Saturday, December 18, 2010

Boston Catholic Prolife Community Asks MCFL to Dis-invite Howie Carr

I called CJ Doyle one day about ten years ago to talk to him about something disconcerting in the Archdiocese and asked him to help unravel it. We've been sharing information and encouraging each other since that time in our activist roles.

I spoke to CJ yesterday and frankly, I have never seen him so mad.

Anne Fox of MCFL has invited Howie Carr to be a guest speaker at the Assembly for Life gathering here in Boston.

For starters, Howie Carr is NOT a pro-lifer and has actively ridiculed and worked against pro-life candidates on his radio show. But more importantly, Howie has been articulating anti-Catholic venom for many years. As recently as this week, he has characterized "90% of all Roman Catholic priests" as "pedophiles".

In the letter below, CJ has a sampling of Howie's anti-Catholic venom, scandalous to Our Lord, the Eucharist, Christ's Church, the Holy Family. My response (which will be going out to Boston prolifers with an appeal to contact Anne Fox and ask her to disinvite Howie shortly).

For readers who want to contact her -

MCFL - 617-242-4199

Catholic Action League Letter:

December 17, 2010

Anne Fox, President
Massachusetts Citizens For Life
The Schrafft Center
529 Main Street
Charlestown, MA 02129

Dear Anne,

We were astonished to learn that Howie Carr will be featured at MCFL's Annual Assembly For Life on January 16th. Carr is a notorious Catholic-basher with a long record of vicious and gratuitous attacks on the Catholic Religion.

On April 8, 1998 --- Wednesday in Holy Week --- in response to a decision by the Red Sox to forgo alcohol sales in Fenway Park because Opening Day would fall on Good Friday, Carr hosted a segment on his program in which he invited listeners to comment on selling "Catholic Eucharists for $3.49 a bag" as a substitute for beer. The result was a half hour of offensive slurs profaning the Blessed Sacrament.

In one particularly vile episode later in 1998, in a conversation between Carr and his producer Doug Goudie evidently intended to disparage Arabs, it was asserted that shepherds in the Middle East had unnatural relations with the animals in their flocks. Into this depraved subject the name of Saint Joseph --- the Virgin Spouse of the Virgin Mother of God --- was introduced. Saint Joseph was then misidentified as a shepherd.

In an interview with Malachy McCourt, Carr laughed and snickered over McCourt's assertion that the late Francis Cardinal Spellman was not only a homosexual but a pedophile. Carr went on to recount a story alleging that an episcopal ring was found by police in a homosexual brothel, implying that the ring belonged to Spellman.

In January, 2002, Carr hosted a segment in which he asked his listeners " Are you ashamed to be a Catholic?", during which he boasted that he never went to Mass. All throughout the molestation crisis of 2002, Carr contemptuously referred to the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston as "Bernie Law", and on November 29th of that year the Boston Herald published a column by Carr in which he described the Cardinal as "a Bulger bum kisser."

Hispanic Catholics, with their large families and culture of life, are the future of the Church and the Pro-Life movement in America. Howie Carr however, is not only an anti-Catholic but a crude nativist. One of the recurring themes of his program is the attempt to link illegal immigrants to crime. A particularly offensive gimmick is his habit of playing Mexican music while reading the names of criminal suspects with Hispanic surnames. This hostility to Hispanics and immigrants places Cardinal O'Malley, or whoever represents him from the Archdiocese of Boston, in the embarrassing position of sharing a stage with someone who boorishly castigates some of the neediest members of his flock.

In a Catholic community which has a significant number of Eastern Rite Catholics of Lebanese and Syrian descent (the Melkite Cathedral is in West Roxbury) it is unimaginable that MCFL would actually provide a platform to a rabble rousing shock jock who has described Arabs in the past as "towelheads".

Inviting Howie Carr to address the Assembly for Life is an act of monumental ingratitude to elected officials who defended the right to life and came to the aid of MCFL in difficult times. Men such as William Bulger, Ray Flynn, Thomas Finneran, and the late Jim Craven have been the victims of vulgar insults, venomous denunciations, and malevolent diatribes by this spiteful demagogue.

A larger issue here is why an organization with a predominantly Christian membership would want to showcase a public figure whose life and career embody such a cynical negation of Christian values. Howie Carr is infamous for his uncharitableness of speech, his lack of compassion, and his sneering contempt for the objects of his scorn. He preys upon the vulnerable, exploits the misfortunes of others, incites rancor and envy, and has grown rich by his indifference to the Eighth Commandment. He mocks the Church, derides the poor, maligns men who have more integrity than he does, and has ridiculed the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

Inviting such a miserable creature to address an organization dedicated to the sanctity and dignity of human life is an affront to the Christian religion and everything the Pro-Life movement professes to uphold.

We urge you to reconsider this improvident decision and cancel the invitation to this inappropriate choice for a speaker.


Daniel T. Flatley C. J. Doyle
Chairman Emeritus Executive Director

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts

my reply:

CJ, Dan and XXXX,

Thank you for your willingness to stand up and say what needs to be said about the ongoing problems at MCFL. I remain convinced that the way to reclaim the political machine is through a concerted effort to approach the board of directors pointing out the consequences of their poor judgment and errors, ask them to make the changes we all know need to be made and if they refuse, a concerted effort should be made by all of us to call for prolifers to de-fund them.

The serious activists who are still holding on have dwindled down to a handful. Worse than ignoring them, we are put in the position of having to publicly address the scandals. It is affecting the ability to elect real prolifers. We have all been laying low hoping the turnover would bring effective leaders with good judgment into the stream slowly. This is a bust because effective leaders are undermined and eventually tossed out on their fannies. This has left our major political machine a lame duck for years. I do not think this is serving the unborn well and I firmly believe we need to take it on.

I stand behind and support CJ and Dan's request for MCFL to withdraw this ridiculous invitation to Howie Carr. God bless him, for he is a victim of the poor catechesis and cowardice of the shepherds, but the invitation is a scandal that should be acted upon.
God Bless, Carol


breathnach said...

Carr calls himself a "bad Catholic". In fact most Catholics are "bad Catholics", as the great Walker Percy often stated. Carr isn't Catholic at all. He continuously urges Republicans to forget about social issues and go along with the the important things in life like making money and consumerism.

MCFL needs to get back to their founding principles.

John said...

A colossal blunder.