Boston.com is reporting today that Vicki Kennedy, the widow of Senator Teddy Kennedy, has be dis-invited to make the commencement speech this year at Anna Marie College near Worcester, MA and that this was specifically done under the instruction of Roman Catholic Bishop Robert J. McManus. (boston.com)
Anna Marie is a small Catholic school, and the board of trustees felt compelled to withdraw their invitation.
Ms. Kennedy has been vocal about her support for equal marriage and reproductive rights.
Asked for a statement, the Diocese of Worcester spokesman Ray Delisle said his actions were consistent with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ ruling
“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.”
Ms. Kennedy also issued a statement (VK Statement) in which she laments the Bishop's decision --
“He has not consulted with my pastor to learn more about me or my faith,” reads the statement. “Yet by objecting to my appearance at Anna Maria College he has made a judgment about my worthiness as a Catholic. This is a sad day for me and an even sadder one for the Church I love.”
The progressive Christian group Faithful America has generated a petition asking the Bishop and Diocese to reverse their decision (VK Petition).
Don't hold your breath. (Oddly, Ms. Kennedy WILL be addressing a commencement at Boston College' s Law School this spring -- at least so far. BC is also a Catholic institution.)