Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

the Kennedy anathema

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Sep 08, 2008

 Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Sen. Bobby Kennedy, has written a book about the Catholic faith. Naturally this scholarly tome commands front-page attention from the sympathetic Boston Globe, which notes that Kennedy is striving to "reconcile her faith with the teachings of the Church."

"Wait a minute," you might say. "If she's a Catholic, aren't her faith and the faith of the Catholic Church one and the same?"

Oh, how little you understand. Kerry Kennedy explains:

"And my Catholicism informed my view of the world, and the work that I do every day on social justice issues. And yet, so often when I went to church, I was confronted with words and symbols that were anathema to my values."

Anathema: did you catch that? An anathema has been pronounced.

Merriam-Webster is helpful here. Anathema:

1 a: one that is cursed by ecclesiastical authority…

2 a: a ban or curse solemnly pronounced by eccelesiastical authority and accompanied by excommunication.

So who is the ecclesiastical authority in this case? Kerry Kennedy, obviously.

And who or what is being cursed? That's obvious too.

Once again the Catholic Church is weighed in the balance by the Kennedy family and found wanting. 

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