the Kennedy connection
Writing for the Wall Street Journal in anticipation of Caroline Kennedy's appointment to the Senate, Anne Hendershott, the author of The Politics of Abortion, helpfully explains "How Support for Abortion Became Kennedy Dogma." She has the story right: liberal Democrats recognized the abortion lobby as a solid source of campaign support; the Kennedy clan leapt into the lead with ersatz theological justification; most Catholic prelates remained silent, thus allowing the success of the gambit. Hendershott concludes:
Until the clerics begin to counter the pro-choice claims made by high-profile Catholics such as Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and, now, Caroline Kennedy, faithful Catholics will continue to be bewildered by their pastoral silence.
All right on the money, if not particularly new. What makes the article noteworthy, however, is that Hendershott offers Wall Street Journal readers a fascinating tidbit that they would not have previously seen, unless they had read Phil Lawler's book, The Faithful Departed. Her column describes the secret meeting at the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, held in 1964-- nearly a decade before Roe v. Wade-- at which dissident theologians developed the tactics that liberal Democrats would use to justify the votes cast by "pro-choice" Catholics.
It was a critically important event, illustrating how the Kennedy family has consistently exploited its Catholicism-- to the betterment of Kennedy political prospects, and the detriment of the faith. The more people know what happened at Hyannisport, the better.
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