Catholic League president Bill Donohue said Friday that the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo “would do us all a favor if they converted to Catholicism.”
The head of the self-described largest Catholic civil rights group in the United States said the world would finally see peace if cartoonists and Muslim fanatics both converted to his own faith.
“The central problem with Muslim extremists and irresponsible artists is that neither embodies the virtue of restraint. If they did, they would not act as the barbarians and libertines that they are. Catholicism is the answer,” he said in a statement.
“Catholicism teaches that freedom is the right to do what you ought to do. As such, it is always tied to duty, and to individual responsibility. Once that understanding breaks down—as it has in the West—trouble follows.”
After two gunmen killed 12 people in Paris on Wednesday, Donohue released a statement saying he did not condone the murder of journalists at Charlie Hebdo, but sympathized with the perpetrators. He said editor Stephane Charbonnier “didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death,” and that he might not have been shot and killed “had he not been so narcissistic.”
The next day, Donohue continued to attack the French magazine.
“Nothing justifies the killing of these people. But this is not the whole of this issue,” he said in another statement, published Thursday.
“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.”
He also described Charlie Hebdo as “pornographers disguised as satirists” in an appearance on Fox News.