As sympathy for the victims of Wednesday’s shooting at a Paris satirical newspaper pours in and questions remain about the motives of the alleged attackers, a Catholic activist says the paper’s now deceased editor must share some responsibility.
The president of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, said in a statement Wednesday that killing must be “unequivocally condemned,” but went on to say, “What [Muslims] object to is being intentionally insulted over the course of many years. On this aspect, I am in total agreement with them.
“Stephane Charbonnier, the paper’s publisher, was killed today in the slaughter. It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death.”
Some conservatives are distancing themselves from Donohue.
Hugh Hewitt, host of a popular radio talk show, called Donohue “a scandal on the Church” during a heated interview Thursday. Yesterday on Fox News, Megyn Kelly said to Donohue, “Just because they did something provocative doesn’t mean they invited what happened.” And at the Daily Caller, Matt Lewis wrote that while there are parts of Donohue’s argument worth considering, “Revealingly, perhaps, Donohue’s immediate take did not read like the first instinct of a decent, caring, person.”
In a follow-up statement Thursday, Donohue stood by his comments.
“The cartoonists, and all those associated with Charlie Hebdo, are no champions of freedom. Quite the opposite: their obscene portrayal of religious figures — so shocking that not a single TV station or mainstream newspaper would show them — represents an abuse of freedom,” the statement said.
The Catholic League, founded in 1973, is not officially connected to the Catholic Church.