I have always had great love for Catholic people and great respect for the Catholic Church. My wife comes from a Catholic family and millions of my viewers are Catholics. I am shocked and saddened to learn of the mischaracterization of my views on Catholics that has spread while I spent the weekend celebrating the 50th anniversary of my entry into the ministry with family and friends.
Throughout my career I have been a strong critic of Christian anti-Semitism. But any fair review of my record will demonstrate that I have consistently criticized all Christians – Protestant and Catholic alike – for the sin of anti-Semitism. In fact I rarely address this topic without castigating the founder of Protestantism, Martin Luther, for the horrendous anti-Semitism he spouted towards the end of his career. It is a bitter irony that in my zeal to hold my fellow Christians accountable for our past anti-Semitism, I now find myself compared to an anti-Semite. To call me “anti-Catholic” makes about as much sense as calling me “anti-Protestant.” I am, most assuredly, neither.