The Catholic nonprofit organization Fidelis has condemned the editorial cartoon published in the April 20 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer entitled “Church and State.”
The cartoon was published following the United States Supreme Court decision to uphold a ban on partial birth abortion, which was passed by the United States Congress and upheld by President Bush. It features the five Catholic members of the Supreme Court wearing bishop miters.
“The Philadelphia Inquirer has breached the line of reasonable editorial commentary,” said Fidelis president Joseph Cella in a statement. “This cartoon is venomous, terribly misleading and, blatantly anti-Catholic. We call on the Inquirer to repudiate the cartoon’s anti-Catholic sentiment.”
The cartoon suggests that the court’s decision to uphold the ban on partial birth abortion was influenced by the Catholic Church.
“The Supreme Court did not ‘follow marching orders’ from the Vatican or the bishops in the United States. Instead, the court deferred to deliberative judgment of the people’s elected representatives protected by the Constitution,” Cella stated.
Cella said his hope in exposing this “outrageously intolerant cartoon” is to contain future attacks on judges of faith.
“It is shameful that such an inflammatory and hate-filled cartoon appears as legitimate editorial expression,” said Cella. “The Inquirer’s insinuation that a Catholic judge cannot act dispassionately and apply the law is an affront to all judges of faith, and smacks of anti-Catholic bigotry and elitism of the worst kind.”