Depends on Which Catholic Part

Victoria Reggie Kennedy, widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy, apparently wasn’t a good enough Catholic to speak at the commencement of Anna Maria College. She is, however, a good enough for the law school of Boston College.

Back in April Anna Maria College in Paxton, west of Worcester, Massachusetts, was forced to withdraw its invitation to invited Victoria Reggie Kennedy to speak at its spring commencement. A spokesman for the Bishop of Worcester, Robert McManus, explained that Kennedy wouldn’t be welcome because of,

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.”

In other words, she can’t speak because of her support for abortion rights and gay marriage.

But Boston College, which is equally Catholic, announced several weeks ago that,

Victoria Reggie Kennedy… will give the Commencement Address at the 2012 Boston College Law School Commencement.

“Victoria Kennedy has been a powerful advocate for the powerless on issues such as gun control and education, among many others,” said BC Law Dean Vincent Rougeau. “Her perspective on these issues, as well as her experience as a practicing attorney for nearly twenty years, should be very interesting to our graduating class. I’m pleased that she has agreed to speak at Commencement.”

Boston College was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1863 and remains a Catholic, Jesuit-affiliated institution. It is, however, located within the Archdiocese of Boston and not subject to the Diocese of Worcester’s interpretation of Catholic priorities.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer