Interim Staff

TORONTO – The Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) is demanding a public apology from Canadian broadcaster Michael Enright for remarks he made about the Catholic Church in an interview with a Toronto newspaper.

Enright, the co-host of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio program, As It Happens, called the Roman Catholic Church “the greatest criminal organization outside the Mafia.”

“Mr Enright’s comment is a blatant falsehood that cannot go unchallenged,” said Michael Markwick, British Columbia chapter president of the CCRL, speaking on behalf of the national organization.

“He casts the Church in a profoundly denigrating light. No employer should accept such intolerance, let alone a publicly-funded institution upon which Canadians rely for fairness and balance.”

The Catholic Civil Rights League, representing 12.2 million Catholics in Canada, questioned the integrity of the public broadcasting corporation in light of Enright’s comment.

“Mr. Enright’s remarks would have brought immediate censure if directed at any other recognized group,” said Markwick, a former executive assistant to the Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

“Mr. Enright holds a position of trust with the Canadian public,” Markwick added. “He should be aware of how damaging and hurtful his condemnation of their Church is to millions of Catholics from every walk of life.”

Enright made a belaboured, yet half-hearted explanation for his remark in a May 15 letter to The Globe and Mail.

Although he admitted his comments were ill conceived and hurtful to Canadian Catholics, he failed to offer a serious apology.