HBO talk show host Bill Maher will reportedly apologize this evening for offensive remarks he made this week about Pope Benedict XVI.
In a letter to HBO President Sue Naegle, New York Rep. Vito Fossella along with Senators Marty Golden and Andrew Lanza, City Councilmen James Oddo and Vincent Ignizio and Assemblyman Lou Tobacco, urged the network to issue an apology. HUMAN EVENTS reported on this yesterday, which you can read here.
According to a press release by The Catholic League — Investor’s Business Daily, Mike Gallagher, Steve Malzberg, Les Kinsolving of WorldNetDaily, Newsbusters, Newsmax, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cunningham, Cybercast News Service, Culture and Media Institute, Relevant Radio’s Drew Mariani and other outlets were also “outraged” by the comments.
Maher referred to the Pope as a Nazi and joked that the Catholic Church was “the Bear Stearns of organized pedophilia.”
HBO communicated to Catholic League President Bill Donahue Thursday that an apology would be coming forth shortly for the comments, which aired on “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
“I spoke to an HBO official and he told me that Maher is expected to apologize tomorrow night for falsely accusing the pope of once being a Nazi,” said Donahue. “After researching this matter, HBO concurs with this assessment. Apparently, now Maher does as well. Ergo, the apology.”
The New York lawmakers denounced Maher’s words as “indecent” and the Catholic league said he “lied” by comparing the Pope to a Nazi because he was in a German Youth organization.
Kiera McCaffrey, Director of communications at The Catholic League, said Maher has a history of making anti-religious comments, often directed toward Catholics. She said they are waiting to see “if he gives a real genuine apology.”
“What we’d really like to see is for him to clean up this consistent bashing of the Catholic Church,” she said, adding that they will be watching tonight to see if the apology is real or “smirking.”
Rep. Fossella commented on the forthcoming apology as well, saying it is the right thing to do.
“On behalf of the millions of Catholics in the United States and throughout the world, we are appalled by Mr. Maher’s statements and his anti-Catholic tirade,” Fossella said. “He insulted the charitable work of the millions of Catholics who educate our children, serve our nation, feed the hungry and care for the sick. Of course, it’s not too late for Mr. Maher to do the right thing – beginning with a sincere apology tonight."
In April of last year, Maher joked that, "President Bush spoke at a Catholic prayer breakfast, and you could tell this was a Catholic prayer breakfast because…it was in the morning and he said ‘I’m dying for a little joe’ and they brought him an altar boy."
The Catholic League regularly keeps an eye on Maher’s derogatory statements, obvious from numerous links that surface when “Bill Maher + The Catholic League” is searched on Google.
In January of this year, Donahue remarked that “There is no bigger anti-Christian bigot in the entertainment business than Bill Maher; he has shown that over and over again. While he may not like any religion, he has a special place in his portfolio of hatred for Christians, especially Roman Catholics,” according to Catholic Online…
*Watch Maher’s remarks here.