ADL Outraged by Honduran Cardinal's Jewish Conspiracy Theory
Update: In a conversation between Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, ADL explained to the Cardinal that his comments were offensive because they perpetuated an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about Jewish control of the media. The Cardinal apologized, said he never meant his remarks to be taken that way, and indicated that he would never say it again.
New York, N.Y., July 25, 2002 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed outrage at comments made by a Honduran Catholic Cardinal that implied an alleged Jewish manipulation of the American media. Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, in a May interview with the Italian-Catholic publication 30 Giorni, claimed Jews influenced the media to exploit the current controversy regarding sexual abuse by Catholic priests in order to divert attention from the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.
"The Cardinal’s odious anti-Jewish conspiracy theory must be immediately and forcefully condemned by responsible voices in the Catholic Church," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, in a letter sent to Cardinal Walter Kasper, of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with Jews. "We are outraged by Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga’s implication and, as John L. Allen, Jr. states in the July 19th Catholic Reporter, ‘the logic of his comments seems clear: Someone in America doesn’t like the pro-Palestinian tilt of the Catholic Church, and used their media clout to deliver payback. It’s not much of a reach to imagine who Rodriguez might suspect that ‘someone’ to be.’"
Cardinal Rodrigues Maradiaga stated: "It gave me considerable food for thought that, at a time of total media focus on developments in the Middle East with all the injustices being perpetrated against the Palestinian people, U.S. television and press people were obsessed with sex scandals of 30 or 40 years ago."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.