Matt C. Abbott
Remembering two courageous priests; Protesting a Pepsi/Doritos (potential) Super Bowl ad
By Matt C. Abbott
January 1, 2011

My Australian Catholic journalist-friend Andrew Rabel, who contributes to Inside the Vatican magazine, wrote (edited):

    'It is with a touch of sadness that I learned of the death of Father John Harvey [click here for the memorial], founder of Courage, an apostolate founded to help those who suffer from same-sex attraction. This marvelous and compassionate priest made a few visits to Australia, and we have his terrific apostolate in a number of Australian cities.

    'Father Harvey started counseling homosexual persons in the 1950s and devoted his entire life to help them accept the Church's 'tough love' in regard to chastity. I've met individuals who have ridiculed the Church's teaching as repressive and outdated. But as I've tried to say in response, it doesn't matter what your vocation in life is ... chastity is a call to everyone, whether you're single or married, or whether you're attracted to the opposite or your own sex.

    'Because chastity has been so little in vogue over these last few decades, we have abortion — not all women have abortions for this reason, but as Father Paul Marx [click here for the memorial] used to say, 'Abortion is just one symptom of sex run loose' — and AIDS. Contraception plays no small part here as well.

    'May God grant you eternal repose to your soul, Father Harvey, and please continue to intercede for all people who have to deal with the cross of same-sex attraction. A job well done. We will miss you.'

Pepsi is hosting an advertisement contest, and the winning commercial will air during the Super Bowl. One submission, titled "Feed Your Flock," is, at best, in very poor taste; at worst, it's blasphemy.

Granted, a majority of commercials are in poor taste, but this one features people lining up in a church to receive Pepsi and Doritos as if they're receiving the Holy Eucharist. Yes, the "Mass" in the commercial is indeed more Protestant than Catholic (traditional Catholics may insert their Novus Ordo jokes here), but still ... would the makers of this commercial produce one that mocks, say, Muhammad and Islam?

The commercial can be viewed on Facebook and on Pepsi's website.

Please consider signing this petition in protest.

To all my readers: Happy New Year! (Please pray for me and my loved ones.)

Update as of Jan. 3:

Today I received the following e-mail from a Frito-Lay official (emphasis is mine):


I work for Frito-Lay and wanted to provide you with an update regarding the video you have been discussing from our Crash the Super Bowl contest. First, I wanted to reaffirm that the video was a consumer-created entry in the contest where consumers were asked to submit ads for Doritos or Pepsi MAX with the chance of airing on the Super Bowl broadcast. The video was not created by Doritos or Pepsi MAX.

We received over 5,600 entries. As you can imagine, with such a significant number of submissions, you get a pretty wide range of concepts. We apologize if you were upset or offended by this consumer submission.

We announced our 10 finalists this morning, and I wanted to let you know that the video you have been discussing is not included in the group. This means that it will not air during the Super Bowl, nor will it be a part of any other Doritos or Pepsi MAX marketing programs in the future.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Chris Kuechenmeister

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other media outlets. In 2005 and 2006, he was among the first writers to expose former cardinal Theodore McCarrick's abuse of power with and sexual harassment of seminarians. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if they're marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in limited circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)


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