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object lesson

By Diogenes (articles ) | Aug 23, 2005

An instructive anecdote from Clayton Emmer on Amy Welborn's blog:

Just a week ago, I met Raymond Flynn, who was the [U.S. ambassador to the Holy See] under Clinton. He also spoke at my college graduation. I was part of a group that was reading a screenplay he has underway, based on his novel, The Accidental Pope. This accidental Pope, a widower from Boston, champions the cause of women's ordination, among other things.

One of my notes on the screenplay was that he needed to consider his audience: his protagonist would not appeal, for instance, to the 1 million people gathered in Cologne this month. Flynn seemed shocked. As he looked around the room at a dozen of us twenty- and thirty-somethings, he flat out asked us: "You mean women's ordination is not an issue that you feel passionate about?" And we universally shook our heads. It was like an epiphany for him. I went on to say that his protagonist might have looked like a hero in 1962, but not today. What he didn't seem to understand is that our generation feels like survivors of the sexual revolution, not its advocates.

Not having read the novel, I can't say whether Flynn sympathizes with his counter-Catholic pope or not. But Flynn's bewilderment betrays the anguish of a man pretzeled into self-contradiction by the contortions required to sell the Clinton agenda to the Holy See.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Aug. 25, 2005 11:10 PM ET USA

    I've met Ray and read his book. He is a good and excellent man. He stood up to Clinton during his years at the Vatican. Besides, how many pro-life Democrats do you know? I didn't agree with some of the stands in his book (and its writing was less than stellar). However, I don't think that necessarily reduces who he is as a person or as a faithful Catholic. We all have our own baggage and it's our job to have God reduce it. Some of us do, some don't, but that's God's to judge, not ours.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 24, 2005 10:00 AM ET USA

    Flynn has said much to support my conclusion that he is no friend of orthodox Catholicism. I have never understood why some faithful Catholic organizations gush over him.

  • Posted by: Meg Q - Aug. 23, 2005 5:14 PM ET USA

    "What he didn't seem to understand is that our generation feels like survivors of the sexual revolution, not its advocates." Totally. (I'm 33, female)

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