National Catholic Register


Media Watch

BY Jim Cosgrove

March 25-31, 2001 Issue | Posted 3/25/01 at 1:00 PM


Newsweek Slurs Opus Dei in Spy Case

NEWSWEEK ONLINE, March 9 — The arrest of alleged spy Robert Hanssen, a member of the group Opus Dei, led the online news magazine to air accusations that the group is “sinister.”

Newsweek wrote, “To some liberal Catholics and disgruntled former members, Opus Dei is at the heart of a spooky and sinister plot to take the Catholic Church back to the Dark Ages.” Other “Opus Dei bashers,” equally unnamed, said that “Hanssen's haughty attitude… was characteristic of Opus Dei's sense of superiority.”

The article also suggested that FBI Director Louis Freeh and Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are members of Opus Dei, a rumor the group denied.

Turner Sorry for ‘Jesus Freak’ Comment

NEW YORK POST, March 10 — Media mogul Ted Turner apologized for calling Catholic employees “Jesus freaks,” the New York daily reported.

At an Ash Wednesday gathering of CNN employees, Turner reportedly spotted ashes on the foreheads of a few people, called them “Jesus freaks,” and asked, “Shouldn't you guys be working for Fox?”

After the Catholic League criticized his comments, Turner apologized “to all Christians” for his “thoughtless” remark.

Ads Claim Christ Went Meatless

THE DETROIT NEWS, March 4 — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has launched a new campaign to convince Christians to be vegetarians, claiming inspiration from Detroit Cardinal Adam Maida, the Detroit daily reported.

Cardinal Maida introduced a resolution at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops three years ago, reaffirming abstinence from meat on Fridays. Now, just in time for Lent, the animal-rights group has raised a billboard asking, “What Wouldn't Jesus Do?”

Many Biblical scholars point out that Jesus eats fish in the Bible. As well, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that using animals for food and clothing is acceptable.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Detroit said, “The cardinal introduced the resolution for meatless Fridays for religious reasons, not political reasons.”

‘Designer Baby’ Grows Up

THE WASHINGTON TIMES, March 6 — Doron Blake, the second baby conceived via the “Genius Sperm Bank,” faces heavy expectations that he'll be an intellectual great like his father, the Washington daily reported.

The Repository for Germinal Choice, founded in 1980, collected sperm from Nobel Prize winners and other luminaries. Blake, who is now studying comparative religion at a private college in Portland, Ore., knew his father only as “Batch 28.”

Blake excelled in school and plays three instruments, but he is no proponent of eugenics. “I like having a good brain,” he said.

“But I do not put a lot of stock in genes, and I don't think being smart makes anyone a better person.” And Blake must fight the familiar battles of adolescence: distance from his mother, worries about his first girlfriend.