Vicki Kennedy denied honorary degree from Catholic college.
Looks like it’s RNS day at dotCommonweal. David Gibson reports: “A small Catholic college in Massachusetts has been pressured by the local bishop into cancelling an invitation to Sen. Ted Kennedy’s widow to deliver the school’s commencement address because of her support of abortion rights and gay marriage.” Bishop Robert McManus also told officials at Anna Maria College not to give Vicki Kennedy an honorary degree.
In a statement, Kennedy said that she was “disheartened” by the decision:
I am a lifelong Catholic and my faith is very important to me. I am not a public official. I hold no public office nor am I a candidate for public office. I have not met Bishop McManus nor has he been willing to meet with me to discuss his objections. He has not consulted with my pastor to learn more about me or my faith. Yet by objecting to my appearance at Anna Maria College he has made a judgment about my worthiness as a Catholic.
(You can read the full statement here [.pdf].)
Perhaps the bishop believed this was a teaching moment. What do you suppose the lesson was?
Update: Bishop McManus explains his decision:
“My concern basically was that to give this type of honor to Mrs. Kennedy would in fact undercut the Catholic identity and mission of the school. And that in so far as that that happens, the ‘communio’ or the unity that exists between the local church and the local Catholic college is strained and hurt,” he said.