The Philadelphia Inquirer has stooped to a new low in their effort to harm the credibility of Catholics in public life. The most recent cartoon on the subject, which ran April 20, depicts the five Catholic justices of the Supreme Court wearing miters, the hats reserved exclusively for bishops of the Catholic Church.
The caption, Church and State, is simply a scare tactic designed to provoke some Americans to think that perhaps the current Supreme Court justices who are Catholic are taking orders from the Vatican, or that perhaps the Catholic justices are men who have no ability to think for themselves, let alone be the experts they are perceived to be in matters of jurisprudence.
At a different level, however, the cartoon in question is an insult to the office of bishop and a sad commentary on the way the media views Catholics in general. It seems to me that this would have been an opportune time for Cardinal Justin Rigali, the archbishop of Philadelphia, to make a stunning statement in defense of Catholic teaching and against those who stoop to such levels to attack the Church and her members.
Sad to say, the reporter who interviewed me about the cartoon had just gotten off the phone with the archdiocese. The comment, "no comment," is all he got. How sad! Avoiding the press makes it easier for the press to target the Church and her members, waging vicous attacks that clearly have no substance.
I wrote to the cardinal, begging him to make a statement. I pray that you will do likewise. The address is:
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
222 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1299
We should never permit a secular newspaper to use such despicable tactics without immediately making it clear that we condemn their anti-Catholic bias. A responsible newspaper would never stoop to such levels in their efforts to protect the culture of death.