(The Catholic League) Last Friday, Rev. Robert Jeffress, the Dallas pastor who introduced Gov. Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit, spoke derisively about the Mormon faith of Mitt Romney, making the case that “Mormonism is a cult.” Two days later, he chided Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as “false religions.”
Last year, Rev. Jeffress said the Roman Catholic Church was the outgrowth of a “corruption” called the “Babylonian mystery.” He continued, “Much of what you see in the Catholic Church today doesn’t come from God’s word. It comes from that cult-like pagan religion. Isn’t that the genius of Satan?”
Catholic League president Bill Donohue offered these remarks today:
Where did they find this guy? When theological differences are demonized by the faithful of any religion—never mind by a clergyman—it makes a mockery of their own religion. Rev. Jeffress is a poster boy for hatred, not Christianity.UPDATE:
Catholic League president Bill Donohue released the following statement today:
Last night, I discussed the flap over Rev. Robert Jeffress with Chris Matthews on “Hardball” [click here]. While I made it clear that the anti-Catholic comments made by Jeffress must be roundly condemned, I also stated that I was not blaming Gov. Rick Perry for what the pastor said. One of the reasons I said this was because I was assured by my friend, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, that Perry would never countenance any scurrilous remarks about the Catholic Church.
When I got home, I received a phone call from Gov. Perry. Catholic activist Deal Hudson, who has a history of forging good relationships between Catholics and evangelicals, intervened in this matter and arranged for the phone call. Perry and I spoke candidly about the Jeffress incident, and about religion, in general. He spoke sincerely: nothing that Jeffress said about Catholicism represents his views.
I very much appreciate Gov. Perry’s interest in getting this issue behind him in a responsible manner. He succeeded. Case closed.