I was interviewed by HRC a couple of times and wrote a presentation about our editorial views of the cartoon. Earlier this week, they wrote to say that the complaint has been dismissed because it did not come under the jurisdiction of the HRC.
I am writing to you as editor of rabble.ca, a news site that has had a
complaint brought against it in connection with an animated cartoon that was published on our site in April of 2005.
Mike Constable, who produced the animation, is a respected artist who has been with rabble.ca since it was founded five years ago. He is a satirist in the traditional sense of the word, using his art to comment on the news and
on issues of the day. As a responsible commentator, he enjoys freedom of expression on rabble.ca although as his editor, I have the right and responsibility to decide if his work appears or not - as I do with all our columnists and other contributors.
The animation under discussion depicted Benedict XVI shortly after he became the new pope. It showed the German pope tripping lightly across the scene, stopping in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary, looking around carefully and then raising his arm and saying, "Heil Mary."
I felt it was a legitimate comment on the fact that Benedict had served in the Hitler Youth while growing up in Germany. As an editor (and as a Catholic) I was not offended by it and did not feel that it reflected in any way on Catholics or Catholicism. It was an observation on something about the pope's past that was known and documented.
With this letter, I am including an article I wrote to explain to our readers our editorial view of this controversy and also a response to my article from Joanne McGarry, Executive Director of the Catholic Civil Rights League, the organization which had first raised objections to the animation.
Editor - rabble.ca