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Bishop explains opposition to commencement speech by Kennedy widow

April 04, 2012

In an interview with the newspaper of his Worcester (Massachusetts) diocese, Bishop Robert McManus has explained why he asked a local Catholic college not to go through with plans to have Victoria Kennedy speak at commencement exercises.

“My difficulty is not primarily with Mrs. Kennedy. My difficulty is with the college choosing her to be honored by allowing her to be commencement speaker and giving her an honorary degree,” the bishop said. Officials at Anna Maria College announced last week that they were bowing, reluctantly, to the bishop’s directive.

Bishop McManus explained that it would have been inappropriate for the college to honor Victoria Kennedy because she “has publicly associated with political and social organizations that promote activities and points of view that are contrary to fundamental Church teachings.”


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  • Posted by: dagbat - Apr. 04, 2012 11:45 PM ET USA

    It is refreshing to see that our Bishops are starting to actively lead again through example. Bishop McManus has explained his decision with clarity and compassion. Hopefully other high profile Catholics in the public arena will also hear and understand the Bishop's message.

  • Posted by: unum - Apr. 04, 2012 11:21 PM ET USA

    When a Mass. bishop opposes the Kennedys that defines courage. Thank God for shepherds like Bishop McManus.

  • Posted by: williiam ronner - Apr. 04, 2012 10:31 PM ET USA

    The movement to return the Catholic Church to fidelity with Christ has begun. Bishop McManus is one of many who are finally standing up to the left, many of whom are in leadership roles at Catholic Colleges. I hope the Bishop now targets Holy Cross, a dissenting institution which still classifies itself as Catholic. As the parent of a Holy Cross alumni, I found the four years my child studied at Holy Cross to be very disappointing. Wrong school for Catholics.

  • Posted by: Savonarola - Apr. 04, 2012 6:23 PM ET USA

    Congratulations to Bishop McManus. A courageous bishop, wow! And thanks for his well put explanation.

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Apr. 04, 2012 6:01 PM ET USA

    This good Bishop is right - and absolutely clear in explaining his position. I applaude him. I also applaude the college for their obedience to their Bishop - and even more so to the teachings of our Lord.