Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on last night’s edition of Penn & Teller’s show. The program aired on Showtime which is owned by CBS:
The Nazis couldn’t have done better. Having been in this job for over 16 years, I have never seen a more defamatory, obscene and vicious show on TV. And I mean about any religious or demographic group—not just Catholics. The lies about the Catholic Church, to say nothing of the vile language used by Penn Jillette, were positively astounding. Moreover, it never attempted to be comedic—from the very beginning it advertised the show as payback for 2,000 years of alleged crimes. This was Julius Streicher back from the grave.
In this half-hour show, the Catholic Church was blamed for every evil in history. Jillette said the “intolerance, greed, paranoia, hypocrisy and callous disregard for human suffering” was the hallmark of the Catholic Church. Others on the show branded the Church an “amoral” and “power hungry” institution that is just worried about its “cash flow.”
Jillette lied about the Vatican’s reaction to Sabina Guzzanti, an Italian foul-mouthed comedian who staged an assault on the pope in 2008: the pope never sought to throw “her sexy ass in jail” and never once sought any punitive measure against her—it’s all a bald face lie! Jillette lied about a 1962 Vatican document—it was a statement about penalties for priests who used the confessional to solicit sex: it was not a cover-up for sexual misconduct! He lied about Pope Benedict XVI—he had absolutely nothing to do with overseeing cases of priestly sexual misconduct in the United States! And so on.
Spokesmen for Catholics for Choice, SNAP and Dignity—three anti-Catholic groups that lie about their Catholic status—twisted, distorted and ridiculed Church teachings on sexuality.
I have asked to meet with Les Moonves of CBS. On Monday, we will have a mass mailing of DVD copies of this episode to bishops and religious leaders across the nation. This cannot go unanswered.