CNN: Commentary on Pope Francis as Time’s Person-of-the-Year Honor

Written By Call To Action


December 16, 2013

CNN transcript below of Kate Childs Graham, Co-President of Call To Action Board of Directors. Aired December 15, 2013 at 3:00pm ET.

Watch the segment here.


Pope Francis is responding to comments by some conservatives that are accusing him of being a Marxist. In an interview to an Italian newspaper he says quote “Marxist ideology is wrong but I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people so I don’t feel offended.” Actually, a very typical personal flair in his part there.

Now, let’s bring in the president of the Catholic League for religious and civil rights, that’s Bill Donahue and Kate Childs Graham, young voices columnist for “the national catholic reporter.”

Welcome to you, both.



SAVIDGE: Bill, let me start with you and will ask you both. But Bill, first, what do you think of this nomination being named by “Time” magazine? How important is it and what’s your reaction?

DONOHOE: Well, I’m very proud, of course, as a catholic. And this is a man who towers over every world leader. And unlike all world leaders, secular, or religious, he’s a man you can put your arms around. He is a man of the people.

On the other hand, let’s take a look at the competition. I saw a born queen, an incompetent bureaucrat and a traitor. But you know what, we will take it, I like it.

SAVIDGE: What do you think of Rush Limbaugh’s comments, though, his criticisms?

DONOHOE: Yes. Well, it’s rather silly. I mean, he certainly has a right to say that. If the Pope (INAUDIBLE), at the very least embraced liberation theology which is a strange odd mix to your Christianity or Marxism. The Pope is clearly against liberation theology, never mind Marxism. He’s against greed, which knows no economic model.

SAVIDGE: Kate, I have to say, I had an atheist tell me she loved the Pope which I thought, wow. That’s really — you’re really winning over some folks there. Is this important to be named by “Time” magazine or are we just really affirming outside of the church, a lot of people seem to like him?

GRAHAM: You know, I think this is a honorable for Pope Francis and for Catholics.

Pope Francis is saying, what Catholics have been saying for years, that we want inclusive welcoming church, isn’t obsessed with abortion, prohibiting same-sex marriage but he is focused on standing on the side of the poor and economic justice. I think that’s why Pope Francis is so popular and to your ideas friends and my friends who felt disenfranchised or disenchanted from the church. And so, I think this is a win for those and Catholics And Pope Francis.

SAVIDGE: But isn’t he builds dodging these kinds of what more important issues and society?


SAVIDGE: Go ahead, Bill. Then we’ll bring in Kate with you.

DONOHOE: No, no. I mean, a couple of weeks ago he condemned secular progressiveness. The media didn’t want to pick up on him because they like what — they want to cherry pick some of the things he says which is more in tune with the liberal ideas. But, he is strongly against a bizarre foe notion of two men getting married. The ideal of that child abuse doesn’t begin at the womb. Of course, it begins in the womb. He’s made it very clear. He just wants to send a message. We’ve got to get beyond the parochial concerns claims and some conservative Catholics that been had.

SAVIDGE: Yes, Kate, do you agree with that that we got to get beyond this point so we can move to other things?

GRAHAM: I mean, I think these points are important. They are important conversation for my family and for many Catholics around the world. And I think that we are seeing an impact of Pope Francis’ change in tone, even though he hasn’t changed doctrine yet. Just last month un Illinois, they passed same-sex marriage and Catholic legislators in the state pointed that Pope Francis is the reason they supported that legislation. That’s impact. That’s change.

DONOHOE: They don’t know any better. They should read what he said. OK? The Pope is not against gay people. It you’re against gay people you’re not a good Christian. But you’re also not a good Christian if you think that marriage should be dilute so that you have people of the same sex getting married. Those catholic legislators are out of step and ought to read what the Pope has said.

GRAHAM: Bill, I think that, you know, Pope Francis had said again and again that he doesn’t want this church to be a small chapel for the few. He wants it to be a big church, a home for all and that includes my family and yours.

SAVIDGE: I wanted to ask quickly I know we’re out of time. Does it matter if people outside of the Catholic Church like the Pope or not? Isn’t it really the Catholic Church that matters and those participating in it?

GRAHAM: The Pope is a world leader, of course, it matters. Its impact is felt by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The catholic church is a huge service provider. Certainly, in the United States, the U.S. bishops use their money and their might to advocate for good and for bad.

SAVIDGE: Bill, you get the last word we’ll quick. I’m sorry, Kate. Didn’t mean to cut you off.

DONOHOE: Well, I would agree. There is no question to man. It does matter what’s Jews think and they are happy with Pope Francis, as well as Muslims and Protestants and some people with no faith at all. While it’s of particular concern to Catholics, he is in fact the head of the nation’s state, the Holy Sea, as a member of the U.N.

SAVIDGE: Bill Donohoe and Kate Childs Graham, Merry Christmas to you both. Thank you both for coming in today.

DONOHOE: Merry Christmas.

GRAHAM: Merry Christmas.


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