Finneran’s flip-flop

Finneran’s flip-flop

Yet another Catholic politician shows his spots. The former speaker of the Mass. House of Representatives, Tom Finneran, resigned within the past month in a race against a federal indictment over legislative re-districting. Massachusetts Catholics bemoaned the loss of the speaker as a voice for pro-life, pro-family Catholic values. For myself, I was never too excited about him, and the latest news about him illustrates why.

After resigning his office, Finneran went to work for the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council and suddenly he’s switched from being against embryonic stem-cell research to being for it. I guess the big paycheck makes a difference.

Of course, Finnerance assures us that “his past opposition originated not from his beliefs as a pro-life Catholic, but from a lack of information about the issue.” Well, that makes it all the better?

How many pieces of silver did it take for Finneran to sell out the unborn to the butchers? Must have been a lot.

But then Finneran was never too willing to put his political neck on the line for his Catholic beliefs. When the bishops of Massachusetts appeared to be backing off from a strong support for a state constitutional marriage amendment, Finneran’s support become pretty tepid too. I guess it’s too much to ask that a Catholic Massachusetts Democrat would hold to principle. By the way, Finneran lives in Archbishop Sean O’Malley’s archdiocese. Canon 915?

[Thanks to Conor for the link.]
  • Money walks and… well, you know the rest.

    I still think Finneran could have busted up the place during the same sex marriage debate. He backed off when it got really hot.

  • I thought that former Speaker Finneran would do such but not so soon; his House seat, which he abruptly left near the end of the lesgislative session,  is still “warm.” 

    IMHO, he betrayed the pro-life and pro-family movements by not insuring a successor as Speaker (such as Representative Walsh) who would support those causes—or at least not oppose them.  The new Speaker DiMasi, whom Finneran endorsed, will vehemently oppose them.

  • “he betrayed the pro-life and pro-family movements by not insuring a successor as Speaker (such as Representative Walsh)”

    Pro-family?  You’re not talking about Marty Walsh, I hope…

  • Tom, the Speaker wasn’t at fault for his successor.  The Speaker was chosen with the votes of Republicans.  Mitt Romney told the Republican House caucus not to get involved in choosing the next Democrat Speaker, at least not before the election.  Without the votes of Republicans, John Rogers couldn’t get the votes he needed to take on DiMasi.  If you want to blame anyone for DiMasi, blame Romney, who apparently feels that it’s more important to give Republicans wedge issues than it is to give this state a moral government.

  • Dear PMC,

    I was writing my comment from memory.  The first name for another possiblility for Speaker of the House that “came into my mind” was Walsh.  I did not even have a first name.  The next comment in this thread by seamole gave the correct name, John Rogers, although attributing DiMasi’s victory to Romney’s asking the Republicans (who gave Finneran the necessary votes when he was elected Speaker of the House) to “sit this one out.” 

  • Thanks for clarifying, Tom.  I honestly didn’t think you could be referring to Marty Walsh, who’s pro-gay marriage, and the only other Walsh in the House is way too junior to be up for the Speakership.

  • According to Operation Rescue Boston (  Tom Finneran told Maria Parker and Daniel Avila of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference that the Boston Herald article is incorrect.  He has not changed his position;  he does not support embryonic stem cell research and does not think that Massachusetts should be obliged to compete with California (implying with public funding).  He says that in the interview with the Herald’s reporter, he was merely acknowledging the fact that because he is no longer Speaker of the House, the Massachusetts state legislature would be more receptive to supporting embryonic tem cell research as the Friday November 12th Boston Globe reports (