Minister Backing McCain Apologizes For Anti-Catholic Remarks
The Pastor John Hagee, backer of Republican Presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, apologized for his anti-Catholic remarks Tuesday, renouncing his previous comments in a letter of apology to the president of the Catholic League, William Donohue. In the letter, Hagee said that after engaging in a “constructive dialogue” with Catholic friends and leaders, he came to better understand the history between Judaism and Catholicism and that his previous comments about the Church were made out of ignorance. Hagee had in the past referred to the Catholic Church as “the great whore” and of a propagating a “theology of hate.” Donohue accepted the apology, calling Hagee's words "sincere" and that he now considered the matter closed. "The tone of Hagee’s letter is sincere. He wants reconciliation and he has achieved it. Indeed, the Catholic League welcomes his apology.
John McCain with John HageeWhat Hagee has done takes courage and quite frankly I never expected him to demonstrate such sensitivity to our concerns,” wrote Donohue. Hagee has backed Sen. John McCain—an endorsement McCain accepted in his desire to court the Christian right—but soon distanced himself from Hagee’s comments, including his statements that Hurricane Katrina was “the judgment of God against New Orleans.” But in the wake of media feeding frenzy surrounding Sen. Barack Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the Democratic National Committee called for McCain to back away from Hagee's endorsement. “Unless John McCain's idea of being a new kind of Republican includes cozying up to radicals who compare women to dogs, hold racially insensitive fundraisers and call one of the worst natural disasters in our country's history God's punishment, he should renounce John Hagee's endorsement immediately,” said DNC Communications Director Karen Finney.