South Park went all in on the scandal rocking the Catholic Church. Their latest episode — titled “A Boy and a Priest,” which aired Wednesday night — tackled the institution’s institutional cover-up of child molestation, reaching back into the decades. It was inevitable it would draw the ire of the infamously tetchy Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, who’ve long pounced on any film, TV show, song, painting, what have you that in any way depicts the Church in a negative or critical light. But even for them, their complaint this time was pretty weird.
The episode centered around the eternally innocent Butters, who everyone in town assumes is being abused by local Catholic priest Father Maxi. He’s not, but that doesn’t stop the Church from sending in a clean-up crew to erase any evidence and slip Maxi off to another church.
The Catholic League didn’t object to South Park tackling a hot-button that has seen public opinion widely turn against the Church. It doesn’t even object to creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone depicting the institution, accurately, as trying to cover up crimes rather than punish wrongdoers. In fact, here’s their entire statement, posted on their site and picked up by The Wrap:
The October 3rd episode of South Park, titled “A Boy and a Priest,” portrayed molesting priests as pedophiles. This is factually inaccurate: Almost all the molesters—eight in 10—have been homosexuals. Therefore, the cartoon-victim characters should have been depicted as adolescents, not kids.
In Hollywood, the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, are seen as courageous. They are really cowards. It takes courage to tell the truth.
That’s it. Because the majority of sexual abuse involved adolescents, Parker and Stone should have had Maxi not-abuse a kid older than Butters. Okay?
The Catholic League is basically one person: an angry guy named William Donahue, who goes on 24/7 news network shows and howls about perceived anti-Catholic bigotry, often while making sexist, homophobic, even anti-Semitic comments. Some of the films and shows and people he’s gone after include Kevin Smith’s Dogma, the children’s film The Golden Compass, Joan Osborne’s “One of Us” (whose chorus asked “What if God was one of us?”), and Kathy Griffin, who once accepted an Emmy by saying, “Suck it, Jesus, this award is my god now.”
One movie Donohue did like was Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, which led him to say, “Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It’s not a secret, OK? And I’m not afraid to say it.” Truly a fun and intelligent guy.
(Via The Wrap)