Anti-Catholicism `Alive,' Changing `in the Media Our Priests Are All Pedophiles,' Says Catholic Lawyer

Article excerpt

It's easy to spot anti-Catholics when their posters scream that the pope is the Antichrist and that the Vatican controls all U.S. print media - from Family Circle to Playboy.

But is it anti-Catholicism when talk-show hosts blame Rome for sexual abuse in the United States?

What about a gay-rights group trashing consecrated bread and wine in a Mass?

What about Protestants conducting an evangelistic crusade in Spanish?

"Anti-Catholicism is alive and well and, in some ways, we're seeing more of it than ever before. But things are getting more complex," said Karl Keating, a lawyer who is president of the Catholic Answers, a group in San Diego that defends Catholicism.

"Some forms of anti-Catholicism are intensifying, while at the very same time other forms are relaxing. It can be confusing."

Today, there are signs of growing cooperation between Catholics and conservative Protestants. But some other Protestants have responded by increasing attacks on Rome and on those who choose fellowship with Catholics.

Influential evangelical activist Charles Colson addressed this controversy in the foreword for the book "Evangelical Catholics," by Keith Fournier: "It's high time that all of us who are Christians come together regardless of the difference of our confessions and our traditions and make common cause to bring Christian values to bear in our society. When the barbarians are scaling the walls, there is no time for petty quarreling in the camp."

Meanwhile, said Keating, Catholic leaders are becoming more alarmed by signs of secular anti-Catholicism, especially in the news and entertainment media.

TV programs attack Catholics in ways that would have all kinds of people up in arms if they attacked Jews or blacks in the same way, he said. "But, hey, everyone knows Catholics are cruel and repressive."

Keating laughed, and added: "Of course it's also OK to attack evangelicals. In the media our priests are all pedophiles, and the fundamentalists are all adulterers. . . . Maybe more evangelicals and Catholics are talking to each other because they're being attacked by the same people. …