Less than three weeks after the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts began a campaign to disinvite him, WRKO talk show host Howie Carr has withdrawn as the keynote speaker at the Annual Assembly for Life. Massachusetts Citizens for Life, which sponsors the event --- to be held January 16th at Faneuil Hall --- told callers to their office yesterday that Carr had withdrawn "for personal reasons." Former U. S. Ambassador to the Holy See Ray Flynn has been scheduled to replace Carr.
The Catholic Action League mobilized hundreds of Catholics to contact MCFL and the Archdiocese of Boston (which regularly participates in the event) and demand Carr's removal. Carr has a long history of vulgar and malicious attacks on the Catholic religion. He has mocked the Eucharist, engaged in vile sexual innuendo regarding the Holy Family, and cast relentless aspersions on the Catholic priesthood. Promoting invidious stereotypes about Hispanics as criminals and illegal aliens, Carr plays Mexican music while reading the names of criminal suspects with Hispanic surnames. Where the pro-life movement tries to demonstrate compassion for poor women in difficult circumstances, Carr derisively refers to the children born out of wedlock to mothers on public assistance as "little bastards", and has reportedly argued that women on welfare not be allowed to have children.
The Catholic Action League called Carr's withdrawal "a victory for outraged and long suffering Catholics sick and tired of Carr's boorish bigotry."
Catholic Action League Director C. J. Doyle made the following comment: "In a market economy in a secular society, Catholics may not be able to drive bigots like Carr off the airwaves, but we should at least be able to prevent him from being treated as respectable within our own community. In this case, we succeeded in doing so. Having Howie Carr as the keynote speaker at the Assembly for Life would have been an insult to Catholics, an affront to Hispanics and immigrants, and an expression of contempt for unwed mothers and their children."
"MCFL President Anne Fox ought to apologize for the disgraceful decision to invite Carr in the first place. That decision betrayed an appalling disregard to Carr's record of blasphemy, sacrilege, nativism and anti-Catholicism. It was also an act of ingratitude to courageous elected officials who have defended the right to life, who have come to the aid of MCFL in perilous times, and who have been unjustly maligned by Howie Carr. The leadership of MCFL ought to be ashamed of itself for this unconscionable and embarrassing choice for keynote speaker."