Republican presidential candidate John McCain has been accused by the Catholic League of embracing a “bigot” — Texas evangelical leader John Hagee.
McCain said on Wednesday that he was “very honored” to win the endorsement of pro-Israel Hagee, who heads a 19,000-member church in San Antonio.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a statement: “There are plenty of staunch evangelical leaders who are pro-Israel, but are not anti-Catholic. John Hagee is not one of them.
“Indeed, for the past few decades he has waged an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church. For example, he likes calling it ‘The Great Whore,’ an ‘apostate church,’ the ‘anti-Christ,’ and a ‘false cult system…
“In Hagee’s latest book, ‘Jerusalem Countdown,’ he calls Hitler a Catholic who murdered Jews while the Catholic Church did nothing…
“For the record, Hitler persecuted the Catholic Church and was automatically excommunicated in 1931 — two years before he assumed power — when he acted as best man at Joseph Goebbels’ Protestant wedding…
“As for doing nothing about the Holocaust … Israeli diplomat Pinchas Lapide credited the Catholic Church with saving 860,000 Jews. No religion can match that.”
Hagee is best known for his writings on the Middle East, where he envisions a blood-soaked clash between East and West leading to the return of Jesus Christ.
Hagee has written that events in the Middle East point to an imminent apocalypse Christians should welcome.
McCain said that he was not familiar with Hagee's writings.
Donohue declared: “Senator Obama has repudiated the endorsement of Louis Farrakhan, another bigot. McCain should follow suit and retract his embrace of Hagee.”
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