform the authorities when one of their parishioners confesses to a crime?” 

Commenting on this is Catholic League president William Donohue:


“Last night’s episode of ‘CSI: Miami’ shows that Hollywood still loves to give sermons on Catholicism.  ‘Who would want to kill a priest?’ was perhaps the most revealing question of the evening.  Asked by a detective, it was answered by one of his colleagues, ‘Nowadays, anyone.’  Worse than the show, however, is the invidious way in which CBS.com has sought to manipulate public opinion against Catholicism.

“The survey question is deceitful.  Though last night’s episode did not show the boy confessing to the priest in the confessional, the use of the word ‘confesses’ in the poll is designed to conjure up images of the confessional.  This is Catholic baiting.  There are practices in virtually every world religion that non-adherents might find unintelligible—or even unwise—but no one at CBS is going to invite them to register their sentiments in an online survey.  The purpose of the survey question is clear: to rally public opinion against the First Amendment shield that guarantees confidentiality between priest and penitent.

“Why not a survey question on the merits of protecting the confidential relationship between a journalist and his source?  That, of course, would be hitting too close to home for the home-grown psephologists at CBS.  Better to hit on Catholics.  Remember, ‘nowadays anyone’ might want to kill a priest.  Or at least impugn his religion.”


October 18, 2002

VATICAN RESPONSE IS JUST;

MERITS SUPPORT OF ALL CATHOLICS

 

The Vatican has decided to appoint a joint commission of bishops, four from the U.S. and four from the Holy See, to revise certain provisions of the policy on sexual abuse passed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Dallas.  The revisions will then be submitted to the U.S. bishops when they meet in Washington, D.C., November 11-14. 

 

Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:

 

“Fair-minded observers of the Catholic Church were hardly astonished to learn that the Vatican would encourage the process begun in Dallas to continue.  Unfortunately, some in the media, as well as some activists on the left and the right, have mischaracterized the Vatican’s decision as a flat-out rejection of the work of the U.S. bishops.  One would have to be awfully naïve to think that this isn’t done willfully: for some people, bad news about the Church is greeted as good news and nothing the Church does will ever be enough to satisfy them.

 

“What the Vatican is insisting upon, quite rightfully so, is the need to clarify that which is currently ambiguous.  For example, the definition of sexual abuse in the Dallas charter is incredibly elastic and subjective.  Similarly, respect for the due process rights of priests must be further refined; this would include respect for a statute of limitations.  And so on.

 

“There is nothing exceptional about any of this.  To draw an analogy, in higher education, when a doctoral student submits his dissertation, one of two things happens: a) he is dismissed from the program because his work has been rejected or b) he is permitted to continue in the program but must make satisfactory revisions before his work is accepted.  There is no third way—never are dissertations accepted without fine-tuning.  Roughly the same process governs submissions by the bishops to Rome and that is why what happened today more resembles a thumbs up than a thumbs down.”


October 15, 2002

KISSLING BARES HER ANTI-CATHOLIC STRIPES; SHE FURTHER SHAMES THE DNC

Frances Kissling, the president of Catholics for a Free Choice, was interviewed on October 12 by the panel of the PBS show, “To the Contrary.”  Kissling is currently the source of a protest lodged by the Catholic League against the Democratic National Committee (DNC).  The DNC lists Kissling’s organization on the links section of its website. 

 

Catholic League president William Donohue commented on Kissling’s remarks today:

 

“Frances Kissling is so openly anti-Catholic it is a wonder that DNC chief Terry McAuliffe continues to stand by his woman.  On the show ‘To the Contrary,’ Kissling stated it is her goal ‘to neutralize the political power of the Church.’  That is not the goal of someone who is merely critical of some of the Church’s teachings: it is the goal of the Church’s enemies. Similarly, when Kissling said she is working ‘to defrock the Church of its massive political power,’ she further bared her anti-Catholic stripes.  Loyal sons and daughters of Catholicism do not speak this way. 

 

“Bonnie Erbe, hostess of the show, commented accurately on Kissling when she said of the anti-Catholic that she’s ‘the woman who’s leading the charge against the Church.’  Thanks Bonnie—you unwittingly summed up Kissling’s resume for us. 

 

“It would be instructive to know how many Democrats running for office this year would go on record supporting McAuliffe’s obstinacy on this issue.  Perhaps some Republican challengers may want to press them.  Sooner or later, McAuliffe will have to drop Kissling.  For any party to be associated with someone who seeks to ‘defrock the Catholic Church’ is not a smart move.”


October 15, 2002

DNC REBUFFS U.S. BISHOPS; CONTINUES TO PLAY GAMES WITH CATHOLICS

Yesterday, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) added two new listings to its “Catholic” section on the links page of its website: America and Sojourners magazines.  The DNC still lists the anti-Catholic organization, Catholics for a Free Choice, on its website.
 

