The Catholic League's Bill Donohue has slammed HBO for continuing to support what he says is bigotry and "anti-Catholic rantings" on the "Real Time with Bill Maher" show.
Donohue spoke out against the latest episode on Friday, when host Bill Maher and filmmaker Seth MacFarlane, both outspoken atheists, reminisced about some of the latter's work on his "Family Guy" show on Fox.
"I saw your show, it was a repeat, I know," Maher said about a controversial Dec. 7, 2014, episode titled "The 2000-Year-Old-Virgin."
"Jesus was [expletive] Peter's wife, but it was a scam. He was [expletive] a lot of people's wives — and this was your Christmas show," Maher recalled.
Donohue noted that MacFarlane has offended Catholic people many times throughout his show, from mocking the Eucharist, to slandering gay priests, and promoting "dishonest myths about the Inquisition."
"And Maher's constant anti-Catholic rantings would of course fill pages — as they do in our annual reports. Yet HBO and its parent company, Time Warner, continue to proudly feature his show, making them fully culpable in his bigotry and that of his guests," he added in a statement on Monday.
The "Family Guy" episode in question has been strongly criticized by a number of conservative voices, including radio show host Glenn Beck, who is a Mormon.
"Can you tell me one man that has changed the world for the better, made people more peaceful, more decent, more honorable than Jesus? But every great act, every truly great freeing act was inspired by the teachings of Jesus Christ," Beck said in December 2014.
"Why would we take down just that man? Why would we make him into a joke?" he asked, adding that there was nothing brave about making such an episode.
In the past, Maher has hit back against conservatives who "constantly whine" that Christianity is under attack in America, noting that there are are over 300,000 churches in the country.
Maher argued in June 2015 that while Christians "love to feel persecuted," they are "a long way from them getting eaten by lions in the Coliseum."
Donohue meanwhile has been speaking out against various anti-Catholic initiatives in America, such as a number of satanic ceremonies, some targeting statues of the Virgin Mary, that were carried out around Christmas time in December.
"In a world where Christians are routinely being murdered and raped in the name of God, even non-believers must be curious about the rise of satanism. Here at home we are also witnessing a surge in satanic attacks," Donohue warned in a press release back then.