Click here to advertise on

no scandal this time

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 04, 2009

Gennaro Angiulo was laid to rest yesterday, after a funeral at St. Leonard's church in Boston's dear old North End. The funeral, like the wake that preceded it, was a high-profile affair. "Junior" Patriarca was there, as was "Cadillac Frank" Salemme. "Cheese Man" DiNunzio would surely have attended, but he couldn't break free from a previous 6-year social obligation. "Whitey" Bulger was missing, and that's probably just as well, because Whitey isn't popular with the Angiulo family; he was largely responsible for the sting operation that put Gennaro behind bars for 24 years.

Cardinal O'Malley did not attend the funeral. That's quite proper, because the truth is that Gennaro Angiulo had not led an exemplary life.

The newspapers called him "Jerry" Angiulo, but insiders knew better. “Anyone who knew him well enough called him Jay,” his son said. “Everyone else called him Boss.” Boss, indeed. Until Whitey came along, Angiulo was the acknowledged boss of the rackets in Boston.

Still, by the time he died at the age of 90, the Boss had enjoyed the aforementioned 24-year period of reflection, followed by two years of quiet retirement. He had plenty of time to repent his misconduct, confess his sins, and amend his life. The Church is always ready to welcome a penitent. "We are a people of faith, and we believe in a loving and forgiving God from whom we seek mercy," remarked Cardinal O'Malley in a slightly different context. At Angiulo's funeral, his pastor struck the same note, acknowledging the unfortunate past record of the deceased but saying simply: "We all need forgiveness."

As surely we all do. We don't know for sure that Jerry Angiulo repented. But we hope he did, we presume he did, and most importantly we pray that he did. That was the reason of the funeral: not to celebrate his life but to pray for a merciful judgment.

Just one more thing: Jerry Angiulo might have been involved in illegal gambling, loan-sharking, protection, intimidation, and the occasional contract hit. But he never held a press conference to encourage the legalization of those pernicious activities, nor did he advocate legislation to give taxpayer subsidies to those who engaged in them. If he had done any of those things, and had not made a public recantation and apology, then of course it would have been grossly improper for the cardinal to attend his funeral. But that's a moot point, because, again, Cardinal O'Malley did not preside at this funeral. 

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($27,707 to go):
$150,000.00 $122,292.96
18% 82%
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on

Recent Catholic Commentary

Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle 9 hours ago
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed 9 hours ago
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? 14 hours ago
The Complexity of Reforming Religious Communities December 17
Speaking Softly to Women Religious December 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17