CNN founder Ted Turner is apologizing for calling CNN employees who observe Ash Wednesday as "Jesus freaks."
"I apologize to all Christians for my comment about Catholics wearing ashes on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday. I do not believe in any form of prejudice or discrimination, especially religious intolerance," Turner said in a prepared statement on Friday.
The loose-mouthed media mogul's apology followed a report by Fox News' Brit Hume this week that Turner, attending a meeting at CNN's Washington bureau on Feb. 28, called some employees with ashes on their foreheads "Jesus freaks."
That report sparked Catholic League president William Donohue to slam Turner for his "relentless attacks" on Christians. "He may be just as dumb as John Rocker, but unlike the Atlanta pitcher, he occupies a position of significant influence in our culture," Donohue said.
It's only Turner's latest verbal slap at Christianity. In 1990 the Atlanta media tycoon said Christianity was a religion for "losers," and in 1998 he denounced Catholics and insulted Pope John Paul II. He later apologized for both remarks.
Last year, Turner extolled religious tolerance during the Millennium World Peace Summit at the United Nations - an address he sought to invoke in his latest apology on Friday.
- Richard Tedesco