Talk:Francis Spellman

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General Bias[edit]

This page has a perceptible slant against the reputation of the Spellman, not only in a single section or reference, but within the entire tenor of the argument. Furthermore, this bizarre contention seems to stem from the dichotomy of his rumored sexual orientation vs. his more conservative positions. I would chiefly note the the tone of the oft-cited 2002 article by Signorile as evidence. [1]

What is most disturbing about this deeply ingrained flaw of the article's original author(s), is that it uses the personal struggles of one individual's contest between spiritual and temporal ideals as a general launchpad for a diatribe against his legacy, in toto. We must be holistic & fair in our approach to discussing such issues, and I believe that even a cursory review of many sources of information cited herein will even more clearly illuminate the ideological bent which influenced this article's contents. UBI-et-ORBI (talk) 02:30, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

I'm afraid I disagree. There doesn't seem to be any slant against Spellman. There are several independent sources which discuss his likely homosexuality. If readers want to infer that this makes Spellman a hypocrite for presenting a different persona in public then they are free to do this - but the article nowhere states that. Contaldo80 (talk) 08:38, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
You make a valid point here; and while I wouldn't say the article wreaks of an agenda –– it's certainly pretty pungent. To present the facts and to allow the reader to make an educated inference thereupon is one thing, however if the information is delivered in such a way that this ostensibly "hypocritical" position (a matter I won't give airing to here) pervades the entire biography; than I judge that there is a legitimate question of factual/intellectual honesty in the writing. The referenced sources should be more closely reviewed, third-party opposing views (of which there are many) should be treated with equal weight, and an effort should me made to distinguish a very specific area of moral quandary from the work of a 78-year life. UBI-et-ORBI (talk) 11:21, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
If you want to bring forward some third party opposing views then you are free to do so. Can I also suggest that you be very specific about aspects of the wording that cause you particular concern. Otherwise at the moment your contribution seems a bit general. Contaldo80 (talk) 11:55, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
I have no intention of hiding the general nature of the bias which I note permeates this article – hence the heading I gave the discussion topic. I would urge that it be reviewed in its entirety, as I had initially stated above; most importantly by minimizing or striking the prominent references to the Signorile article (the polemical bent of which speaks for itself). UBI-et-ORBI (talk) 00:12, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Spellman and Somoza[edit]

"In 1959, he served as papal delegate to the Eucharistic Congress in Guatemala; during his journey, he stopped in Nicaragua and, contrary to the Pope's orders, publicly appeared with dictator Anastasio Somoza Garcia.[1]"

I find this a little difficult to believe, seeing that Somoza was assassinated in 1956. Josh (talk) 00:13, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Disputed: Spellman's Homosexuality[edit]

Idle and poorly sourced gossip on this issue, fueled in part by a left-wing agenda, should have no place in this entry.65.184.58.186 (talk) 07:59, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Don't make accusatory comments of political bias unless you can verify them. Thanks. Contaldo80 (talk) 11:32, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

If the claim is being made that Cardinal Spellman was homosexual, please cite the sources that make this claim and let's have a context for the reliability of these sources.

My suggestion for rewording is that "Allegations were published in the Village Voice when the Catholic Church sexual abuse crisis broke in 2002 that Cardinal Spellman had been a homosexual and well-known in New York's homosexual community. It remains a hotly disputed issue to the present day." (entered 17 Dec 2004) patsw 19:01, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, this concern has been handled. When this concern was posted, the sentence in question read, "In 1942 Spellman formed a liaison with a chorus boy who appeared in One Touch of Venus." [2] Now it reads "A few homosexual activists have alleged that in 1942 Spellman formed a liaison with a chorus boy who appeared in One Touch of Venus." I believe this should take care of the question. Therefore, I am going to delete the disputed warning. Remes 05:39, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Anon. removed the allegation of Spellman's homosexuality. There might be a reason to do so or there might not. Let's discuss. patsw 00:16, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

This is very article on Spellman -- a man of intellect, influence and power. I don't object to the gossipy stuff about his alleged homosexuality but to reduce his life and accomplishments to that seems a bit ridiculous.—Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.74.237.92 (talkcontribs)

This is more than gossip when you take into account Spellman's known work against gay rights and his radical right-wing approach to politics. Say what you want about him but I think these are important allegations and should at least be left in as such. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Midipedia (talkcontribs) 16:55, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