Catholic League president William Donohue explained the significance of the DNC’s latest move today:
 

“The DNC is feeling the heat but it still doesn’t get it.  By adding two Catholic magazines, it has done nothing to resolve the central issue: it needs to drop Catholics for a Free Choice.  Indeed, by adding America, the DNC has effectively rebuffed the American bishops.  Here’s why.

 

“On September 16, Rev. Msgr. William P. Fay, general secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), wrote to DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe, requesting that it drop Catholics for a Free Choice from its website and add the USCCB.  McAuliffe has done neither. 

 

“Now McAuliffe may argue that the USCCB is already listed on its website because one of its ‘Catholic’ listings, Catholic-USA.com (an umbrella site), has the USCCB listed (under its former name, NCCB/USCC).  This argument, however, is disingenuous because America is already listed on the Catholic-USA.com website.  What this means is that the DNC has rebuffed the request made by the bishops to list the USCCB on its website. 

 

“Even if the DNC were to list the USCCB, it would still not satisfy the Catholic League.  Once again, it is the link between the DNC and a patently anti-Catholic organization that is at issue.  The DNC can list the Vatican for all we care: not until it drops its invidious relationship with Catholics for a Free Choice president Frances Kissling will this matter be resolved.”


October 11, 2002

MAYOR BLOOMBERG SHOULD DISINVITE

MEMBERS OF “THE SOPRANOS” CAST

 

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has angered the Columbus Citizens Foundation by inviting members of the HBO-TV series, “The Sopranos,” to march in New York’s Columbus Day Parade.  Officials of the foundation maintain that the TV show portrays an “extremely negative and ugly stereotyping of our people.”  Furthermore, the officials contend that Mayor Bloomberg was not authorized to extend the invitation in the first place.

 

Catholic League president William Donohue spoke for the league today:
 

“In support of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, the Catholic League is asking Mayor Bloomberg to reconsider his invitation to members of ‘The Sopranos’ cast to march in the Columbus Day Parade.  The Catholic League takes no position on the merits of ‘The Sopranos.’  But we do take a position on the merits of private-parade organizers to maintain their autonomy free of government meddlers. 

 

“At stake is the First Amendment right of freedom of association.  If Mayor Bloomberg does not accede to this modest request, then the Catholic League will support whatever measures—including legal ones—the Columbus Citizens Foundation may want to take.

 

“It is no secret that Italian-Americans, especially in New York, have actively contributed to the good works of the Catholic Church.  Thus, the Columbus Citizens Foundation deserves the support of all allied organizations in keeping its mission intact.  If the organizers of the Columbus Day Parade don’t believe that ‘The Sopranos’ projects a fair image of Italian-Americans, then that is good enough for us.  Why it isn’t good enough for Mayor Bloomberg needs to be explained.”

 


October 8, 2002

AP STORY REVEALS KISSLING’S LATEST SALVO;

IMPLICATIONS FOR DNC ARE GRAVE

 

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC), is in Rome charging the Vatican with violating the United Nations treaty protecting children; she took her complaint directly to the U.N.  The Catholic League is involved in a campaign seeking to persuade the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to sever its ties with Kissling’s group because of its anti-Catholic activities.  The DNC lists CFFC on the “links” section of its website.

 

Catholic League president William Donohue issued the following news release on this subject today:
 

“It is not clear how much more evidence DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe needs to justify severing all ties with Frances Kissling.  Earlier today we sent him the promo of this Saturday’s PBS show, ‘To the Contrary,’ that describes Kissling as a professed enemy of Catholicism.  Now we have AP saying that CFFC ‘has worked for years to unseat the Vatican at the United Nations.’  AP is correct.  Why the DNC would want to camp out with an adversary of the Roman Catholic Church is deeply troubling. 

 

“Today’s AP story is also reporting that Kissling is trying to embarrass the Vatican by getting it to admit to the global nature of the sex abuse scandal.  She wants it in writing and if she is not satisfied she will make another appeal to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child: ‘she would consider asking committee members in the future to censure the Holy See—a tactic used in the U.N. Human Rights Commission for countries like Cuba and China.’

 

“What is it that McAuliffe doesn’t understand?  Kissling, as even the most objective observers admit, is doing everything in her power to subvert Catholicism.  Just as the people have no voice in the People’s Republic of China, there is nothing Catholic about CFFC.  Any gangster can hijack a name and hang it on his door.  We expect, however, that people like McAuliffe would know better.”

 


October 8, 2002

McAULIFFE GIVEN NEW EVIDENCE

TO SEVER DNC TIES TO FRANCES KISSLING

 

In a letter sent yesterday by overnight mail, Catholic League president William Donohue wrote the following to Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee:

 

Dear Mr. McAuliffe:

 

It is disconcerting that the DNC continues to list Catholics for a Free Choice on its “links” page.  This is troubling because I do not believe you would intentionally sponsor an association between the DNC and an anti-Catholic group.  Apparently, you believe that Frances Kissling’s group is merely pro-choice.  That is why I am asking you to reconsider your decision, especially in light of what I am about to tell you.

