Ray Flynn, former mayor of Boston and U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, was released from St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton Sept. 24. He had been admitted Sept. 17 after collapsing while giving a Theology on Tap lecture in Quincy. He is pictured here speaking at a Knights of Columbus pro-life awards dinner in 2005 in Framingham. Pilot file photo/Gregory L. Tracy
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BRAINTREE -- Former Boston mayor and ambassador to the Holy See, Raymond L. Flynn, was discharged from Brighton’s Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Sept. 24 following a stay that began after his collapse at a Sept. 17 Theology on Tap event in Quincy.
“Ray is home and is doing very well. He was released from St Elizabeth’s this morning and is expected to fully recover,” said longtime friend State Rep. Brian P. Wallace, D, Boston, on the day of the discharge. “I spoke to him this morning and was in the room with him yesterday. The prognosis is great and he looks great.”
Wallace, who worked as an aide to Flynn from 1970 to 1993, said doctors isolated the cause of the collapse and are treating it. “It was a combination of things. He was run down and exhausted, plus they just opened up his ear to remove a cancer and that was part of it.”
Media reports said Flynn, 69, was about 35 minutes into his talk at Bad Abbots Pub in Quincy when he passed out, remaining unconscious for about five minutes. The speaking engagement was sponsored by St. Ann Church in Quincy as part of its Theology on Tap series.
In the Theology on Tap talk he had been delivering at the time of his collapse, Flynn criticized the U.S. media as biased, citing in particular Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s “mistreatment by the national media.”
“The unfortunate reality today is that the U.S. media is so biased that we rarely receive accurate and straightforward news analysis,” he said. “Most of the media executives, including program directors and editors, are so out of touch with public sentiments that they lose perspective about how regular people think and live.”
According to the text of his talk, which was obtained by Catholic News Service, Flynn planned to close with these words: “In America, some things are still important: values, character, integrity and especially family and motherhood. The media doesn’t talk very much about this, but it is talked about every day in American homes and school playgrounds.”
Flynn reportedly has been receiving treatment for recurring melanoma, or skin cancer, and had been in mourning for his younger brother, Dennis, who died of a heart attack in August at age 61.
A statement released by the family late Sept. 18 said Flynn “wishes to thank all the people of the city of Boston for their outpouring of prayers and well-wishes for him and his family.”
“Mayor Flynn looks forward to walking out on Castle Island (in South Boston) with his wife and grandchildren in the near future,” the statement added.