ADL Chides Harrisburg Bishop for Inappropriate Holocaust Comparison

Philadelphia, PA, January 24, 2012…Anti-Defamation League (Eastern Pennsylvania/Southern New Jersey/Delaware) Regional Director Barry Morrison criticized Harrisburg Bishop Joseph McFadden for his characterization of the nation's public school system, saying that his words were "careless," representing a trivialization of the Holocaust. 

Bishop McFadden was quoted as having said, "In totalitarian governments, they would love our system."  "This is what Hitler and Mussolini and all those tried to establish – a monolith so all the children would be educated in one set of beliefs and one way of doing things." The Bishop was arguing for the use of public funds to support vouchers to enable parents to apply tax dollars for the private/sectarian education of their children. 

"We respect the Bishop and his position in the Church. We appreciate his commitment the education of children and the viability of Catholic schools.  However, he should not be making his point at the expense of the memory of six million Jews and millions of others who perished in the Holocaust," said Morrison. "The Holocaust was a unique experience.  It does not lend itself to inappropriate analogies. We have an obligation to protect the memory of those who suffered because of it from those who would distort it and undermine and trivialize the history of the Holocaust, however inadvertently. Our role should be to honor those who fought to defeat the murderous Nazis, and not to inappropriately draw reckless comparisons."

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.