There is absolutely no reliable evidence to support these allegations of homosexuality. Even the book cited by this article offers "no direct proof." In fact, the Cardinal's private secretary (who knew him for over 15 years) called these accusations "utterly ridiculous and preposterous."[3] The sources cited in support of this accusation are hardly reliable and do not meet the level of verifiability demanded by such exceptional claims. Rep016 00:16, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

I edited the article to include this passage in the Later Life section of the article: "John Cooney, one of Spellman's biographers, cited four interviewees which alledged that Spellman was a homosexual; however, no direct proof has ever been brought forward to substantiate Cooney's claims[1]. In addition, Spellmam's personal secretary of 15 years asserts that these allegations are "utterly ridiculous and preposterous."[1]" However, user:Otto4711 has been reverting edits which offer a point of view which is not in agreement with his, (calling some: "hostile" and "homophobic".) So, who knows how long my current edit will last. I am also going to remove the "LGBT Portal" box from this discussion page. Any reason to re-add it should be discussed here before it is re-added. Thanks. CJKpi (talk) 19:15, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

It's not a portal box. It's a project banner that merely identifies this article as being of interest to the LGBT Wikiproject. When people remove information about the subject's sexuality by calling it "a load of crap", that's hostile and homophobic. Otto4711 (talk) 19:29, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Well sourced rumors, especially when there are many of them, certainly should be included per our NPOV policies. The LGBT categories, also per policy, should stay off until the subject self discloses their sexuality or are no longer living. Find a neutral way to report the information and source it; it took me less than a minute to find several books that could be used. -- Banjeboi 02:25, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Spellman's been dead for years. Otto4711 (talk) 04:13, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
That makes it much easier. Compare and contrast reliable sources and present a NPOV treatment from the best as to the likely nature, Spellman never spoke about ____ but newspaper accounts reported that ____. Etc. Once sourced content is added then the categories are also included. -- Banjeboi 11:29, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
While the fact that Spellman is dead makes it a bit easier re BLP, the sources are a bit tentative and have been heavily criticized for their reliabilty and accuracy. Spellman seems to fall into the "everyone knows he was gay", in which there is never any actual proof offered other than repeated rumors. I'd keep off the LGBT-related categories, unless we create new versions of Catgeory:People of the United States who are "widely known" to be LGBT. As a Cardinal in the Catholic Church, it would seem that we need strong and definitive sourcing for such claims. Alansohn (talk) 22:27, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Benjiboi - would you mind flagging up some of those alternative sources you mention; would be really helpful to see what else we have. Many thanks. As for categories I'm fairly relaxed about whether he is or isn't on the LGBT people from the US list etc. I've always regarded such lists as a way to help people navigate easily through topics they might be interested in; but I'm conscious that lists seem to touch a raw nerve in some! The LGBT project page needs to stay though as it indicates that it's of specific interest to a group. I would discount the evidence of Spellman's secretary though - I can't imagine he would do anything other than support Spellman in public. Contaldo80 (talk) 08:46, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Very helpful indeed. Thanks. Contaldo80 (talk) 12:39, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
  • I've split off the existing information into a separate section as it really makes little sense to stick it in the middle of the "later life" section. Otto4711 (talk) 22:32, 26 August 2009 (UTC)


Good idea - looks sensible. Contaldo80 (talk) 09:29, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Alleged nickname[edit]

There was an edit that his gay friends called him "Fanny". Anything's possible, but this is highly unbelievable.

More relevant, the source cited for this claim DOES NOT say so. Therefore, I have deleted the claim. Bogus citations, whether sincerely cited or disingenuously cited, are a frequent occurrence at Wikipedia. (Bogus citations are those in which the source offered does not touch at all on the information it is invoked on behalf of, or does touch on the topic but does not say what the inserting editor claims it says.) Clearly, there are many people who make insertions into Wikipedia articles who don't bother to read the sources they cite, and there are other editors who check articles only by checking for the existence of citations without actually looking up the sources to read them and verify they substantiate the inserted material. BTW, it's within the realm of possibility that the edit originally was furnished with a valid citation, but that the good citation and the edit got separated in the course of later edits.

