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Mass. College Backs Off Invite To Kennedy Widow

BOSTON — Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, says she’s “disheartened” by the withdrawal of an invitation to speak at graduation at Anna Maria College in Paxton. The small Catholic college withdrew the invitation under pressure from the Catholic bishop of Worcester, Robert McManus.

A colleague of Kennedy says she was invited more than a year ago to address graduation at the college. But when the college president told McManus about the invitation sometime in the last month, McManus voiced concerns about inviting Kennedy. Ray Delisle, the bishop’s spokesman, explains why.

“People make statements or are in support of things that may be perceived as contrary to real core teachings of the Catholic Church, particularly pro-life vs. pro-choice,” Delisle said.

Kennedy is a board member of Catholic Democrats. Steve Krueger, the group’s national director, says the bishop acted in a way that is antithetical to the Catholic fatih.

“Not only were there no reasons given to her, but the bishop refused to speak to her,” Krueger said.

Krueger says Catholic Democrats’ president, Patrick Whelan, tried to persuade the bishop to speak to Kennedy, but the bishop told Whelan his mind was made up.

And so the college’s board of trustees withdrew the invitation. An Anna Maria College statement says, “as a small, Catholic college that relies heavily on the goodwill of its relationship with the bishop, its options are limited.”

Kennedy says it’s “a sad day” for her “and an even sadder one for the Church” she loves.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Patrick Whelan’s name.

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  • Maj333999

    If God desired, as the Catholic Church requires, that no one express contrary positions to His, He would not have given us a free will.   Thank God that He is more open to differing view than the Church!

  • Eleanor

    More of the same.  Thank God for free will.  But rest assured; there is no free will inside the Catholic Church.  Led and legislated by men who do not have any experience or knowledge of how to live in the world with women and family.  

  • Sharyn Cohen

    Nonsense.  There is open discussion within the Church.  But, they oppose third trimester, partial birth abortion.  And to coddle those who advance the killing of children or see no objection to the communication of AIDS is wrong — Why is the Bishop showing some spine now?  Where has it been?

  • Blingley

    Bishopp McManus ought to be ashmed of himself.  He should be replaced ASAP
    He will not even dialoque with Mrs. Kennedy!   How disrespectful he is of her.  I feel sad for you
    Bishop”".   You do not know the first thing about extending peace, joy, and happiness. 

  • Rocco44

    I hope that they will uninvite conservatives that support the Death Penalty. I am sick of this hypocrisy from my Church.  If we are going to exclude politicians of only one party for lack of harmony with life issues and not the other. Who are we? Just loud mouthed evangelical Catholics? Not me. I am a proud pro life Democrat and realize that though Dems are mostly not with us on life they are with us on mostly everything else, especially curbing greed.  WWJD? Certainly not play favorites on some issues of life and not others. Hypocrites were the ones that felt Jesus’ reproach.

  • snootybaronet

    Congratulations Bishop McManus! Ms. Vicki seeks honors from Catholic institutions while supporting attacks on the First Amendment rights of all people of Faith, especially Catholics (with the recent HHS Mandate ).  This black hearted hypocrite should never be allowed to deconstruct the Catholic Faith from a podium provided by a Roman Catholic institution. She has ample opportunity to spew her bile at the numerous anti-religious institutions which infest our state.

  • ChristoRedendo

    I did not realize the extend of the ailment afflicting  Jack Calareso, president of Anna Maria College.

    While awaiting the donation of a backbone, Dr. Calareso was taken advantage of Bishop McManus, who on orders from the US Conference of Bishops’ plenipotentiary “One Issue Only” council, threatened to extinguish life support to the college’s treasury.

    Bishop McManus, when questioned about the situation, responded with a wry smile and a wink…”A backbone is a terrible thing to waste on a toady doing my bidding…send it to where it might do some good—to one of my bishop brethren still living in the Vatican II past. Come on guys it’s the 21st century. Time to get in step. Look how the Republican Party has rejuvenated Evangelical Protestant Christianity and their reinterpretations of  Jesus’s teachings. Now it’s all about an Old Testament Jesus who’s ready to kick butt, march for the death penalty, support all forms of war, and stop wasting money on social services.”

    After giving the thumbs up, Bishop McManus was wisked away in his bullet-proof Mercedes Benz 400 for a fund raising event at Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Pot-Luck Dinner in the Wellington Community of Worcester.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BORE4ETU3E5RVFUDIOENOIUCBI Michael

    Well done Bishop! The shear effrontery of the Left who demand that the RC Church provide forums for their functionaries  to attack the RC church is beyond belief.

    By this unreasoning of the Left Pope Benedict XVI should be allowed to address a Planned Parenthood function on Humanae Vitae. The absurdity of the Left’s hypocrisy defies belief. Likewise Rick Santorum should demand to speak to a NOW convention on the virtue of abstaining from the use of contraception.

    A Leftist secularist of Vicki’s ilk has no business cross dressing as a faithful Catholic when she is aggrieved. If she had any integrity she would applaud Bishop McManus for protecting his First Amendment right of free exercise.

    • Guest

       The problem with your argument is that Vickie Kennedy was ASKED by the college to speak.  What about the first amendment right of the college administration, who invited her?  It was just squashed by an over reaching bishop.  Looking for a lack of integrity?  Look at Bishop McManus first.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BORE4ETU3E5RVFUDIOENOIUCBI Michael

        The First Amendment governs the actions of the Federal government vis a vis individuals and groups. It does not apply to the internal relations of a church or any other group. Ms. Kennedy would like to squelch First Amendment rights where they do apply, e.g. free exercise threatened by the HHS mandate, an action of the Federal government.

        This college administration is the creature of the Church. Apparently the administration invited Ms. Kennedy without the knowledge of the local bishop. He acted as a responsible Catholic prelate according to the Apostolic Constitution, Ex Corde Ecclesiae.

        The administrators have every right to resign in protest if they believe that Catholic institutions should become mouthpieces of the secular Left.

      • Tim

        The First Amendment Right does not apply to Catholics speaking
        against the canons of their faith.  Those that do are protesting and
        are welcome to become Protestants.

  • Corey

    WOW….an institution that supports raping children seems to get very vocal when anyone does something they dont like. This must mean, they like raping children. Keep up the good work Catholics, your behavior is the reason why you have lost so many parishoners and money.

  • Anonymous

    Since 95% of sexual abuser clergy were homosexual abusers of post pubescent males, surprised you don’t cheer for that sort of degeneracy.

  • Kjkeenan1950

    Vickie Kennedy can not give a speech at Cath Coll, stopped by local Bishop. but Santorum or Gingrich probably could.  That makes no sense

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