'Defamatory, obscene and vicious'

Catholics want to silence comics

American Catholics have condemned comedians Penn & Teller for launching the most ‘defamatory, obscene and vicious’ attack on the church ever screened on TV.

The Catholic League pressure group is organising a campaign against broadcaster CBS over the episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! which aired last week on its cable channel Showtime.

The programme attacked the Vatican’s intolerance, greed, paranoia, hypocrisy and callous disregard for human suffering’, while others branded the church an ‘amoral’ and ‘power-hungry’ institution that is just worried about its cash flow.

It discussed sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, and the case of Italian comedian Sabina Guzzanti, who was threatened with legal action for defamation after saying the Pope should end up in hell, tormented by ‘very active’ gay devils, as punishment for the church's treatment of homosexuals.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League told the right-wing Fox News that Penn & Teller's ‘Nazi-like assault on Catholicism… will go down in history as one of the most vile, obscene programs ever aired in any nation. That CBS, which owns Showtime, allows this to go on is positively unbelievable.’

The campaigners have sent copies of the offending programme to hundreds of religious leaders of all faiths across America, and demanded that CBS cancel the Penn & Teller show.

Donohue added: ‘[Penn] Jillette lied about the Vatican's reaction to Sabina Guzzanti, an Italian foul-mouthed comedian who staged an assault on the Pope in 2008: the Pope never sought to throw “her sexy ass in jail” and never once sought any punitive measure against her - it's all a bald face lie. He lied about Pope Benedict XVI - he had absolutely nothing to do with overseeing cases of priestly sexual misconduct in the United States.’

The Catholic League were also good enough to post the entire episode on their website:

Published: 3 Sep 2009

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