Kelly Clark on the “Ode to Anne Barrett Doyle”

Kelly Clark on the “Ode to Anne Barrett Doyle”

Kelly Clark writes with her thoughts on the column from the Boston Globe that I blogged yesterday.

    It was not with much surprise but still with some semblance of shock that I read Eileen McNamara’s “Ode To Anne Barrett Doyle” this morning in today’s Boston Globe:

    “Anne Barrett Doyle served fish to her family the night before last but she sat down to a dinner of beef stew herself.”

    Mrs. Doyle is no stranger to dissent. Nor is she a stranger to my parish, or to other churches throughout the archdiocese.

    It’s hard to figure out what “catholic (sic)” group Mrs. Doyle belongs to at any given moment. She is a leader in good standing of so many: “Voice of the Faithful,” of course, and any number of so many “hey we wanna get press so here’s what we’re calling ourselves today” groups.

    I met Mrs. Doyle last year, about this time, when I helped ushers at my parish church escort a man trying to disrupt the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass out of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Mrs. Doyle awaited the culprit with open arms. Her demand that the guy be remanded to her custody was politely refused by Boston’s Finest.

    The following Sunday, Mrs. Doyle attempted to disrupt a healing service at Mission Church in Roxbury. I escorted her out of the building, on the pretence (okay, I lied) that a security guard would arrest her if she kept up her rantings.

    After the service, I saw Mrs. Doyle standing outside the church, passing out flyers urging people to protest my parish parish’s Good Friday services. Suddenly, Mrs. Doyle accosted an elderly lady on the sidewalk who was quietly praying her Rosary, while waiting for her ride. Mrs. Doyle, apparently enraged at the lady’s quiet display of piety, marched up to her and loudly proclaimed:

    “I could introduce you to the mother of a victim of a priest who hung himself with a rosary just like the one you’re using!”

    I assured both the lady and Mrs. Doyle that the latter was full of crap. Mrs. Doyle retreated, and resumed passing out her flyers.

    On countless occasions, upon seeing Mrs. Doyle at the Cathedral, I asked her to please produce the mother of the son who “hung himself with a rosary.” Mrs. Doyle was unable to do so. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing whether the elderly, Rosary-praying lady quietly waiting for her ride outside of Mission Church, Roxbury, has any idea that she was cruelly victimized by Mrs. Doyle. I pray she has forgotten the incident.

    That Mrs. Doyle is prone to a bit o’ truth-stretching isn’t exactly news.

    That Anne Barrett Doyle has steadily climbed to the position of “heroine” in the eyes of the anti-Catholic media ain’t exactly headline making copy either.

    And that Eileen McNamara would stoop to journalistically stoop to virtually encouraging what Francis DeSales called “spiritual suicide” probably isn’t a reason to yell “stop the presses!”

    However, Mrs. Doyle’s frantic seeking of publicity has reached the point where she is apparently quite happy to use—or perhaps “abuse” is the better word—her own children’s spiritual health. As she puts it:

    “It’s ironic isn’t it?” she says. “The church that taught us how precious every person is in God’s eyes is making a mockery of that ethic in its treatment of these victims. I may have to double my meat intake during Lent.”

    I’m asking you and your readers to pray for Mrs. Doyle and her family. I’ve been doing it for over a year…and, God help me, I’m starting to run dry.