A small Catholic college that invited Victoria Reggie Kennedy to speak at its spring commencement has rescinded the offer under pressure from the Worcester bishop, who described her apparent political views as out of line with Catholic teachings.Anna Maria College in Paxton, west of Worcester, released a statement today placing the decision at the feet of Bishop Robert J. McManus and saying it still believes Kennedy is an appropriate choice.But now they know, she isn't. And every student in the school now knows, along everyone who reads story.
"However, the statement continued, “after hours of discerning and struggling with elements of all sides of this issue, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees decided with deep regret to withdraw its invitation.”
Alicia Savo, Anna Maria’s student government president, said she that while she had been excited to hear Kennedy speak, she trusts the bishop’s judgement in the matter.“I feel bad that they had to disinvite her, and she took it very decently,” Savo said. “But I don’t think the bishop would have said he didn’t think it was a good idea unless it wasn’t a good idea. I understand where he’s coming from.”Deo Gratis.
It takes a tremendous dose of humility to tether yourself to truth when you have to do it "with deep regret".
I don't know any practicing Catholic who doesn't regret having to forbear things (or people) we think are appropriate choices. Surrendering our own discernment to those whose guidance is in harmony with the Magisterium, in spite of our regret, is the key that unlocks the mystery.
You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
It doesn't look like freedom or feel like freedom when we deeply regret withdrawal or forbearance, but it is.
I really get a kick out of the urban legends about people who act in harmony with the Magisterium even when we regret we can't act in accordance with our own desires. I suppose the legends come from a generation of priests who did not (and do not) teach the discipline, personal sacrifice it takes to accept God's commandments and how to live by them.
Anna Maria, a independent liberal arts college with 1,100 students, is deeply entwined with the diocese; last night, its president attended a dinner with McManus. Its statement notes that “as a small, Catholic college that relies heavily on the good will of its relationship with the Bishop and the larger Catholic community, its options are limited.”Amen brother. Amen.
Mrs. Kennedy put out her own statement:
“He has not consulted with my pastor to learn more about me or my faith,” read 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 facts are, there is a very long and public record to base judgments upon, including her husband's funeral where she used the Sanctuary of the Catholic Church to promote dissent from Church teaching with a long list of speakers and prayer petitions that repudiated Church teaching.
I am sad for Mrs. Kennedy. The church she loves only exists in her mind. It's a figment of her imagination. She and her husband's family have been exploited by disordered prelates who have spent their vocation maligning the teachings of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church Christ established - misleading good, kind, naive but uncatechized Catholics like herself.
Mrs. Kennedy is suffering from the same affliction that her husband suffered. She believes she can publicly lead the masses into sin and meet with the Bishop to tell him privately she would never commit such atrocities. That's about as worthless to Christ as the innocent cry of Hitler from the bunker that other people carried out the plans he laid.
The Bishop is committed to responding to her public witness, and not just for the sake of those led into committing murder through her witness, but for Mrs. Kennedy - who will be held accountable on her day of judgment for all those she is misleading.
She is not alone. Every one of us has walked a mile or two in those moccasins. God doesn't permit us to kid ourselves for too long. At some point, He comes moseying on up the road to lead us to truth. You can lead a horses ass to the water, but you cannot make us drink. That we have to do on our own. He is praying for us.
Anyhoo - here's an amusing little piece of this story:
Patrick Whelan, president of the national Catholic Democrats and a longtime acquaintance of the bishop, said he had spoken in-depth with McManus and found him adamant on the issue.“He’s always been very warm with me, but he struck a combative tone about this from the first moment: ‘I am not happy about this; it has put me in a very difficult position,’” said Whelan, who also is a pediatric specialist at Harvard Medical School. The bishop, he added, invoked what he believed were Kennedy’s positions on divisive social issues, including abortion, gay rights, and health coverage for contraception.
Whelan also said the bishop took responsibility for his decision during their conversation.“I said, ‘I’m sure you must be under a lot of pressure from people in the conservative camp’ -- I was trying to express some empathy -- and he reacted very sternly to that too,” said Whelan. “He said, ‘this is my decision and mine alone, and nobody’s pressuring me to do this.’ But then he did add, ‘sometimes it’s lonely at the top.’ ”First of all, who is Whelan in this scenario that he is put in a difficult position?!!Is this chumley stumping for speaking engagements within the Catholic Church for democratic political cronies who repudiate Church teaching?
There is no such thing as a 'conservative camp' in the Institution of the Catholic Church. The camps are divided into those who promote obedience to Church teaching and those who promote disobedience. The Kennedys and Whelan are the latter. Bishop McManus is the former.
Viva Christo Rey.