The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today rejected excuses offered by Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, for that organization’s invitation to the anti-Catholic, Hispanic-bashing radio shock jock Howie Carr, to be the featured speaker at MCFL’s Annual Assembly for Life on January 16th.
In a late breaking development, the League has learned that the Chairman of the MCFL Board of Directors, long time pro-life activist Henry Luthin, resigned over the weekend.
The following is the reply of Anne Fox to the League’s letter of December 17th [scroll down to read that initial letter]:
Dear C. J.,
As I prepared to respond to your email, which requested that we withdraw our invitation to Howie Carr to speak at the Massachusetts Citizens for Life Assembly for Life, I realized that you had sent to your entire list what I assumed was a private email. It surprises me greatly that you would do that without contacting me first. If your goal was to have us withdraw our invitation, it would have been prudent to have contacted me…
You cite examples of statements from the last dozen years which are definitely out of order. I had not been aware of them. I have heard Howie praise the people and the school in his parish as well as The Montrose School. If someone as assiduous as you had been monitoring for the same dozen years, I suspect he would also have a dossier of positive statements.
Massachusetts Citizens for Life is nonsectarian. We, of course, join all pro-life people in admiration and gratitude for the leadership of the Catholic Church which has and is working so hard to restore the Culture of Life and would do nothing to embarrass her.
Howie is anti-abortion. He has been very helpful to us in our work over the past year and a half to publicize the anti-life aspects of Obamacare. We have not asked him to speak as an “entertainer”. We have asked him to speak, because of his political acumen, about the unacknowledged power of the pro-life vote. The general public, politicians, and our own people need to hear that.
C. J., I trust that you will share this email with the people to whom you sent your original email.
The Catholic Action League characterized Fox’s remarks as “a bizarre attempt to defend the indefensible.”
Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle made the following comment: “Evidently, Anne Fox never heard of the old saying that when you are already in a hole, you should stop digging. She actually makes theinsipid argument that blasphemy and sacrilege —insulting the Body of Christ and making obscene references about the Foster Father of Our Lord — can be overlooked if there are countervailing considerations. The notion that the vile things Howie Carr has said about the Blessed Sacrament and Saint Joseph are somehow counterbalanced by the financial support he has provided to his daughters’ parochial school is manifestly absurd and intellectually dishonest, as is the pathetic attempt to hide behind the non-sectarian status of MCFL. Serious organizations do not invoke their non-sectarian character to excuse bigotry and hate speech.”
“As for the preposterous assertion that we have somehow neglected to mention the allegedly good things Howie Carr has said about the Church, here, Anne Fox descends from argument to comedy. The only things which we have omitted are the new revelations about Howie Carr which we are learning of every day as more people contact us with evidence of his Catholic bashing. If anyone believes that they can bring success to their organization by showcasing someone who has mocked the Second Person of the Holy Trinity and defamed the Head of the Holy Family, then their thinking is that of an atheist rather than a Christian.”
“For the record, Howie Carr supports sterilization and contraception, and has a long history of promoting pro-abortion candidates for public office.Where the pro-life movement demonstrates compassion for women in difficult circumstances, the caustic Howie Carr demeans the children born out of wedlock to mothers on public assistance as ‘little bastards’.Do we really wish to project the surly and mean-spirited countenance of Howie Carr as the image of the Massachusetts pro-life movement? Those who rail against immigrants, minorities, and welfare recipients, far from building a culture of life, usually promote sympathy for population control.”
“Liberal Catholics malign the pro-life movement by unjustly accusing it of being a political front for the Republican Party. In this case, Anne Fox seems determined to vindicate that claim, even if it means embracing enemies of the Faith as repulsive as Howie Carr. From tailoring candidate questionnaires to make pro-abortion Republicans look 100% pro-life, to providing a platform to a Republican attack dog, it appears that Anne Fox is seeking to reduce the once proud Massachusetts Citizensfor Life to an auxiliary of the Massachusetts Republican Party. For the credibility of their own organization, the officers, directors and members of MCFL ought to restrain her from doing so.”
“Meanwhile, the Catholic Action League will begin to call local and national attention to the scandal of having an anti-Catholic, anti-Hispanic, anti-immigrant, anti-life speaker at a pro-life event.”
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Letter sent by Catholic Action League to Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life
December 17, 2010
Anne Fox, President
Massachusetts Citizens For Life
The Schrafft Center
529 Main Street
Charlestown, MA 02129
We were astonished to learn that Howie Carr will be featured at MCFL’sAnnual 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 hadunnatural 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 ashepherd.
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 contemptuouslyreferred 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 arabble rousing shock jockwho 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 thevictims 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 showcasea 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
The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts