Pundit's Pontificating Draws Fire
Maher sorry for Nazi jibe, but Catholics want scalp over cult remarks
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2008 11:58 AM CDT
'If the pope,' Bill Maher said, 'was CEO of a chain of nationwide day care centers who had thousands of employees ... caught molesting children and then covering it up, he would have been in jail.'   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Not for the first time, people are calling for Bill Maher's head—in this case for taking pot shots at Pope Benedict XVI on his HBO show. "If you have a few hundred followers and you let some of them molest children, they call you a cult leader,"  Maher said. "If you have a billion, they call you 'pope.'" He also made a joke about the pontiff's membership in the Hitler Youth group as a child.

 On a later show, Maher apologized for the "pope is a Nazi joke," but stood by the molestation point. "If the pope, instead of a religious figure, was the CEO of a chain of nationwide day care centers who had thousands of employees who had been caught molesting children and then covering it up, he would have been in jail," he said. Replied a Catholic leader: "We accept Maher's apology for accusing the pope of being a Nazi. Too bad he didn't stop there. For him to suggest that Pope Benedict XVI was in charge of policing molesters, and failed in doing so, is patently absurd."