But that too is hardly likely. Here's another relevant truth: there is at least one published claim (I found it this week on the Web) that Spellman had friends (of some sort) who called him "Franny" (catch the 'R'). Now THAT is plausible; anybody who has grown up in areas of the northeastern USA with heavy Irish-American population knows that two fairly common nicknames for the boy's name, "Francis" are "Fran" and "Franny". Now, a person's nickname is rarely a notable fact. Generic nicknames like "Rosie", "Jen", "Bill", or "Bob" are especially nonnotable. Among Irish-Americans, "Fran" and "Franny" are generic nicknames. Dale Chock (talk) 02:19, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes agree this is suspect. I've read other articles/ books that suggest Spellman was rather nicknamed "Thelma" Spellman instead. But nicknames aren't really the thing for wikipedia - whether they're true or not. It's a bit too gossipy. Contaldo80 (talk) 10:09, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

His main biograph Robert I. Gannon says that the original name was Frank. He was given the name Francis for the priesthood? --House1630 (talk) 16:20, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Ok - if you're confident then go ahead. I queried it as it sounded counter-intuitive. A strong Catholic family would I feel have named their son Francis after the saint and then called him Frank as a nickname - that sounds to me more plausible (particularly in the 1920s). But if you've got a source then go ahead and go with Frank. Contaldo80 (talk) 16:24, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Proposed rollback reintegrating later life and sexuality info[edit]

The previous version [4] where this information was integrated read much better IMHO and I can't imagine a good article having any "alleged" subsections. I propose that the prior version be restored allowing for appropriate updating since then of content and sourcing. -- Banjeboi 03:38, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

The Friendship of Francis and Eugenio[edit]

In 1999 TIME magazine erred by choosing Albert Einstein over Eugenio Pacelli as "Person of the Century". Surely, that honor belonged to an American, not an Italian, but they were egregiously wrong.

As this is written, the Roman Church is as egregiously wrong in =denying= the beautiful, mutual love of Eugenio and his life partner, Marie Lehnert. Roosters are crowing their heads off. The friendship of Francis Spellman was founded upon his his 1927 discovery of their love. Francis gladly acted as their "beard" during the summer of 1930, when he checked out a Vatican touring machine and drove the three of them willy nilly, back and forth through the Alps for nearly two months. They sang and laughed and played and taught each other languages. Spelly could not help loving the pair of them. When Marie was left in Berlin, the men drove to Rome in silence, looking out windows with damp eyes.

Francis soon approached Pope Pius XI and said that his difficult work at the Vatican was showing need of an assistant. "Who would that be?" asked the pope. "Well, in Berlin I met a nun who is multi-talented and multilingual and energetic---. "And her name would be?" "She is called Sister Pascalina," Francis answered. "And you can't get along without her, I suppose." "No," answered Spellman in Italian with a Boston accent. "Well, I will order her transferred to the Vatican to help you in your work," Pius XI said, grinning from ear to ear. And so did Eugenio Pacelli learn about friendship. Francis had to resist putting a bow on her.

Eugenio Pacelli and Francis Spellman were complimentary geniuses. Spelly understood that, when the USA emerged from The Great War, it came home with a prize it never wanted: World Protector of the Christian Faith. Iberia and France and Europe had dropped the baton. This was a tough insight for Cardinal Pacelli who, nose to the floor and arms outspread, had committed his whole being to the annihilation of Communism and Soviet Russia. Apparently, the key to achieving his goal was a nation of Protestant bumpkins. Now what?

This is why, from 1930 on, the friendship of the two men (and Pascalina) is one of the most important in American history (and world history). In 1930 Eugenio already knew he was going to be the next pope. He had a long time to plan the salvation of the planet and the defeat of the anti-Christ. Never forget, as nuncio to Munich, Pacelli had met Adolph Hitler and made the first of many cash contributions to his anti-Bolshevik "cause".

Pacelli had the vision; Spelly had the ability to see the possible roles for the USA. Plan "A" failed on 19 November 1942 when Soviet forces turned the tide and began pushing the invaders back to Germany. Plan "B" was to get the US to accept surrender of Germany and join in the destruction of the Soviet Union. Plan "C" is what we called the Cold War. In each case, Francis Spellman was the real Military Vicar of Christ. Spelly worked for his dear friend's goals from 1958, when Pacelli died, to his own death in 1967. He pushed us to save the Asian Catholic remanant from 400 nearly wasted years of mission.

