Matt C. Abbott
Woman sympathizes with convicted murderer Justin Boulay; More on CCHD controversy
By Matt C. Abbott
November 19, 2010

Wouldn't you know, one of two e-mails I've received thus far in response to my Nov. 17 column on convicted — but just set free — murderer Justin "Jay" Boulay was from a woman who sympathizes with Boulay and criticizes me for portraying him in a negative light!

Amanda R. wrote:

    'Mr. Boulay was a friend of mine. I knew all the involved parties well. Please leave the man alone. You don't know the whole story behind what happened. Jay did his time. Two lives don't have to be ruined by this senseless act. You are Catholic? What ever happened to talking about forgiveness? I don't believe that you or any of the media are doing anyone any good by reporting about the negatives in this case. Had you any idea that Andrea was also abusive towards Jay? It was a bad situation that turned out very terrible. But, there is no reason to place blame on Jay for the sentence he was given. He felt terrible for what happened. I also had a relative murdered by her husband who only served 10 years. He has been released and appears to be a productive member of society. Forgiveness is how people can learn to move on.'

My response to Amanda:

    'Wow. Are you suggesting that Andrea got what she deserved because she 'was also abusive towards Jay'? Have you by chance talked about 'forgiveness and moving on' with Andrea Will's family, or just me? For me, it's not about forgiveness — that's up to Andrea Will's family — it's about justice, and, in my view and in the view of many others, justice has not been served.'

Amanda's second response:

    'No, I am not suggesting that she got what she deserved. I just feel that people are judging people they don't know personally. How does bringing up all the hurt and anger help anyone? In none of the articles I have read about this has anyone given any information about domestic violence resources. Some have said that the vigils are to support not only Andrea's memories, but also other victims.

    'How do you determine if one has received justice or not? Why do you feel justice has not been served? Because he still lives? Would you rather he had been strangled also? Would justice have been served for you then?'

I responded:

    'For goodness' sake, he committed cold-blooded murder! He should be serving a life sentence, as should anyone who commits cold-blooded murder (a friend of mine believes he should have been given the death penalty). Are you suggesting that this was, or should have been, a case of self-defense?'

Thus far Amanda hasn't responded to that question, but, even if she does, it really doesn't matter. Amanda's notion of compassion and justice is badly misguided, not to mention I have a hard time believing Andrea Will was abusive toward "Jay."

It seems there are many people in our society who are more sympathetic with the perpetrators of heinous crimes than they are with the victims of such crimes — and that's sad.

As for information about domestic violence resources, for those who live in the Chicago area, click here.

Regarding the ongoing Catholic Campaign for Human Development controversy, Ann Scheidler, vice president of the Pro-Life Action League, writes:

    For the past two weeks there has been a swirl of blog posts and articles focusing on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, once again raising the controversy about who CCHD funds or does not fund, and who supports or opposes the process and the grantees.

    The Pro-Life Action League was invited by then Chicago CCHD director Rey Flores to apply for a grant for 2010. The League was, of course, happy to seek funding for its sidewalk counseling initiatives, and we were eager to cooperate with the local effort to restore the original mission of CCHD — to attack the root causes of poverty by funding charitable efforts that carry out Catholic Church's teaching on social justice.

    Rey Flores was recently fired from his position at Chicago CCHD. We don't claim to know why this happened, but the move has spawned much speculation, since he oversaw some changes to the program. In the wake of his departure we have seen several stories stating that the Pro-Life Action League's grant has been rescinded, that we have been defunded, and that the changes Flores made have been reversed.

    However, the Pro-Life Action League has not been notified of any change to either the program or to the grant it was awarded. We received half of the grant in September and are due to receive the last installment in January....

To read the rest of Ann Scheidler's statement, click here.

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other media outlets. In 2005 and 2006, he was among the first writers to expose former cardinal Theodore McCarrick's abuse of power with and sexual harassment of seminarians. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if they're marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in limited circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)


Receive future articles by Matt C. Abbott: Click here

More by this author