New York, NY, January 4, 2013 … In response to an online petition calling on the Obama Administration to label the Roman Catholic Church as “a hate group” for its conservative views on marriage, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the petition as an “outrageous and offensive conceit,” adding, “It was irresponsible for the promoter of this petition to use our name.”
The petition, titled “Officially recognize the Roman Catholic Church as a hate group” and posted to the whitehouse.gov web site on December 25, claimed that Pope Benedict XVI “demeaned and belittled homosexual people around the world” in his annual Christmas address to the College of Cardinals. It asserted that the Catholic Church “fits the definition of a hate group as defined by both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.”
“The claims made in this petition to the White House are abhorrent, and the notion that the Catholic Church could be defined as a hate group is an outrageous and offensive conceit,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “While one may agree or disagree with the Church’s position on homosexuality and marriage, any attempt to label the entire faith as a hate group is illegitimate and unacceptable. It was irresponsible for the promoter of this petition to use our name.”
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.