Catholic Group Says Lipton Ad Ridicules Faith

Patrick Scully wants to know why, in his view, the Catholic faith seems to be "fair game" when it comes to off-color jests.

The Catholic League communications director on Friday turned his ire on Lipton foods, which he says this week placed an ad poking fun at the Eucharist.

"The bigger question is, why is it permissive in this society to demean and ridicule our faith?" he questioned.

The advertisement, which can be found in this week's edition of The New York Press, shows four parishioners in line for the priest to serve them the Eucharistic Host that Roman Catholics believe to be the body of Jesus Christ.

The fourth person pictured in line is holding up a bowl, presumably to slather his wafer in Lipton's famous onion dip.

"The Lipton ad is not poking gentle fun at Catholicism the way some other ads have," charged Scully, who says his New York office has received a number of complaints. Scully called Lipton's multinational corporate parent company Unilever, and lodged his own grievances, asking that the ad be pulled.

"We haven't heard from them," he said. "We're talking the central belief in Catholicism. Obviously, Catholics make up a large portion of their consumer base. Why would you risk alienating so many of your own customers?"

Calls to Lipton and the New York offices of Unilever were not returned Friday afternoon.

Scully says the church has a pretty good sense of humor when it comes to prankish caricatures of nuns and priests in modern advertisements, but this one went too far. "No one would treat the central beliefs of Judaism or Islam this way, nor should they," asserted Scully.