by Steven Ertelt
April 22, 2007
Philadelphia, PA (LifeNews.com) — The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper is coming under fire for a cartoon it ran following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the federal partial-birth abortion ban. The cartoon entitled “Church and State” features the five Catholic members of the high court wearing bishop miters.
Joseph Cella, the head of Fidelis, a leading Catholic pro-life group, says the newspaper, "has breached the line of reasonable editorial commentary. This cartoon is venomous, terribly misleading and, blatantly anti-Catholic."
"We call on the Inquirer to repudiate the cartoon’s anti-Catholic sentiment," Cella told LifeNews.com in a statement.
Cella says the cartoon suggests that the Supreme Court decision to uphold the ban on partial birth abortion was a result of the Catholic Church influencing the votes of the five Catholic Justices on the Supreme Court, who are portrayed as Catholic Bishops.
"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 said.
“By exposing this outrageously intolerant cartoon, we hope to contain future attacks on judges of faith, particularly during any future confirmation hearings which will likely prove to be the most contentious in history," he added.
Cella said the Inquirer’s cartoon resembles the attack on Judge Bill Pryor, who was mocked for having “deeply-held” religious beliefs as a Catholic. Pryor faced sharply abusive rhetoric before he was finally confirmed to the federal bench in 2003.
"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," he concluded.