Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Kennedys Lose Favor In Catholic Church

A BBC report tonight about a Vatican decision on a marriage annulment is certainly intriguing.

The Vatican has reversed the annulment of former US Congressman Joseph P Kennedy II's first marriage, his ex-wife Sheila Rauch says.

They were divorced in 1991 and Mr Kennedy obtained the annulment in secret in 1993, before he married his secretary Anne Elizabeth Kelly.

Ms Rauch had alleged that the Kennedy family had used its influence in the church to obtain the annulment.

The Vatican made this decision in 2005, but it is just being publicized now. As much as I love the Kennedy family and their contributions to American life, the decision was correct. Marriage annulment in the Catholic church has often been made based on the status of the person requesting the decision, turning it into a lottery for rich people.

What could be concerning is why they made this decision. In 2004, several high ranking officials in the American church came out against John Kerry due to his views on abortion. This decision followed shortly after. It may not be a coincidence, but a definitive tactic by the church to meddle into US political affairs on the grounds of issues like abortion and gay rights.

Although I disagree, the Church could be respected on their own terms if they were being consistent about this issue. Will Rudy Giuliani be attacked as publically as Kerry? Will his annulment to his cousin be looked at with greater scrutiny?

What is patently offensive is that the Church teaches opposition to wars of aggression and capital punishment yet remains as silent as church mice when conservative Catholics advocate against church teaching in these areas, but love the fetus and hate the gay.

If the church wants to run a doctrinaire cafeteria line, perhaps it would be best if they avoided involving themselves in U.S. electoral politics. Judge not lest ye be judged Pope Benedict. The speck in others eyes are not just logs in yours, but an entire forest.