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Pennsylvania bishop draws criticism over Hitler remark

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A Roman Catholic bishop in Pennsylvania is drawing criticism for comparing the public school system to those under Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

Harrisburg Bishop Joseph McFadden said in an interview last week with WHTM-TV that totalitarian governments "would love our system" of education. He said Hitler and Mussolini also tried to set up systems that would educate children "in one set of beliefs and one way of doing things."

McFadden told The Patriot-News in an email Wednesday he didn't mean to offend. He says he was making a "dramatic illustration" of how public schools curtail parental choice during an interview about school vouchers.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is calling McFadden's comments inappropriate. Legislative director Andy Hoover noted the control of public schools is a democratic process.

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