Former US Vatican Ambassador: Make the Church More Transparent

Monday, 18 Mar 2013 05:20 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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One of Pope Francis’s top challenges in running the Roman Catholic Church is opening up its hierarchy and promoting better communication, says Ray Flynn, former Ambassador to the Holy See and mayor of Boston.

“It’s making it more transparent and changing things in so far as communication — the ability to let people know what’s going on, to be more transparent,’’ Flynn told Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.’’

“When I became mayor, I had some real difficult problems that I had to deal with in the city of Boston — race problems … because of the school integration and the busing.

“But I found that my success was bringing people together, listening to people, and being transparent and open to them. And if you do that, it goes a long way.’’

But Flynn noted it requires a delicate balancing act to get it right.

“Not everybody’s going to agree with you on everything, obviously. And they’re going to want to take it, you know, in another direction,’’ he said.

“[But] you don’t have to change your principles and your values. People are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect and have a seat at the table. So I like that about Pope Francis.’’

Flynn — who wrote a book “The Accidental Pope,’’ which predicted the eventual election of an American pontiff — says the Vatican came closer than ever this month to doing just that.

“We came pretty darn close,’’ he said. “Both [Boston’s] Sean O’Malley and [New York’s] Tim Dolan from New York … demonstrated great favor with many people throughout the world, even being recognized as possible leaders of the Catholic Church.

“So a lot of things are changing and that’s what you need; that kind of communication, openness, transparency, and connecting with people. That always works.’’


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