Anti-Catholic Attacks Need Quick, Strong Responses

Events that made headlines this past week show us that anti-Catholic actions are becoming increasingly acceptable in society: From a college professor threatening volunteers from the Catholic Students Association of Hunter College, the Catholic Center at NYU, and Students for Life of America — who were handing out pro-life informational brochures on campus — to a professional sports team inviting an anti-Catholic group to be honored, then disinviting them in the wake of the backlash, only to re-invite them. 

Shellyne Rodriguez, an adjunct professor at Hunter College and the School of Visual Arts, confronted and berated pro-life students in the Hunter Student Union before throwing their literature on the ground. 

Days later, Rodriguez threatened a reporter from The New York Post with a machete when he reached out for comment on the video that showed Rodriguez’s aggressive behavior against the students. She turned herself in to the NYPD and was charged by the Bronx district attorney with menacing and harassment. A judge freed her with no bail required despite her wielding a deadly weapon. 

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, The Los Angeles Dodgers appear to be determined to take things to a new low. 

The sports organization initially invited Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI), a vehemently anti-Catholic organization of people who scantily dress as nuns, to be honored as part of the team’s annual Pride Night celebration. 

Why did the Dodgers have to select a group to honor that is so openly against the Church? 

Catholic organizations, along with Sen. Marco Rubio, deplored the Dodgers into rethinking their plan to honor this despicable group, who hold mock crucifixions on Easter with a Christ-like figure pole dancing on a cross. 

The Dodgers acquiesced to the pressure, only to rescind that decision and re-invite the group. 

The importance of this is the fact that the Dodgers do rely on the support of a Latino community, which is largely Catholic. 

You put these events together and add the 324 Catholic churches that have been vandalized since May 2020, and it’s easy to conclude that Catholicism is under attack. What we need is for the faithful to speak against these attacks because the secular world does not appear to see violence or depravity as skewed or dangerous. 

Former Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron, the current bishop of Winona-Rochester in Minnesota, is a vocal critic of the Dodgers and the support the team has given to SPI. 

While Christianity is continually allowed to be mocked and ridiculed, such behavior would not be tolerated if other religions were the targets. 

Bishop Barron took to social media to pose the question of what the reaction would be if, instead of Catholicism, the SPI had attacked other groups. 

“You know, those questions answer themselves. But somehow, attacking Catholics in this most disgraceful way is OK.” he wrote. “It was said famously about a century ago the last acceptable prejudice in America is anti-Catholicism. But we shouldn’t tolerate it.” 

The bishop called on people to boycott the Dodgers. 

We need more voices like this, both inside and outside the Church, to speak up. Now is the time.