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This statement appears in the June 15, 2001 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Ambassador Flynn:
Stop Waging War on the Poor!

by Raymond L. Flynn

[PDF version of this article]

Raymond L. Flynn, who served as U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican from 1993-97 and as Mayor of Boston from 1984-93, issued this statement on June 2. Flynn has been, since 1999, the president of the political advocacy group the Catholic Alliance, and is author of two books published in the last year, The Accidental Pope and John Paul II, A Personal Portrait and the Man.

I've become aware of the action to dismantle D.C. General Hospital, as a fully funded, full-service public hospital. It saddens me to see the health-care mission of this hospital, which has served the poor, the weak, and the needy in our nation's capital for over 200 years, being abused in this way.

The news of the precipitous dismantling of this beloved medical institution reminds me, in a most eerie way, of the bizarre dismantling of Boston City Hospital, the hospital where I was born and my mother and father died. At the time of our hospital's demise, I was 3,000 miles away, having just assumed my post as Ambassador to the Holy See, and I could do little to intervene in the case of our distinguished hospital. Today, I am only a few hundred miles away, and I hope I can be of help in saving this venerable public institution.

Franklin Roosevelt, while still Governor of New York State, said, "The success or failure of any government in the final analysis must be measured by the wellbeing of its citizens. Nothing can be more important to a state than its public health; the state's most paramount concern should be the health of its people." Pope John Paul II, in his final speech of his 1995 U.S. tour, said we must make "the common good the end and criterion regulating all public and social life." Like all others who have served in public office, I swore a Constitutional oath to "promote the general welfare." These worthy sentiments are my trusted guides in the issue of saving D.C. General Hospital. We have a health-care crisis in the United States and the closing of D.C. General Hospital will further add to it. We've got to stop waging war on the poor!

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