Skip to main content

What about respect for Christian religious values and traditions?

Easter Sunday 2003
by Raymond L. Flynn

This Good Friday, I was invited to give national media commentary on MSNBC for the Way of the Cross service at the ancient Roman Coliseum presided over by Pope John Paul II. A solemn re-living of the arrest, trial, and death by crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This year was particuly significant because an Iraqi family was symbolically invited to carry Christ’s cross to His final place of death. The Holy Father spoke in a clear voice of the, “bloodshed of the many victims of hate, of war, or terrorism”, obviously referring to the attack on the U.S. on September 11, 2001 and the war in Iraq.

I have had the privilege of attending the Stations of the Cross services at the Coliseum on several occasions, they are always moving and significant, but this year carried more emotion for me, then all the others in the past. Maybe it’s because of the political chaos of the day or maybe it’s because of our beloved Pontiff’s poor health. When I thought of the betrayal of Jesus, on the Good Friday long ago, I thought of the betrayal of Jesus with the recent clergy sex-abuse scandal. I couldn’t help but think of the media’s constant and unfair criticism and ridicule of Pope John Paul II and the many wonderful and faithful priests whom we are fortunate enough to have to serve us.

While MSNBC was professional to provide extensive coverage of this most important religious and historic event, unfortunately the rest of the media ignored Good Friday services at the Coliseum. Even the war-ravaged area of Christ’s death, Jerusalem, was out of bounds for Christian pilgrims on this most solemn of days because of Israel-Palestine fighting.

What ever happened to peace and joy in the world? And what about respect for Christian religious values and traditions?


Raymond Flynn is the National President of American Catholic Alliance, former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, Mayor of Boston and best selling author of “The Accidental Pope” and “John Paul II, A Personal Portrait of the Pope and the Man”. He is also a Contributing Editor to Catholic Online and Your Catholic Voice.

Both books are available in paperback at Catholic Online Bookstore - or and (See biography on


Catholic Online  CA, US
Raymond L. Flynn - Former Ambassador to the Vatican, 661 869-1000




Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article


Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Numbers 12:1-13
Miriam, and Aaron too, criticised Moses over the Cushite woman ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 6-7, 12-13
For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is constantly in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 14:22-36
And at once he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

August 4 Saint of the Day

St. John Vianney
August 4: St. John Vianney, Priest (Patron of priests) Feast day - August ... Read More