Pacem in terris. --Ed Chilton

Shannon[edit]

Are we clear that the Shannon review explicitly states that Cooney "does not actually include any first-hand testimony describing such alleged liaisons, in either the original proofs, or in the published edition"? Thanks. Contaldo80 (talk) 19:26, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

To revert to "personal POV-pushing" claims so early on is rather lazy, but never mind. My question still stands. The added text says "The Cooney biography does not actually include any first-hand testimony describing such alleged liaisons, in either the original proofs, or (as noted above) in the published editiom". Could you please confirm that the New York Times review actually says "there is no first hand testimony in the proofs" etc. Contaldo80 (talk) 16:28, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Homosexuality vs Homosexual Rumors[edit]

Please stop what is becoming an edit war over a subsection title, and discuss it here before the article get locked down in the wrong version. — Becksguy (talk) 02:01, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

This section has been marked for deletion. It's slanderous. 108.23.216.206 (talk) 05:27, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Unless you have a specific legal action in mind then no it is not slanderous. We must simply ensure that it complies with wikipedia guidance on biographies and sources. Contaldo80 (talk) 10:38, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
I have taken him off the LGBT categories though as he looks to have been added by an anon and I think we're not supposed to categorize people into groups unless it's agreed they fit. Looking him up there are Catholic sites that agree he was homosexual, but if he didn't self-identify and it's not confirmed I think we're to avoid categorizing people as Gay or Republican or Agnostic or whatever. He could still fit the LGBT project as the linkage of him as such does look to be historically significant, and more than I might have though, so I won't do anything on that.--T. Anthony (talk) 03:34, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
I have removed some more egregious violations of WP:NPOV that wouldn't fly in a WP:BLP and they won't fly here, considering the sources and quality of information therein. Elizium23 (talk) 15:47, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
Great to see you on this article too Elizium! What a coincidence. None of what was there violated NPOV. If you think it does then take the argument specifically to a administrator board to get advice. Contaldo80 (talk) 16:07, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
It is inappropriate for administrators to intervene in such a content dispute. I have opened an RFC as outlined in the WP:DR policy. Elizium23 (talk) 16:15, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Neutrality dispute[edit]

I have renewed the neutrality dispute and tagged in specific the section in question, I would like to discuss whether such elements as: lack of "allegation" in the title; lack of "no direct proof" statement; the unsourced adjective "unequivocally" to editorialize on the statement placed after it; presence of unsourced "unable to provide evidence" statement, are violations of the NPOV policy.

  • Question before the RFC: What can be done to adhere to the WP:NPOV policy in this section? Elizium23 (talk) 16:13, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps you could try discussing it before you go directly to an RF? 3 comments on a decades old thread doesn't really warrant an RFC.--Adam in MO Talk 05:08, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

Actually it does. Given the history of this editor I have taken the step directly to WP:DR without waiting for the inevitable edit war first. Elizium23 (talk) 05:31, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
"Given the history of this editor". I have never been censured or blocked from editing so either clarify what you mean here or withdraw the accusation. Contaldo80 (talk) 15:55, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
If there is a behavioral issue then that should be addressed at ANI. You should AGF and attempt to have a conversation before the RFC.--Adam in MO Talk 05:48, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
No. Elizium23 (talk) 06:25, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
It sounds awfully damn suspicious that you'd show up to an article that was edited three years ago by someone you've had a dispute with and immediately start a content dispute. Your proposal isn't even cogently worded. I think the status quo before you contentiously started this RFC it was fine. If you have an alternate proposed wording please post it and stop following people and hounding their edits. --Adam in MO Talk 18:15, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
Not suspicious at all - he's trailing me. It's embarrassing. Contaldo80 (talk) 15:55, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Beg your pardon? I've been at this article for five years ever since I reverted some IP vandalism. Contaldo has been protecting his preferred version of the article for eight years. I am sorry if you do not understand my proposal, I think the salient points are utterly clear about what I object to. See the proposed edit I made if you can't understand what I am talking about. This article has been under NPOV dispute since July 2015 but the problem has existed ever since Contaldo80 touched it. By all accounts, I am 8 years overdue to solve this through civil and collegial dispute resolution rather than edit-warring. I did not "contentiously start" anything, I am trying to end this once and for all. Elizium23 (talk) 19:35, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
Can anyone advise me how I make a complaint about Elizium23 hounding me? He follows me around from article to article - amending or removing edits. He went to my talk page to make an offensive point about wanting "god to bless me". I'm starting to feel very uncomfortable. I have a suspicion that he's a priest - he won't deny it and I think it's inappropriate to edit sensitive articles such as this without declaring an interest. Contaldo80 (talk) 15:55, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

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