Flynn leading Catholic voter effort

Flynn leading Catholic voter effort

Former Boston mayor and Vatican ambassador Ray Flynn is leading a new effort by the Massachusetts Catholic Conference to mobilize Catholic voters on issues of concern to Catholics. Flynn points out that this isn’t about Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, but about being Catholic. (He is a Democrat, by the way.)

“We want to come together as Catholics and faithful and patriotic Americans to build a stronger country. We want our voices heard in the civic life of this country.”

Unfortunately, the lack of education of Catholics on these issues comes through clearly as some people at the meeting showed the inability to distinguish between pro-life issues that brook no debate and other issues that concern prudential matters—just war and the death penalty—on which Catholics of good will can disagree while remaining within the boundaries of Church teaching.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
19 comments
  • Sorry, but I would never settle for publishing the response as is, without even saying that they refused to respond to the charges or something similar. I don’t think the empty defense is newsworthy by itself unless Zenit points out that it is empty. Journalism isn’t just reporting stuff—anyone can do that. You have to provide the context, especially for readers who may not have a clue about the rest of the story.

  • You’re right, Maddog, in that the fact of the Salesian response is sufficient for Zenit to report it. But Zenit has a professional obligation to contact the source of the allegation—the DMN—and ask for a response. That’s Journalism 101. It’s what our team did for all the priests, bishops, etc. they wrote about. Zenit has essentially published a press release, as Dom says. That’s not journalism, that’s publicity.

  • Rod & Dom,  I’m not a journalist, so I don’t really understand Journalism 101.  But I see press releases all the time without any sort of “he said, she said” back and forth attached to them.  As a consumer of news, I’m happy to have the Salesians’ response, whatever it is, unencumbered by the opinion (one way or the other) of a news agency.  I like to form my own opinions.  Perhaps Zenit could have simply included a link to the original story on DMN’s web site to provide the context you mention.  As it is, the most cursory reading of their press release reveals that they have not responded to the charges made by the DMN.

    Just for the record, I am a lifelong Catholic who believe that organizations like the Dallas Morning News absolutely SHOULD continue to report on this story, and they should look into the question of sexual abuse by nuns, too.

    I have no tolerance for the misguided interpretation of “mercy” that has infected the hierarchy’s mind.  Any parent with an ounce of sense knows that if if their child comes home driving drunk, they can and should forgive him, but they’re a damn fool to “forget” and give him the keys to the car again!  How “merciful” is it to give someone the tool of their own (and others’) destruction?

    So I don’t have any beef t that the DMN reported the story, or that Zenit “reported” the Salesians’ response.  Perhaps they could have provided some context, but like I said, I’m happy to see what they have to say.  Now I know for sure they’re covering up.

  • To be honest, I doubt that Zenit even thought to contact the DMN for a response. The Salesians said it, they believed it, and that settles it—I bet that’s how they approached this. In February of 2002, I received a phone call from a very prominent Catholic priest, all but commanding me not to write about a particular scandal again.

    “Bishop [X.] told you there was nothing to it,” the clergyman thundered.

    “Father,” I replied, “why should I believe the bishop.”

    Came the response, “Because he is a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church!”

    And that, for the clergyman (who is a brilliant thinker, btw), was that. I ignored his advice.

  • What is the name of the Priest and Bishop or is that a “protected source?”

  • What angers me is not that Zenit reported it, but that the Salesians dared to write it.  I have a window opened to their press release and another window opened to a picture on the dallasnews site.  Actions tell the true tale.

  • Rod, in this case, I subscribe to Patrick’s comment, above.  I’ve never had any reason to think Zenit “carries anybody’s water,” and I’m not going to start because of this.  So I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this.

    BTW, I’ve been looking at some of your recent columns, and I have to say, I wish my local newspaper would let someone like you onto their editorial staff!

  • Maddog they will not hire any Conservatives because most papers have reporters and editors that would make Al Franken look like a member of the John Birch Society.

  • Jonathan,

    Some conversations are understood to be off the record which means that person expects not to have his name used with it. Rod would be engaging in that bad journalism of which you accuse him if he were to reveal such information in a public forum.

  • “Front group” makes it sound as though you’re talking about the Moonies.

    Or maybe that’s what you intended.

  • Please look at the link below from the Australian newspaper. It is about Fr. Kelp and how the Soamans feel about this situation.  There is an interesting quote from this article I would like to point out
    “The Australian Federal Police last night also said it had informed Samoan authorities of Klep’s convictions as far back as 1998, on advice from Victoria.
    However, chief inspector of Samoa’s Criminal Investigations Bureau, Willie Lafaili, said yesterday he had never been asked to investigate Klep by Australian police.“The Australian Federal Police last night also said it had informed Samoan authorities of Klep’s convictions as far back as 1998, on advice from Victoria. However, Chief inspector of Samoa’s Criminal Investigations Bureau, Willie Lafaili, said yesterday he had never been asked to investigate Klep by Australian police.”  I know the church bears most of the blame but when this goes on how can anyone be helped?

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,9926967%5E2702,00.html

  • No great surprise here. Zenit is a front group for the Legionaries of Christ, which has been embroiled in a pedophilia scandal of its own. rld to avoid prosecution, we would have only the legal system to focus on because we would not expect moral high actions from Mafia dons.  What we are seeing is the equivalent of a Mafia-type action, but the persons making the arrangements are assumed (by me at least) to be walking the highest moral turf, which clearly they are not.

