Friday, March 30, 2012

Victoria Kennedy embarasses herself after public rebuke from Bishop Robert McManus...

BOSTON (Reuters) - A small Massachusetts Roman Catholic college rescinded its invitation to Vicki Kennedy to speak at its graduation ceremony this spring, saying the local bishop objected to honoring the widow of the liberal lion Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

A spokesman for Worcester Bishop Robert McManus declined to say why exactly he objected to the choice of Kennedy, a member of the most prominent U.S. Catholic family in politics.

'Bishop McManus is acting, he feels, consistently with what all of the U.S. bishops asked colleges or higher institutions to do going back to 2004, that they not honor ... Catholics who take a public stance or position on issues contrary to things that the Church is trying to teach,' said Raymond Delisle, a spokesman for the diocese.

Kennedy said she was 'disheartened' by the public rebuke.

'I am a lifelong Catholic and my faith is very important to me,' she said in a statement. 'I have not met Bishop McManus nor has he been willing to meet with me to discuss his objections.'

She said that by opposing her appearance at the college, the bishop 'has made a judgment about my worthiness as a Catholic.'

Senator Kennedy, a Democrat, was a liberal standard-bearer during his nearly 47 years in office and an advocate for abortion rights -- a stance that ran afoul of church teachings. His brother John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president of the United States, was assassinated in 1963.

The school, Anna Maria College of Paxton, Massachusetts, apologized to Kennedy.

'As a small, Catholic college that relies heavily on the good will of its relationship with the Bishop and the larger Catholic community, its options are limited,' it said in a statement.

The Catholic church has been increasingly vocal on political issues over the past year, particularly regarding the use of contraception, which the church opposes.

In February, clergy around the United States were asked to read statements at the pulpit calling on the administration of President Barack Obama to exempt religious employers from paying for insurance coverage of contraceptives.

Following Edward Kennedy's death in 2009, the clan has slowly faded from the political spotlight, though Joseph Kennedy III -- grandson of Edward's brother Robert, who also served in the Senate -- has announced plans to run for Congress. (See here).

Victoria Kennedy has embarassed herself.  Her invitation to speak at Anna Maria College having been rescinded is the direct result of her refusal to accept Catholic teaching.  For example, in an op-ed piece in The Washington Post,  Ms. Kennedy wrote, "The pro-choice position recognizes that the United States is a diverse, pluralistic society where a woman has a constitutional right to make a decision based on her own conscience, religious beliefs and medical needs." 

What is this but a direct challenge to Catholic teaching regarding abortion?  In Evangelium Vitae, No. 62, Pope John Paul II stated clearly that, "No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church."

Vickie Kennedy's faith is important to her?  In what sense?  She refuses to accept even a fundamental teaching of the Church on the sanctity of human life.

Talk about disheartening!


Wendy said...

This was really a no-brainer. Reggie Kennedy has no place speaking at a Catholic college. Her acceptance of abortion as a "right" places her at odds with the Church. Period!

Anonymous said...

She is on many Catholic boards and gets away with being pro-abort so she is probably surprised to be called out on it. -- Catholic Democrat orgs plus commencement speaker at Catholic college, Emmanuel. She is on the board of National Leadership Roundtable for Chucrch Management ru along with Fr. Hehir.

Alan said...

Kennedy has also backed same-sex "marriage" of course. Her "Catholicism" is in question.

Anonymous said...

In addition to being pro-infanticide and pro-homosexual deviancy, Victoria Reggie Raclin is still married to her first husband, Grier C. Raclin, since the Church does not recognize civil divorce. The reason that Victoria Reggie Raclin and Edward Kennedy were "married" in a civil ceremony in his house in McLean, VA was because they couldn't get married in the Church. Reggie Raclin and Kennedy were simply unrepentant, obstinate, public adulterers. One more reason why O'Malley should have denied Kennedy a funeral Mass. Now Vickie, tell us again how important your faith is and I'll make you a good deal on a bridge in Chappaquiddick.

Christine said...

As an alumni of Anna Maria I am disappointed and embarassed by this - not that Kennedy was invited to speak at graduation, but that AMC took back its invite. So much for teaching acceptance of others and living a catholic life. I can understand AMC asking Kennedy to not speak about her pro-choice views at graduation, but to completely ignore everything positive she does because she does not tow the strict - and completely out of touch - Catholic doctrine is an embarassment to me as an alumni. First and foremost AMC is a college - this is not the example it should be setting for the current or future students.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Acceptance of others does not mean condoning their dissent from the Church's teaching. Many Catholic institutions have devaluated the faith and have become enslaved to a narrow (and conceptually flawed) notion of academic freedom.

Cardinal Newman reminds us that, "It is no sufficient security for the Catholicity of a university, even that the whole of Catholic theology should be professed in it, unless the Church breathes her own pure and unearthly spirit in it, and fashions and moulds its organization, and watches over its teaching, and knits together its pupils, and superintends its actions....It cannot but be that if left to themselves, they will, in spite of their profession of Catholic truth, work out results more or less prejudicial to its interests. Nor is this all: such institutions may become hostile to the revealed truth in consequence of the circumstances of their teaching as well as of their end. They are employed in the pursuit of liberal knowledge, and liberal knowledge has a special tendency, not necessary or rightful, but a tendency in fact, when cultivated by beings such as we are, to impress us with a mere philosophical theory of life and conduct, in the place of Revelation....It is not that you will at once reject Catholicism, but you will measure and proportion it by an earthly standard. You will throw its highest and most momentous disclosures into the background; you will deny its principles [such as the authentic meaning of academic freedom, my note], explain away its doctrines, rearrange its precepts, and make light of its practices, even while you profess it....This intellectualism first and chiefly comes into collision with precept, then with doctrine, then with the very principle of dogmatism.." (John Henry Cardinal Newman, The Idea of a University, Image Books, N.Y., 1959, pp. 223-225).

How prophetic Cardinal Newman was. In its Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, No. 40, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith tells us that, "The Church ‘is like a sacrament, a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men’ (LG, 1). Consequently, to pursue concord and communion is to enhance the force of her witness and credibility. To succumb to the temptation of dissent, on the other hand, is to allow the ‘leaven of infidelity to the Holy Spirit’ to start to work." Faithful Catholics understand this. And they understand what Pope John Paul II meant when he said (in his Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, No. 113) that: "While exchanges and conflicts of opinion may constitute normal expressions of public life in a representative democracy, moral teaching certainly cannot depend simply upon respect for a process: indeed, it is no way established by following the rules and deliberative procedures typical of a democracy. Dissent, in the form of carefully orchestrated protests and polemics carried on in the media, is opposed to ecclesial communion and to a correct understanding of the hierarchical constitution of the People of God. Opposition to the teaching of the Church’s Pastors cannot be seen as a legitimate expression either of Christian freedom or of the diversity of the Spirit’s gifts."

You're embarassed by Catholic doctrine and yet you describe yourself as "Catholic." You deceive yourself. You are not Catholic.

Bill H said...

An alumni who thinks that "Catholic doctrine is an embarassment." Wonderful. Speaks to the the quality of "Catholic education" at Anna Maria....What a disgrace!

Walt said...

Hey Christine; me thinks you been tokin' da wacky weed in your days in college just a tad too much. Your comment, at best was insipid and, at worst, moronic. A private institution has every right to decide who speaks on their campus. There is the obvious notion of acceptance of philosophy of a speaker through implied endorsement of the individual's philosophy and, in this case, her actions. Come on, if you are going to pose an argument at least try to insert a college level degree of intellect and reason. If you can't, then better to stay on the sidelines.

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