We were watching episodes of “Rick Steve’s Europe” on the Orange County (CA) PBS station yesterday. His where-to-go shows and tips are usually very informative and we expected more of the same. So we were surprised and somewhat offended hear Mr. Steve really go out of his way to bring up the dark side of Catholic Church history, first about the Roman Catholic Church killing thousands of Cathars for practicing their heretical beliefs in medieval France, and then in a separate episode, he glowingly described Czech struggles against an oppressive Austrian rule which was also *Catholic *. These were not brief statements; they formed significant segments of the programs.
We’re not hypersensitive, and would have had no problem if he had only mentioned the facts; e.g. that the Cathar sect was a victim of Church excesses, or that there were religious tensions between Catholic Austria and its Protestant Slavic subjects in times when religion and government were inseparable. But Steve’s comments made no attempt to separate old history from modern Catholicism, and were inappropriate in a tourist program.