Sunday, April 1, 2012

Kennedy's Are Not The Center Of The Universe

Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts, after having invited Ted Kennedy's widow Victoria Reggie Kennedy, to speak at their college now seems to have had to rescind that invitation per order of Bishop Robert J. MacManus. The Bishop cited,  " her positions on abortion, homosexuality, and the Obama administration’s mandate on insurance coverage for abortifacient contraception and sterilization were incompatible with Catholic teaching." LifeSiteNews reported.

Of course, the liberal reaction was knee-jerk as it always is when things are not to their liking. One of the reactions that made me laugh was from Steve Krueger, chairman of the Catholic Democrats. He said, “Increasingly, we see more and more bishops playing the role of enforcers of the faith rather than shepherds of souls, because they squandered the trust that they once had and the authority that came with it.”

Playing the role of enforcers of the faith? They ARE the enforcers of the faith which is part and parcel of their responsibility of being shepherds of souls. Part of this enforcement is also a defending of the faith. As far a squandering their trust, though it may not be at its highest since the sex abuse scandal, many Catholics still trust their bishops in teaching and defending the faith within the authority of their office, unless that authority is taken away by the Pope with or without Krueger's approval.

The first line of Krueger's statement is the one that gives me hope that Krueger is right, that the bishop's roles in enforcing and defending the faith is increasing.  This is the second time in just a few years that the Kennedy's  have been at odds with bishops. In late 2009, Bishops Tobin of Providence, RI instructed and requested that Patrick Kennedy be denied Holy Communion because of his support of abortion and now Victoria Kennedy has been denied to appear at Anna Maria College.

In her defense Kennedy said “by objecting to my appearance at Anna Maria College he[Bishop MacManus] 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.” Of course she is wrong. By objecting to her appearance, the Bishop made sure the integrity of the Catholic education at Anna Maria not be compromised by a high profile woman who's beliefs about abortion, contraception and homosexuality conflict with the Church. That is his job. If there was a judgment made of her worthiness as a Catholic it was made by her defiance to Church teachings and by no one else.

What has happened here is very important in more ways than one. What we are seeing, slowly I'll admit and not by all, are the bishops exercising their authority not only in demanding that Catholic Colleges adhere to the Church's teachings on abortion, if they are to retain their Catholic identity, but speakers who are invited to Catholic Colleges are also not to be in contradiction with the Church and what she teaches. The Notre Dame scandal with Obama receiving an honorary degree is to be thanked for that.

But, here is something else that should give us hope. The confrontation was with none other than another member of the Kennedy name. This is significant because that indicates that the bishops are courageously standing up against those who are considered untouchables by the Camelot Faithful and who believe the Kennedy name second only to the Pope, perhaps first in some opinions.  Also, by the latest survey, these bishops exercised their authority in the least religious section of the country: the Northeast United States, a hotbed of liberalism. This should give encouragement to other bishops in the country when faced with defending the faith in face of controversy. They can succeed in defending the faith and survive at the same time.

I believe we will see more and more of this type of shepherding from other bishops as they begin to renew their own faith and encourage each other as Apostles of the Church. Bishops Tobin, MacManus and Archbishop Dolan will be good company to be in for any bishop intent on exercising his office in the Church. 
 Pray for our bishops.

7 comments:

  1. It's curious how John F. Kennedy is looked upon as an emblem of liberalism.

    Yet he greatly disliked both the liberals and the liberalism of his day, and on many political issues worked with his latter opponent for the presidency, Richard Nixon.

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  2. Jack,

    Though a liberal, JFK was far removed from what we call liberalism today. Liberalism today is not the liberalism of JFK. Under another name, he would have been called a warmonger by today's liberal standards, and his idea of lowering taxes would have also been called irresponsible by those in office at this present moment. It is very much like Martin Luther King. He called for a world where he would not be judged by the color or his skin, but by his character. He would not, I believe, agree with affirmative action, self segregation from our society and the entitlement mentality that many of his 'follower's' adhere to.

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  3. When you wrote "The Kennedys are not the center of the Universe",there were probably some who thought you were making an April Fool's joke.

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  4. Isn't it good... so good... to hear about our Bishops in the news under these circumstances? May they be bold, may they be faithful, may they be vigilant.

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  5. You are right Robert! Lol, I should have posted this the day before or after April Fool's Day...I'm so insensitive at times...

    Tess, it is more than wonderful. For a while it seemed as if the laity were the only ones defending the faith and now, what we see is just so inspiring and I hope we continue to see so much more of this where ever it is needed. May God bless our bishops!

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  6. Bishop McManus did not order them, he was scheduled to attend and preside and informed the college that he would not, since she was speaking. The college then withdrew their invitation to Kennedy.

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  7. Whether the Bishop expressed an explicit order or not, the end result was the same: Kennedy was not to speak at the college. If a college is considered Catholic, and if it is the beneficiary of whatever favors it incurs from the Church be it funding or whatever, then the least it should do is comply with Church teaching whether it agrees or not. If they do not agree with the Bishop and want to rescind their Catholic identity then they are free to do so, but until then...

    I'm sure Planned Parenthood would be happy to finance Anna Maria College if they want to invite all the pro-choice speakers they want. The Bishop was right.

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