The Catholic Culture website reports today (April 1, 2012) that Anna Maria College -- a small Catholic institution outside Worcester, Massachusetts -- has rescinded an invitation to Victoria Kennedy to be the school's commencement speaker, as a result of pressure from Worcester Bishop Robert McManus.
Anna Maria College announced that it had withdrawn an invitation to Victoria Reggie Kennedy -- the widow of former Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy -- "with deep regret."
A spokesman for the Worcester diocese pointed to the policy of the U.S. bishops 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 rejection of Victoria Kennedy as a commencement speaker brings back memories of President Obama -- a strong abortion advocate -- being the commencement speaker at Notre Dame University in Indiana three years ago. The decision of Notre Dame's president to have Obama as the commencement speaker infuriated a plethora of Catholics, including the bishop of the Indiana diocese and others, who refused to attend that graduation ceremony.