.- Catholic League president Bill Donohue has come to the defense of Cardinal Roger Mahony, after the Cardinal was criticized in the Los Angeles Times last week for criticizing a Catholic politician who supports doctor-assisted suicide.
The Cardinal-Archbishop of Los Angeles recently spoke out against proposed legislation that would allow doctor-assisted suicide in the state of California. He also criticized Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, a Catholic, for supporting the bill.
Los Angeles Times writer George Skelton criticized the Cardinal in his April 5 column. In it, he referred to the Catholic Church as “looking like an ugly old political attack dog.” He also accused the Cardinal of violating the American separation of church and state and called for “a bill to reexamine the tax-exempt status of church property.”
“Cardinal Mahony is not going to be intimidated from speaking out about contemporary moral issues,” said Donohue in a statement, also released last week.
“Anti-Catholic bigots have tried before to strip the Catholic Church of its tax exempt status and failed miserably,” he continued.
He noted how an editorial in the Los Angeles Times on March 2, 2006, commended Cardinal Mahony for “reinforcing the right of religious leaders to speak out on the moral ramifications of political issues.” The issue that Cardinal Mahony addressed then was immigration.
“So how can it logically be that Cardinal Mahony is now all of a sudden violating the Constitution when he addresses doctor-assisted suicide?” Donohue wondered.
Donohue suggested that the cardinal’s comments regarding doctor-assisted suicide are in line with the Constitution’s First Amendment, which guarantees religious liberty and freedom of speech.