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Cardinal calls Super Bowl breast-baring 'sign of the times'

Washington's Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has said the exposure of a pop singer's breast during the halftime entertainment at America's most-watched sporting event reflects the "decline and fall of a culture that made this nation great".

Singer Justin Timberlake startled an estimated 89 million television viewers when he pulled off part of Janet Jackson's top at the conclusion of their duet, briefly exposing her breast. Like the Melbourne Cup in Australia, Super Bowl is the sporting event that "stops the nation".

Cardinal McCarrick said: "What is the most disturbing of all is that I see really wonderful young people falling for this pernicious anti-culture and losing their ideals and their values, with the resulting danger to our nation and our society."

In a column for his archdiocesan newspaper, the cardinal cited the Enron business scandal, unethical behaviour by the media, the growth of violent crime, "the ominous decline of the birthrate, the subtle and now court-appointed attacks on the survival of marriage and family, pornography and drugs and political correctness" as "signs of trouble ahead".

"What is the answer? Let me oversimplify it," he added. "God is the answer, a return to the principles of faith and hope and love. All the values and the virtues come from these fundamental building blocks of a strong and sane society."

Cardinal sees Super Bowl incident as disturbing sign of the times (Catholic News Service 4/2/04)

Jackson, Timberlake bare-breast Super Bowl incident stirs outrage (Associated Press/Tucson Citizen 3/2/04)
Archdiocese of Washington
Catholic Standard
Super Bowl

6 Feb 2004