Raymond L. Flynn, the former mayor of Boston and US ambassador to the Vatican, injected himself into the presidential race yesterday with a pointed letter to John F. Kerry, his home-state senator and fellow Democrat.
Flynn, in an ad spreading across nearly an entire page of The New York Times, chided Kerry for insisting that, if elected president, he would appoint only people who support abortion rights to be justices on the Supreme Court.
"Removing political correctness from that statement, Senator Kerry, you have announced that you will only support people to the federal judiciary who support killing unborn children," Flynn wrote in an open letter funded by an organization of lay Catholics he heads, Liberty, Life and Family Inc. of Washington. The group, which bills itself as a nonpartisan entity, says its primary concern is preserving the civil rights of unborn children.
"This letter is not on behalf of or in opposition to your candidacy, but I am asking you to announce today that you will not impose any abortion litmus test on candidates for the federal judiciary -- especially those who are faithful Catholics," Flynn wrote to Kerry, listing Harvard Law School Professor Mary Ann Glendon as the type of potential jurist who would be excluded under Kerry's standard.
According to the Globe, Flynn and Kerry had been "partisan allies," assisting each other in their political races for mayor and senator. Flynn and his family were even guests at the Democratic National Convention. But since his service as ambassador to the Vatican from 1993-1997, "Flynn has not held public office and instead spent time as a radio host and media commentator, almost exclusively focusing on his faith-based opposition to abortion and commitment to helping the poor."
Raymond Flynn has worked with Fr. Pavone of Priests for Life and recently assisted Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston in a campaign "to encourage Catholics to become more informed and actively involved in the civic life of their community and Church." He spoke at a gathering of Democrats for Life in January, 2003, saying "I'm pro-life; I'm pro-family; and I'm pro-poor. . . . That was the Democratic Party that I grew up in." He is not the first Democrat to question his party's total abandonment of the unborn.
It's good to see Kerry's fellow Democrats -- even if only a few -- express their concern over the questionable morality of their Senator. Let's hope it continues.
Ongoing commentary by the editors of CatholicKerryWatch
Sen. John Kerry stands with Kate Michelman (right) President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Since 1995, Michelman's group has given Kerry a 100% rating for his voting record to defend abortion.