I will say this until I am blue in the face: Until we see the day that Catholic bishops also publicly embarrass politicians who vote for unjust wars, capital punishment or against the rights of workers to unionize (things which are ALSO Catholic teachings), we know that they are nothing more than hypocritical sacks of lard:
A small Catholic college that invited Victoria Reggie Kennedy to speak at its spring commencement has rescinded the offer under pressure from the Worcester bishop, who described her apparent political views as out of line with Catholic teachings.
Notice that? "Apparent." Since the good bishop didn't bother to speak to Mrs. Kennedy or her pastor, she's being publicly singled out on what I suppose is a hunch. Real Christian, there, Bishop!
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.
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.”
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.”
Meaning, the bishop didn't offer any credible reasons but did make a credible threat.
Kennedy, the wife of the late US Senator Edward M. Kennedy, published her own statement noting that the bishop refused to meet with her despite her overtures.
“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.”
McManus declined to comment, but diocese 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.”
The Diocese of Worcester is, incidentally, one that was prominent in covering up sex scandals in the church. (Bishop McManus was brought in to clean up their image.) Now McManus, like most Catholic bishops, is pursuing an all-out intolerance campaign that is meant to wash away the memory of the Church's duplicity and lies. All it does is remind me.
The current pope is alleged to have said upon his election that he would seek a "smaller, purer church." If so, it sure looks like he's going to get it, as American Catholics will eventually vote with their feet.