|The anti-Catholic John Crown|
Doctor, Professor, Senator, Newspaper columnist John Crown [Ed: when does he do any work?] had a vicious, nastly, vile article in the Sunday Independent. You can read it here. It was the sort of thing written by anti-Catholics in Britain and the United States a hundred years ago.
I read it and fumed and then I wrote a letter of complaint to the editor. Have a read below and I suggest you do likewise (though please write your own version). The only way to prove that someone has caused "grave offence" is to be gravely offended and to indicate that in numbers to the editor and subsequently the Press Ombudsman. Email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and the Press Code is here.
My letter of complaint below:
Dear Editor, I wish to complain about the above article by Professor John Crown in your newspaper on 19 May, 2013. I believe it to be in breach of the Press Code of Practice, Principle 8 – Prejudice, which states that:
Newspapers and magazines shall not publish material intended or likely to cause grave offence or stir up hatred against an individual or group on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, colour, ethnic origin, membership of the travelling community, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, illness or age.
I believe the tone and content of the article was intended to and likely to cause grave offence or stir up hatred against Catholics.
Catholics are called a “cabal of insurrectionists, sympathetic to the agents of a foreign state are….plotting and executing a coup d'etat”. We are “agents of this oligarchic dictatorship” [the Vatican] who “are interfering in our democracy as surely as, but thankfully much less effectively than did the Italians and Germans in aiding the overthrow of the Spanish Republic in the 1930s.”
We are likened to “Gunpowder Plotters” the “recently demilitarised Provos”, the “Contras” and “anti-constitutional Keystone Phalangists”.
We live in a state (the constitution never actually calls it a republic) which guarantees religious freedom, which declares authority comes from God and that public worship is due to Him. We live in a state in which my right to live as a Catholic is protected. Part of being a Catholic is the belief that the head of our church on earth is the Pope. That does not make us foreigners in our own country.
Crown is entitled to his opinion, but under the Press Code of Practice he should express that opinion in a way that is not intended or likely to cause grave offence.