I think Fr. Flaherty goes just a wee bit overboard later in the article in suggesting that distributing Chick tracts might lead to another Columbine. His bishop makes a much better statement:
Father Jay Flaherty, of Holy Cross Catholic Church, said he first learned about the pamphlets when one of his youth brought one to him.
"There's two of them that really upset me because I knew it would upset the children," Father Flaherty said. "One's called the 'Death Cookie,' which claims that our communion is from the devil."The other pamphlet, titled "Last Rites," shows cartoon drawings of a Roman Catholic man who isn't saved because he didn't accept Christ.
In a statement release Friday by the Diocese of Knoxville, Bishop Richard F. Stika called the pamphlets "reprehensible acts of prejudice and hatred of a few souls."
"The rationale one Baptist pastor gave in support of distributing these reprehensible, discriminatory, and bigoted tracts was that he was trying to point out the primary difference his church has with Catholics: the belief that a person does not and cannot work his or her way to salvation," Bishop Stika said in the statement. "Unfortunately, this pastor does not have a correct understanding of what the Catholic faith teaches in this regard."
I found another news article which gives more information about the situation. I hadn't realized these pamphlets had been passed out at a local public high school. I think the article indicates that it was students from this Baptist church passing them out. Some choice quotes from the article.
Despite admitting he knew little about the Catholic Faith, Conner Heighs Baptist Pastor Jonathan Hatcher felt confident that publisher Chick Publications was spreading the gospel . . .
Pastor Hatcher says he's not trying to target Catholics specifically, just the belief that the eucharist will save one's soul.
In fact, he says he doesn't even really know much about the Catholic faith.
"I'm obviously not schooled in the Catholic religion, I've not read the Catholic canons. I study the King James Bible and that's what I preach from, what I study from," Pastor Hatcher said.
When asked if he's concerned about passing out literature targetting a religion about which he admits he doesn't know much, Pastor Hatcher says he trusts the publishers of the material.
"The people who distribute these tracts, or put them on the market, say they are schooled in it," Pastor Hatcher said. "Our goal is not to spread not to start violence, not to spread hatred, but to share the Gospel."
Yes, let us trust Jack Chick on the subject of Catholicism.