    The Ratlines are a significant blot on Church history.  Now it looks as though the lessons learned from the Ratlines are being appllied here.  We would be highly incensed to learn that international corporations operated in this way.  Yet there seems to be an attitude of indifference toward bishops who have effectively established Ratlines for abuser priests.  It seems to indicate that we have lowered our expectations for moral actions from our bishops to the lowest possible common denominator.  At least one of these bishops is considered to be a papal contender at least by some, yet we believe he acted in character?  What then does that say about us?

  • Peace, Dom.

    I’m afraid I don’t see the problem with this guy. He says he respects church teaching, so he doesn’t issue a welcome. He wishes the circumstances of Christian disunity were otherwise—which is what the Holy Father and many other Catholics have voiced. Is there a problem with this?

  • Todd,

    I hope you are well.  I haven’t seen you around St. Blogs lately.

    As for this issue, listen to what the good father is saying:  By his statments he shows the he doesn’t believe that the Eucharist out to anyone *no matter what they believe.*  That is vastly different than what the pope has said – he wishes that everyone *believed* what we do so that we could all be in communion together.  In the first instance, the host is just a cookie that’s nice to share, in the second, it
    2004-06-24 10:28:05
    2004-06-24 14:28:05
    Hardhead,

    I would assert that this can be taken in two ways. 

    Firstly, it could be taken that he will not invite anyone to receive Holy Communion, but he won’t deny anyone either, for any reason.

    Secondly, it could be taken that he is inviting any human person to attend Holy Mass.  Which is totally and completely permissible.

    I would assert that he means the former and not the latter, implicitly.  Since there is no explicit statement, I cannot assume, explicitly, that he is thinking that way.  Especially since he states, “I have longed to make a similar verbal invitation at weddings and funerals, yet as a Catholic priest, I am fully aware of the differences in our understanding of the nature of Holy Communion in the Catholic and various Protestant Churches, and so, respecting the teaching of my Church in this matter, I do not issue a verbal invitation to communion.”

    The bishops have spoken on this matter too, saying; “We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christld to cooperate with the law, sent for treatment, etc. Unfortunately, what they don’t do is actually respond to the DMN’s evidence that they don’t actually do any of this. And Zenit should not have let them get away with this. They should have asked them to respond to the specific accusations before they would re-print this press release. Sloppy journalism by Zenit and ineffective protestations by the Salesians.

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    mcollins@interbit.com

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    2004-06-22 08:43:55
    2004-06-22 12:43:55
    Dom, I’m all for purging this evil from the Church, but I think you’re being unfair to Zenit.  The very fact that the Salesians have put forth such an empty “defense” is newsworthy in itself.  There is nothing wrong with Zenit publishing the Salesians’ response.  If, on the other hand, they editorialized in favor of the Salesians because of the press release, that would be another story altogether.  But there is nothing wrong with simply publishing the response so the reader can form his own judgement about the defense they put forth.

  • Mr. Bettinelli,

    “Unfortunately, the lack of education of Catholics on these issues comes through clearly as some people at the meeting showed the inability to distinguish between pro-life issues that brook no debate and other issues….”

    I don’t see this at all.  I see Mr. Barry and “a few others” disagreeing with Church teaching.  However, I do see Pro-Life Democrats speaking out and promoting Catholic truths (ie., “Each {legislative candidates} made a brief pitch, skewering their opponents for not vigorously opposing gay marriage, and for promoting embryonic stem cell research, emergency contraception for women, and other social issues that conflict with church teachings.”)

    I applaud Ambassador Flynn for standing up to his party and being a faithful Catholic, while sticking to the ideals that he believes are germaine Democratic ideals.  He is very right in saying, “It has absolutely nothing to do with liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican. It’s about being Catholic.”  The Church is not a political entity.

    Camilam

  • I have been attempting to get Larry Cirignano, President of Ray Flynn’s Catholic Vote Organization (http://www.CatholicVote.org) who I met at a Father Pavone PRO-LIFE event at Ave Maria in Ann Arbor on 6/19/03 to get off their duffs to clean up the Pro Abort democatic politicians mess sarting in Massachussets.  Where has he been ?  How many of the Teddy Kennedy crowd has he helped get elected and re elected since he was Boson’s Mayor.  He might be too proud of his life long democratic affiliation.  Maybe it’s time for him to wrap it up in his jock strap and turn it in to Providence College Basketball Coach Tim Welsh.

  • John,

    “I have been attempting to get Larry Cirignano, President of Ray Flynnfifth definition describes ‘sacred’ as “Not to be profaned, violated or made common…” It ain’t a Ritz, Father.

    Now Father, please explain Kerry’s (and others’) appearance on the dais at the NARAL conference earlier this year, then explain away how he is in communion with the Church and may kneel at the altar rail. Oops! I forgot. Altar rails are too restrictive.

    “I simply hope that through the way I celebrate the mass everyone will understand that they are welcome at God’s table.” Perhaps if you’d put mass in the uppercase, as in Holy Sacrifice of The Mass then maybe your hopes would be realized. Sounds more like a garden party that an offering.

    Father, as for making your non-Catholic Christian friends more welcome, why not try someting radical like Fulton Sheen: convert them! There might be the next Rutler or Neuman in your midst.

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