Maher is grossly distorting the facts in the service of his 'smear the Catholic Church' abuse information.
Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) March 16, 2011
The notoriously anti-religious HBO talk show host, Bill Maher recently featured a three-minute segment on his “Real Time with Bill Maher” show, slamming Catholicism, and in particular Catholic priests, just as one-billion Catholics worldwide observe Ash Wednesday, the start of the forty day season of Lent.
“Maher specifically edited and perverted one of the highly-effective national commercials produced by the lay-Catholic organization Catholics Come Home®,” said Tom Peterson, Founder and President of the outreach group.
“Bill Maher continues to rant against all things Catholic, in an effort to crucify the Catholic Church by holding it up to continual ridicule and scorn,” continued Peterson. ”Maher inaccurately claims that the Catholic Church made these ads. False. The hierarchy of the Church did not produce these ads; Catholics Come Home® did.” The television and website advertisements, accessible at http://www.catholicscomehome.org, were created and are supported by a group of Catholic families and individuals inspired by Pope John Paul II’s call for a New Evangelization.
"Maher also attempted to exploit the Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis to cast a cloud of suspicion on all Catholic priests in particular and on the Catholic Church in general. While all sin is deplorable to God, Maher is grossly distorting the facts,” said Peterson. According to Catholics Answers, “Understanding the Priests Scandal”, the national percentage of Catholic priests accused of abuse amounts to one half of one percent. Protestant and secular experts have even cited surveys showing the actual abuse among Catholic clergy to be much lower than other denominations, as well as significantly lower than the general population (P. Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests; J. Could, “Pedophilia,” Time Magazine, April 2002).
Despite these statistics, the public typically only hears of the criminally unfaithful priests, rather than the tragedy of the overall abuse problem in our culture. CatholicsComeHome.org is on the record as proclaiming that the root cause of evil, such as sexual abuse, is human sinfulness and the abandonment of Jesus’s teachings of moral Truth.
“Maher ignores the millions of faithful Catholics worldwide, as well as the 2,000 year history of the Church: starting hospitals, feeding the poor and caring for homeless, educating millions of young students, starting the university system, and contributing to the scientific method and laws of evidence. These are the truths of history that are often forgotten,” stated Peterson. “He also fails to take into account the faithful majority of Catholics, literally thousands of holy priests and bishops, religious sisters, and lay ministers who have helped transform Western Civilization, often at the price of martyrdom. Despite the reports of scandal among some criminally unfaithful priests in past years, Catholicism continues to flourish.”
Even so, Catholics Come Home desires to reach those who have not been to Mass in a while, or do not attend church regularly, “Most say that they are not upset with the Church nor disagree with her teachings,” said Peterson. “In fact, the vast majority, about 90 percent, are telling us that they just drifted away from their practice of faith due to the many secular lures of the world. When they are asked, ‘Why did you come home?’ - the majority of returnees answer, ‘Because you invited me.'”
Even many Non-Catholics have praised the Catholics Come Home commercials. Debra, a Presbyterian from Charlotte, states, “I just saw your TV commercial and I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. It is so refreshing to see your religion in such a positive light.”
Peterson concludes with a plea: “So now is the time for faithful Catholics and all Christians to join together to pray for our troubled world, to follow the example of Jesus to love our neighbor, and to invite Bill Maher, his viewers and others back to the practice of faith, back to a life of love, back to the healing and peace that always triumphs over evil, and only comes from God.”
To receive a copy of the commercials or hi res print images for media broadcast or to schedule an interview with Tom Peterson, Founder and President of Catholics Come Home, please contact Susan Gerdvil at 678-585-7886 x106 or email susan(at)CatholicsComeHome(dot)org.
CatholicsComeHome.org is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media apostolate, dedicated to producing and airing Catholic evangelism television ads on local, national and international television networks. EncouragePriests.org™ is a special communications outreach project of Catholics Come Home, Inc.
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