|Former NY Mayor Ed Koch (photo credit: Catholic Online)|
JERUSALEM (Zenit.org / Catholic Online) - The Jewish former mayor of New York is affirming that "continuing attacks" by the media on the Church and Benedict XVI have become "manifestations of anti-Catholicism."
Edward "Ed" Koch, who also served as a U.S. Congressman from 1969 to 1977, stated this in a blog published online Thursday by The Jerusalem Post.
"The procession of articles on the same events are, in my opinion, no longer intended to inform, but simply to castigate," Koch asserted.
He acknowledged that the sexual molestation of children is "horrendous," noting that this is a point of agreement among "Catholics, the Church itself, as well as non-Catholics and the media."
On this point, the politician and political commentator said, the Pope has openly proclaimed his abhorrence for the crime and compassion for the victims.
Koch noted that "many of those in the media who are pounding on the Church and the pope today clearly do it with delight, and some with malice."
He continued: "The reason, I believe, for the constant assaults is that there are many in the media, and some Catholics as well as many in the public, who object to and are incensed by positions the Church holds, including opposition to all abortions, opposition to gay sex and same-sex marriage, retention of celibacy rules for priests, exclusion of women from the clergy, opposition to birth control measures involving condoms and prescription drugs and opposition to civil divorce.
"My good friend, Cardinal John O'Connor, once said, 'The Church is not a salad bar, from which to pick and choose what pleases you.'
"The Church has the right to demand fulfillment of all of its religious obligations by its parishioners, and indeed a right to espouse its beliefs generally."
The Jewish politician clarified that he personally does not agree with the Catholic position on these issues, but he added that the Church "has a right to hold these views in accordance with its religious beliefs."
He affirmed: "Orthodox Jews, like the Roman Catholic Church, can demand absolute obedience to religious rules. Those declining to adhere are free to leave."
Koch stated his belief that "the Roman Catholic Church is a force for good in the world, not evil."
As well, he said, "the existence of 1 billion, 130 million Catholics worldwide is important to the peace and prosperity of the planet."
"Of course, the media should report to the public any new facts bearing upon the issue of child molestation," Koch affirmed, "but its objectivity and credibility are damaged when the New York Times declines to publish an op-ed offered by New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan on the issue of anti-Catholicism and offers instead to publish a letter to the editor, which is much shorter and less prominent than an op-ed."
He asserted, "I am appalled that, according to the Times of April 6, 2010, 'Last week, the center-left daily newspaper La Repubblica wrote, without attribution that certain Catholic circles believed the criticism of the Church stemmed from a New York Jewish lobby.'"
Koch clarified that if these "certain Catholic circles" were referring to the Times, it should be stated that the publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., is not Jewish, but rather Episcopalian, and its executive editor, Bill Keller, is also a Christian.
"Enough is enough," Koch said.
He continued: "Yes, terrible acts were committed by members of the Catholic clergy.
"The Church has paid billions to victims in the United States and will pay millions, perhaps billions, more to other such victims around the world.
"It is trying desperately to atone for its past by its admissions and changes in procedures for dealing with pedophile priests."
Koch concluded by quoting the words of Jesus, as recorded in John 8:7: "He [or she] that is without sin among you, let him [or her] cast the next stone."