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Bishop nixes Catholic campus address by Ted Kennedy’s widow

March 30, 2012

Anna Maria College, a small Catholic institution outside Worcester, Massachusetts, has rescinded an invitation to Victoria Kennedy to be the school’s commencement speaker, at the prompting of Bishop Robert McManus.

Anna Maria College announced that it had withdrawn an invitation to Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, “with deep regret.” The statement said that the school’s administration continued to think that the invitation had been appropriate in light of Victoria Kennedy’s work on issues such as gun control and children’s safety.

Bishop McManus did not comment on the announcement, but a spokesman for the Worcester diocese pointed to the policy of the US bishops that “Catholic institutions should not be honoring Catholics who take positions publicly which are contrary to the Catholic faith’s most fundamental principles, particularly on the dignity of life from conception and the sanctity of marriage.”

Victoria Reggie Kennedy released her own statement decrying the bishop’s “judgment about my worthiness as a Catholic.” She said: “This is a sad day for me and an even sadder one for the Church I love.”


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Show 10 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: msorensen71798 - Apr. 03, 2012 1:59 AM ET USA

    Can we get Bishop McManus to have a word with our Bishop? Here in Spokane, Gonzaga University (Jesuit) has invited Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu (pro-abortion & gay marriage) to deliver the 2012 commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Laws, not unlike Notre Dame did for Mr. Obama. Our Bishop Cupich has taken a hands-off approach to the unCatholic things going on at Gonzaga, as well as at our biggest "Catholic" hospital. Very sad.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 01, 2012 10:01 PM ET USA

    "This is a...sadder day for the Church I love." How so? She dissents from the teachings of the Church she loves? How does that work? Perhaps she needs to clarify what she truly loves and chose to follow it unreservedly.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 01, 2012 2:40 PM ET USA

    Small uphill steps can eventually overcome a mountain.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 31, 2012 3:29 PM ET USA

    Sad day "for the Church"? What arrogance! It's a great day for the Church when a bishop shows some courage.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 31, 2012 10:07 AM ET USA

    "Gun control and children’s safety?" I smell a rat. "Gun control" is code for opposition to the Second Amendment. This is not a "Catholic" social issue. Why would the college's administration imply that it is? It sounds like a decidedly liberal agenda is being advanced by this college, one that would fit perfectly with an invitation to a member of the Kennedy clan.

  • Posted by: donnabob4172 - Mar. 30, 2012 9:51 PM ET USA

    Thank you Jesus! ! They are beginning to have a back bone

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Mar. 30, 2012 8:13 PM ET USA

    God bless this Bishop and the college for coming to the right decision. Catholic means something - it means adherence to the teachings of our Lord - not to the latest popular opinion.

  • Posted by: Gerry H - Mar. 30, 2012 6:38 PM ET USA

    It truly is a shame that the world is left only with Kennedy Catholics, rather than Catholic Kennedys, from that prominent but in many ways so unfortunate family. And if this be a sad day for the church Victoria loves, it is clear that the church she loves is not the Catholic Church.

  • Posted by: normnuke - Mar. 30, 2012 4:11 PM ET USA

    @AgnesDay: Amen. A pity so very many 'Catholic' colleges persist in hyping the liberal causes of times oh-so-past in preference to (and even contradiction to) the truths of eternity.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Mar. 30, 2012 3:30 PM ET USA

    But a happy day indeed for Catholics who have been waiting for their bishops to defend the faith we love. Kudos, Bishop McManus.