 

This Saturday, October 12, the PBS show “To the Contrary” will feature Frances Kissling.  They are flagging this segment as follows: “Frances Kissling’s mission: defrocking the Catholic Church and its massive political power.  We profile her on the next To the Contrary” (see enclosed).

 

This settles the matter.  Kissling is being profiled not because she is a pro-choice leader, but because she is the declared enemy of the Catholic Church.

 

Given this evidence, I implore you to immediately drop the DNC’s link with Catholics for a Free Choice.  Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

William A. Donohue, Ph.D.

President


October 7, 2002

DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE

TARGETED IN TODAY’S ROLL CALL

 

The Catholic League continued its ad campaign against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) by placing a half-page ad in today’s edition of Roll Call, the influential D.C. publication.  Catholic League president William Donohue said that nothing will stop the league from pressing the DNC to sever its association with an anti-Catholic organization.  By providing a link to Catholics for a Free Choice on its website, the DNC is tacitly endorsing Catholic bashing. 

 

The campaign against the DNC picked up steam last week when it was revealed that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has also implored the DNC to break its support for Frances Kissling’s anti-Catholic group. 

 

The league’s ad has already run in three Catholic weekly newspapers, the National Catholic Register, Our Sunday Visitor and the Wanderer; Roll Call marks the first secular publication to run the ad.  The text of the ad appears below.

 

IS THE

DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE

ANTI-CATHOLIC?

 

On the website of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), there is a link to organizations of interest.  Astonishingly, under the “Catholic” banner is a notoriously anti-Catholic organization, Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC).  The head of this group, Frances Kissling, has said it is her goal to “overthrow” the Catholic Church.  Moreover, she has sought to silence the voice of the Vatican in the U.N. and has twice been denounced by the bishops as a fraud. 

 

We have asked the DNC to stop its association with CFFC but it refuses.  That is why we are asking you to join our campaign.  Let the DNC know of your outrage by calling them at 202-863-8000; fax at 202-863-8174; email at dnc@democrats.org.

 


October 3, 2002

U.S. BISHOPS ENTER THE FRAY AGAINST DNC

 

At the request of the Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Rev. Msgr. William P. Fay, the USCCB’s general secretary, has written a letter to Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Terry McAuliffe protesting the DNC’s listing of an anti-Catholic group in the “links” section of its website.  This comes at a time when the Catholic League has been conducting an ad campaign for several weeks against the DNC for its association with the offending group, Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC). 

 

In his letter to McAuliffe, Msgr. Fay stressed that the bishops’ conference has publicly said that CFFC is not a Catholic organization and that indeed it works against the teachings of the Church.  He cited the May 10, 2000 statement by Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, then head of the bishops’ conference, taking CFFC to task for misrepresenting itself as a Catholic group.  Msgr. Fay not only asked McAuliffe to remove CFFC from its website, he requested that the DNC add the USCCB’s website (www.usccb.org) to its “links” section.

 

Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:

 

“Bishop Gregory continues to exercise exemplary leadership and the letter by Msgr. Fay to Terry McAuliffe lays the issue on the line with moral clarity.  It is outrageous that either major political party would help to legitimize a positively illegitimate organization like CFFC.  Its head, Frances Kissling, has long been an open enemy of the Catholic Church.  Were it not for the largesse bestowed upon her by wealthy adversaries of the Church, CFFC would collapse tomorrow.  It is the Warren Buffetts of this world that keep her afloat; the Buffett Foundation is one of Kissling’s most generous donors.

 

“Our ad campaign will continue and we will not quit until the DNC breaks all ties with Kissling.  If the DNC wants to try to stiff the bishops, as well as millions of Catholics, it will pay a dear price.”

 


October 2, 2002

NEW HAMPSHIRE ATTORNEY

UNLEASHES CATHOLIC “WITCH HUNT”

 

Mark A. Abramson, a New Hampshire attorney, has gone into court seeking all Catholic clergy personnel and probation files, archives and complaints of sexual abuse made to the Diocese of Manchester.  The names of the alleged victims are not being released by Abramson.  This, in turn, has led diocesan lawyers to file a motion forcing the release of the names. 

 

Catholic League president William Donohue opined as follows:

 

“Mark A. Abramson has shown no interest in obtaining the personnel files of ministers, rabbis, imams, teachers, social workers or psychologists.  Just priests.  His sense of fairness also allows him to oppose due process rights of Roman Catholic priests: they have no right, in his mind, to know the identity of their accuser. 

 

“The Diocese of Manchester ought to release all its priest personnel files to Abramson, but with the names of the priests deleted throughout.  For justification, they can cite Abramson’s tactic of withholding the names of priest accusers as being exemplary: what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.  This way everyone will be presented with reams of personnel information positively unrelated to any human being.

 

“For his ‘witch-hunt’ efforts, we are including Mark A. Abramson in our 2002 annual report on anti-Catholicism.  Indeed, we are mailing him a box of our 2001 annual reports today so he can get an idea what his entry will look like.  Unlike Abramson, the Catholic League likes to name names.”

 

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