Phil Lawler on why the Pope not coming to Boston was a good thing

Phil Lawler on why the Pope not coming to Boston was a good thing

Phil Lawler, my former boss and author of the new book “The Faithful Departed”, comments on the interesting spate of outrage among angry Catholics and media pundits in Boston that Pope Benedict didn’t put the city on his itinerary. I know we sometimes call it the “Hub of the Universe,” but I think some people are taking it too seriously.

First, people are angry that the Holy Father isn’t coming to Boston. Not just disappointed: outraged! They feel that he should have come to Boston, because he could… he could… he could…

Well, what could he have done to calm this anger? I can’t think of anything that he could say or do that would ease the sense of betrayal, frustration, and disillusion that so many people feel. One more apology? One more acknowledgment that Bad Things happened? That wouldn’t heal the wounds; that would only confirm what we already know too well.


Incidentally, Phil has set up this new blog to continue the conversation about topics brought up in his book as well as in various media appearances.


  • Some of the sound bites I have heard on the news sound like people who need to continue to be angry. It has defined them. I came from a family where there was terrible physical abuse, and I have a sister who at the age of 62 is still angry, bitter, unmarried and childless. She made the decision to hold that anger close and now it is who she is.

    I am not minimizing the suffering of the victems. God knows I saw enough of it myself in my own family, but if you refuse to allow yourself to experience healing, no one can force you, or do anything about it.

  • OK, big chicken that I am, I’m using my alias for this.  But, I am sick and tired of the Boston Globe and its singular focus on the Gay Priests and their SNAPpers.

    My gut screams:  You got your money.  You settled.  Now shut up!  If you didn’t take money, sue the Church, etc… then you would have a platform.  You would be the victim.  But, you agreed to compensation, so just go away.

    Also, some of the victim’s parents were aware of what was going on.  Chief’s of Police were also.

    I don’t hear anyone raging about the National Education Association, or the National Federation of Teachers, etc… where this is much more prevelant.

    We are not the center of the Universe.

  • I’m getting sick of this too. First, Boston isn’t that important. DC, is the capital, New York is, well it’s New York. Boston is as a city third or fourth in the rank of places to visit.  Finally, what can the pope do really? There are those who’s whole lives are based on their victim status. If you took that away you’d take their reason for living.

  • Although I think Fenway would be a much more appropriate venue for a Mass than (ick) Yankee Stadium, I can understand the Pope’s decision not to come to Boston.

    And I think that the same people who chastise him for not coming here would be saying, “How dare he come to Boston?” if he had decided to come.

  • My son, the self-proclaimed angst-ridden 17-year-old informed me that the Pope was insane to set foot in Yankee Stadium, and should have come to Fenway…. but Brassband is correct – had the Holy Father come to Boston, the screeching would have been just as loud in the “how dare he” direction. There is simply NO satisfying the folks at the Globe. And there never will be. It’s papers they want to sell. Not healing, not compassion, and certainly not truth. or Truth for that matter. I’m pretty sure we’re lucky they get the Sox scores right….