Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview
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Bishop not swayed by petition, maintains ban on campus speech by Kennedy widow

April 27, 2012

Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts, has indicated that he will not alter his decision that Victoria Kennedy should not speak at commencement exercises for a local Catholic college, despite a petition signed by 20,000 people urging him to reconsider.

Bishop McManus had called upon Anna Maria College to rescind an invitation to Victoria Kennedy, the widow of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, last month. The school complied, although administration officials made it clear that they were doing so reluctantly. The bishop expressed concern about Kennedy’s views on topics such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and embryonic stem-cell research.

“While I recognize that there are those who do not agree with Anna Maria's decision to disinvite Mrs. Kennedy as its commencement speaker, I continue to stand behind the concerns which I shared with Dr. Calareso, the college's president, last March,” Bishop McManus said, after receiving the signed petitions from two liberal Catholic groups.


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  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Apr. 30, 2012 7:51 AM ET USA

    Good for you, Bishop McManus! I pray that your fortitude toward wayward Catholic politicians and people in public life will extend itself eastward toward the Archdiocese of Boston. We've had far too many pols get away with the "personally opposed but..." dodge that the Kennedys exploited with Cardinal Cushing's acquiescence.

  • Posted by: chasann113163 - Apr. 28, 2012 3:30 PM ET USA

    Thank you Bishop McManus and Dr. Calareso, finally a Bishop and a Collage President with some courage to fight the secularisim that has invaded our Catholic universities. Pray for more of this.

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Apr. 28, 2012 6:30 AM ET USA

    I hope that all readers here have written, or will write, to the good Bishop and the president of the college. It is so important to support those who stand courageously in defense of the faith.

  • Posted by: unum - Apr. 27, 2012 9:17 PM ET USA

    20,000 signatures cannot change a lie into truth. If Mrs. Kennedy is known to hold views that are at variance with Church teaching, allowing her to speak at a Catholic institution would mislead the faithful, and a petition with 20,000 signatures (or 20,000,000 signatures) can not change that fact. I applaud Bishop McManus for standing by his decision in the face of public pressure.