Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
March 30, 2009
New York targets Catholic churches, hospitals
Anti-Church attack also propagated by Dan Brown's Angels and Demons
My Glass is Half Full
By MARK PICKUP
A new age of anti-Catholicism is upon us. The Catholic Citizens of America website posted a story by Newsmax entitled “N.Y. Catholics: Dems trying to Bankrupt Church.” According to the story, New York state Democrats are introducing new laws that threaten to bankrupt Catholic schools, hospitals, charities and parishes.
A spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference, Dennis Poust, said, “Outside the government, the Catholic Church is the largest provider of health, human services and education in New York. But some legislators are so driven by malice that they are willing to see our charities and schools go under.”
How is this happening? First, a state proposed law would require all hospitals to perform abortions. Those that refuse would lose their state licences and that would put Catholic hospitals out of business.
Second, New York Gov. David Paterson has instituted major funding cuts to Catholic schools.
Third, Democratic state legislators are trying to pass the Child Victims’ Act of New York. It would abolish the statute of limitations for sex abuse lawsuits against the Church. People could make lawsuits against the Church in cases dating back 60 or 70 years where the alleged perpetrators are long dead. The implications are staggering.
A similar law in California resulted in so many lawsuits that the Church could not afford legal defence. It ended up settling hundreds of cases, paying more than $1 billion no matter how flimsy or dubious the allegations. According to Newsmax, New York Democrats are hoping for a replay of the California experience in their state.
Ironically, public schools would be exempt from this new law, yet sex abuse is 100 times more common in public schools than in Catholic institutions.
New York has had anti-Catholic periods of legal persecution throughout its history dating back 300 years. The founder of the Anti-Defamation League, Sigmund Livingston, wrote a book in 1944 entitled Must Men Hate?
It recounted that in 1700, then province of New York enacted a law that required all Jesuit priests and other ecclesiastics ordained by the pope to leave the province before Nov. 1 of that year. The law decreed that those who remained after that date and insisted on teaching Catholic doctrines, issued absolutions or used Catholic rites would be considered disturbers of public peace and faced “perpetual imprisonment.”
In the early days of New York, Catholics were charged with a “popish plot” to destroy the city. In 1854, a number of riots against Catholics were incited in New York.
Violence against Catholics spread to Massachusetts, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio and Maine.
Fast forward to the 21st century. Publication of Dan Brown’s 2003 blockbuster fiction book The Da Vinci Code increased Catholic bashing. His book sold more than 40 million copies. The Da Vinci Code was later made into a Hollywood film starring Tom Hanks. It enjoyed $125 million in ticket sales on its first weekend.
A new Dan Brown book and movie is Angels and Demons. It’s slated for release on May 15. A production official said that the majority of people who worked on the film were hostile to Catholicism.
According to a recent commentary for the online publication Daily Estimate, the president of The U.S. Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, William Donohue, quoted the ‘production official’ as saying, “Like most of us, (Dan Brown) often says that he would do anything to demolish that detestable institution, the Catholic Church.”
The movie official described the Catholic Church as “humanity’s chief enemy.” He added that his sentiment is reflective of the prevailing view in Hollywood.
When Angels and Demons is released in May, you can expect attacks on Catholicism.
I suggest you can equip yourself with accurate information about the myths and lies it will present by contacting the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights (212-371-3191) and order the booklet Angels and Demons: More Demonic than Angelic. The booklet can also be ordered through their website at www.catholicleague.org.
As for me, I know that the Catholic Church is not “humanity’s chief enemy” — the Church is humanity’s chief defender. The Catholic Church consistently defends the natural dignity of disabled people like me, and other vulnerable people throughout the world.
It is Hollywood that devalues human life. Remember the anti-disability film Million Dollar Baby? Hollywood gave it their highest honour: Academy Award for Best Picture of 2004.
Think about the volumes of pornography and anti-family programming coming out of Hollywood then ask yourself, who is the enemy of humanity?
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