ted kennedy

Commencement Wars Heat Up with Ted Kennedy’s Widow

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Vicki Kennedy, wife of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) in 2009. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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.

Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus also told officials at Anna Maria College last week that the school should not give Victoria Kennedy an honorary degree, diocesan spokesman Raymond L. Delisle said Monday (April 2).

McManus believes that Catholic institutions “should be honoring Catholics for their consistent public positions with the church, not for contrary positions with the church, especially on core issues such as the right to life and the sanctity of marriage,” Delisle said.

A Tribute to Mark O. Hatfield

1100808-markhatfieldMark O. Hatfield's political witness shaped a whole generation of students, teachers, pastors, and social activists in the evangelical community and beyond. The voice of Christians today who plead for social justice and peaceful alternatives to war would not have emerged with its strength and clarity in the 1970s without his leadership. His death underscores the vacuum of such spiritually rooted voices uncompromising in their commitments to peace and justice within the cacophony political rhetoric today.

One of my life's greatest privileges and joys was to work as an assistant to Senator Mark O. Hatfield for nearly a decade, from 1968 to 1977. I saw first-hand what courageous leadership, combined with unswerving compassion and civility, looked like within the political life of that turbulent and formative era. Those experiences are shared in my book, Unexpected Destinations (Eerdmans).