South Park is legendary at this point for airing controversial episodes and tackling controversial topics with humor that doesn’t pull punches. It’s not a show that appeals to everybody, but it has enough of a fanbase that it has lasted for a whopping 22 seasons, and the show may well last for as long as the creators are willing to keep it going. That said, the Catholic League took specific issue with a recent episode of South Park. Here’s how Catholic League president Bill Donohue addressed the plot of the episode:
Well, no question about how Catholic League president Bill Donohue feels about the latest episode of South Park! He doesn’t seem to have a specific problem with South Park covering the scandal of molestation in the Catholic Church, but rather with how it was represented on the animated series. According to Donohue, there’s a distinction between pedophiles and molesters that should have meant South Park presented victims as adolescents rather than children. To Donohue in his statement on the Catholic League website, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are cowards for telling the story the way they did on the show.
The “A Boy and a Priest” episode first tackled the molestation scandal that has surrounded the Catholic Church for years by revealing the people of South Park attending mass on Sundays to more or less heckle the priest with jokes about the actions of molesters. Father Maxi comes to the realization that his innocent friendship with young Butters could very well be misinterpreted in light of the very real cases of abuse.
If that’s where the episode had stopped, perhaps the Catholic League would not have been so up-in-arms about what happened. In the South Park version of the Catholic Church, an alarm goes off that there’s an abuser in South Park, and the cardinals go off on a mission to hide any and all evidence of wrongdoing that could reflect badly on the Church. In the course of the episode, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League evidently found plenty that offended him.
The Catholic League was founded back in 1973 and touts itself as the largest Catholic civil rights organization in the United States. The accusation that the South Park creators are cowards will likely result in the League landing a spot in the limelight for a bit, but South Park will probably not be affected. Only time will tell if anything further comes of this situation. I don’t see South Park losing its spot on the list of 5 most offensive TV shows of all time any time soon.