Catholic League president Bill Donohue blasted the recent anti-Catholic Bendetta film, declaring the film’s goals as aligned with those of radical groups Antifa and Black Lives Matter (BLM) in their aims to undermine Western civilization, while criticizing President Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi for their pro-abortion stances. He also spoke against the silence over recent attacks on churches.
Donohue, appearing on Steve Malzberg’s weekly commentary show Eat the Press, began by denouncing the French film Bendetta, director Paul Verhoeven’s latest, which features lesbian nuns engaging in clandestine sex acts, including one with a wooden figurine of the Virgin Mary, in 17th century Italy.
“This is an attack, really, on Western civilization because as everyone knows it’s the Judeo-Christian heritage that is the basis of Western civilization,” he said.
Donohue then likened the goals of the film to those of radical groups Antifa and BLM as well as the many who hate America.
“If your goal is to tear it down, and that is true [of] Antifa [and] Black Lives Matter, there’s no end to the people,” he said. “A lot of them are in higher education, they’re in the artistic community, some [are] members of the media [and] entertainment industry.”
He then explained what lies behind the pursuits of such groups and people.
“They don’t like Western civilization,” he said.
“They hate America [and] they hate Israel, and it all makes sense to me because these are the people who really want to impose a totalitarian regime in our society,” he added.
Donohue then described the different ways in which Western civilization is attacked.
“One way you’re going to [destroy Western civilization] is to go after the family,” he said. “Another way you’re going to do it is go after religion. That means Judaism, that means Catholicism, that means Protestantism.”
“You can burn down churches, that’s one way to do it; another way is to simply demean and disparage and disdain anyone who is a Catholic, for example, because we’re the big fat apple on the block, aren’t we?” he added.
The longtime Catholic League president then explained how an attack on the Church has broader repercussions.
“We’re the one with the pope at the top, we’re hierarchical,” he said. “So if you can attack and destroy the Catholic Church, a lot of things will crumble.”
He then criticized the film’s director, describing him as one with an anti-Catholic agenda.
“Verhoeven, this guy, this dutch filmmaker, he has a history of Catholic bashing, that’s what he’s doing,” he said.
“He’s thrashing Catholicism with this ugly scene of alleged 17th century nuns and then with the filth — using the Virgin Mary as a dildo — I mean one would have to be really rather sick,” he continued.
“I think there are probably more sane people in your local asylum than there are who’ve worked on his set — that’s what we’re up against,” he added.
Addressing the fact that the film is allegedly based on a true account, Donohue said “I’m sure that you’ll find some wayward people in any institution,” adding, “What’s the purpose of doing this?”
He then highlighted the media’s acclaim of the film.
“Look at the response they got, with the exception of Variety which handled it very well, the media were cheering them on,” he said.
“As a matter of fact, when they showed this over in France in the pre-screening, the audience went on for five minutes clapping and the like,” he added.
Explaining why Catholics are targeted more frequently, Donohue contrasted the attitudes toward other religious groups.
“I’ve said it before: they go after Catholics more than Jews because Jews are respected,” he said. “They go after Catholics more than Muslims because Muslims are feared.”
“Catholics are neither respected nor feared,” he added.
Discussing the recent vandalism and burnings of churches throughout Canada, including one day this month which saw ten churches burned as well as the media’s silence and justification, Donohue claimed that, just like with Bendetta, there were two stories occurring simultaneously.
“We have two stories here … just like with the movie Benedetta,” he said.
“We have the actual behavior of what’s going on, which is despicable, and we also have the reaction of elites to it — that’s really striking,” he added. “No one seems to be objecting to this.”
The attacks on Canada’s Catholic churches followed the discovery of more than 1,100 unmarked graves at the sites of three former residential schools run by the Church in British Columbia and Saskatchewan that generations of Indigenous children had been forced to attend.
He then addressed news stories about Canadian religious-run institutions for indigenous peoples that were allegedly in poor condition.
“They’re saying the conditions weren’t great,” he said.
“Let’s say they weren’t, one question I would want to ask, which nobody wants to ask, so let me put it on the table: why weren’t there any schools for indigenous peoples run by indigenous peoples?” he asked. “That’s an interesting question all by itself.”
He then sought to put such incidents in perspective.
“But let’s just say you had a couple of horror stories, what do they want? What’s the purpose here?” he asked.
“You want to go back into the 18th century, the 17th century, 19th century, and you’re going to tell me that I am today as a Catholic am supposed to feel guilty about this?” he continued.
“I don’t feel guilty about anything except when I’ve done something wrong,” he added.
Donohue described the attacks on the Church as “just another way of attacking people,” adding that “they’re not burning down their town hall, they’re not going after the prime minister,” though the Canadian government is responsible for such schools.
“They’re going after the Catholic Church because it’s an easy target again and they know that we won’t act in a violent way against them,” he said.
He then warned that the attacks extend beyond Canada.
“It’s not just happening in Canada, it’s happening in Europe and it’s happening right here where I live in New York City,” he said.
“Just last weekend, they got a woman on tape at 3:30 in the morning, smashing with hammers statues of the Virgin Mary, making sure they were smashed to smithereens,” he added.
Donohue also took issue with the abortion stances of President Joe Biden, the nation’s second Catholic president, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who recently called herself a devout catholic, despite having defended federal funding of abortion.
“Joe Biden, for example, has become more radical, not less radical, on the subject,” he argued. “When he started out, when Roe v. Wade was instituted in 1973 legalizing abortion, the very following year in ‘74 he came out and he said they went too far.”
“Now he’s gone full tilt,” he added. “Now he’s in favor of partial birth abortion, killing the baby when the baby’s eighty percent born. Now he’s in favor of asking us to pay for it.”
He also accused the president of pandering to the Democrats.
“This is all new,” he said. “He’s taking his lead from the radicals in the Democratic Party.”
Addressing Pelosi, Donohue accused the House Speaker of hypocrisy as well.
“Nancy Pelosi has received the highest award, the Margaret Sanger Award from [the pro-abortion] Planned Parenthood, there’s never been an abortion she couldn’t justify,” he said.
“These are two people who claim to be devout Catholics, let me tell you something: I will take pro-life Jews like you [Malzberg] any day of the week before I’ll take these people who are supposedly in my own ranks,” he quipped.
Last week, Donohue warned that the U.S. education establishment is pursuing “a full-court press to deliberately divide the races.”
Education elites are “indoctrinating students with critical race theory,” he asserted, the result of which is “mainlining racism in the schools.”
Also last week, Donohue publicly lamented the inexorable decline of Sports Illustrated into woke ideology and anti-Christianity.
Addressing the magazine’s latest foray into politically correct ostentation by featuring Leyna Bloom, “a so-called trans model who is really a biological man,” on the cover of its swimsuit issue, Donohue asked: “How many men really want to see a man dressed in a woman’s bathing suit featured on its cover?”
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