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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Catholic Content: Hagee

Taking a break to check local news whilst eating my PB&J lunch, I found this story on one of our local news sites: Televangelist John Hagee apologizes to Catholics.

WASHINGTON --John Hagee, an influential Texas televangelist who endorsed John McCain, apologized to Catholics Tuesday for his stinging criticism of the Roman Catholic Church and for having "emphasized the darkest chapters in the history of Catholic and Protestant relations with the Jews."

Hagee's support for McCain has drawn cries of outrage from some Catholic leaders who have called on McCain to reject Hagee's endorsement. The likely Republican nominee has said he does not agree with some of Hagee's past comments, but did not reject his support.

In a letter to William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Civil and rligious Rights, Hagee wrote: "Out of a desire to advance a greater unity among Catholics and evangelicals in promoting the common good, I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful."

Donohue, one of Hagee's sharpest critics, said he accepted the apology and planned to meet with Hagee Thursday in New York.

"I got what I wanted," Donohue said in an interview. "He's seen the light, as they like to say. So for me it's over."


The letter came after Hagee met Friday for lunch in a French restaurant in downtown Washington with 22 influential religious activists, virtually all of them Catholics.

Hagee has cited the Inquisition and the Crusades as evidence of anti-Semitism within the Catholic church and has suggested that Catholic anti-Semitism shaped Adolf Hitler's views of Jews.

"In my zeal to oppose anti-Semitism and bigotry in all its ugly forms, I have often emphasized the darkest chapters in the history of Catholics and Protestant relations with the Jews," Hagee wrote. "In the process, I may have contributed to the mistaken impression that the anti-Jewish violence of the Crusades and the Inquisition defines the Catholic Church. It most certainly does not."

Hagee has often made references to "the apostate church" and the "great whore," terms that Catholics say are slurs aimed at the Roman Catholic Church. In his letter, Hagee said he now better understood that his use of those descriptions, taken from the Book of Revelations, are "a rhetorical device long employed in anti-Catholic
literature and commentary."

He stressed that in his use, "neither of these phrases can be synonymous with the Catholic Church."

I'm not sure, even from reading the rest of the article, if Hagee really thinks the Catholic Church isn't the great whore of Babylon or if he only thinks that the use of the term is a slur. If the terms belong in Scripture**, then there is someone or something to whom/which they apply. Does Hagee think that this entity could be the Catholic Church?

Still, Hagee is not as firey, and thus not as interesting, as Jeremiah Wright, so this will disappear soon, I'm sure. I love hearing Colbert ask, in mock exasperation, "Will this issue never go away?", as he plays the Wright video clips over and over and over.

**No, I'm not doubting inerrancy here by asking "if"; I'm posing the start of an "if-then" statement. I'm not that much changed by the conversion, yet.

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