Filed under: Pro-life
A funeral was held at St. Aloysius Church on Thursday, February 1, 2007 for former congressman Fr. Robert Drinan. Eulogists included Senator Edward Kennedy and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Rev. Drinan was a Roman Catholic priest who served in the House of Representatives from 1971-1981. Excerpts from these Eulogies
Last week in a post entitled: The Catholic priest who killed the soul of the Democratic Party we talked about Father Robert Drinan’s deadly influence on Catholic politicians. Here is another account of how Father Drinan and the Kennedy family actually planned a strategy that would allow Catholics to support abortion when Robert Kennedy was running for the U.S. Senate in New York in 1964. The account would sound like a conspiracy theory except that it is well sourced from other priests who actually attended the meeting. We have also added three other sources at the end of the account (one from the Boston Globe) which talks about this 1964 meeting.
Here is an account of the meeting from Paul Likoudis in an article entitled Pro-Abortion Congressman Father Robert Drinan Dies in D. C. At 86:
Drinan came into political prominence in 1964, when he was asked to participate at a meeting in Hyannisport with Senator Edward Kennedy, with Robert Kennedy, then considering a run for the U.S. Senate from New York, and with leading [dissident] Catholic theologians. The point of the meeting was to formulate a “Catholic”position on government support for national and international birth control programs.
His [Drinan’s] role was disclosed by former Jesuit Albert Jonsen in the Joseph P. Kennedy Institute’s Ethics Journal, voL 4, no. 1 (1994) in an article entitled, “Theological Ethics, Moral Philosophy and Public Moral Discourse.” “In July 1964, Fr. Joseph Fuchs, SJ. a renowned [dissident] Catholic moral theologian and a professor at the Gregorian University in Rome, was among the guest faculty of an ethics course I was teaching at the Summer School of the University of San Francisco. Walking across campus one morning, Fr. Fuchs hailed me and told me that he had, on the previous day, received a phone call inviting him to join several other leading theologians in a meeting with Senator Ted Kennedy and Robert Kennedy at Hyannisport.
“Robert Kennedy was running for the New York Senate seat, and the Kennedy family and their political advisers wished to discuss the position that a Catholic politician should take on abortion. “Fr. Fuchs then astonished me by saying that since he knew nothing of American politics, he wanted me to accompany him. If I would agree, he would accept the invitation on the condition that I come as his companion. I agreed and they agreed.
Two days later, the distinguished German theologian and the American novice traveled to Cape Cod to join Catholic theologians Robert Drinan, then dean of Boston College Law School [dissident] Richard McCormick; [dissident] Charles Curran; and a bishop whose name I do not recall; as well as Andre Hellegers, an obstetrician and a fetal physiologist who was to be the technical adviser… “Our colloquium at Hyannisport, as I recall it… reached the conclusion that Catholic politicians in a democratic polity might advocate legal restriction on abortion, but in so doing might tolerate legislation that would permit abortion under certain circumstances, if political efforts to repress this moral error led to greater perils to social peace and order. This position, which, of course, is much more nuanced than I have stated, seems to have informed the politics of the Kennedys.”
Another Jesuit in on the Hyannisport meeting was Giles Milhaven, who recounted at a breakfast briefing for Catholicsfor a Free Choice, on September 14, 1984: “Having been asked to make a presentation this morning on Catholic options in public policy on abortion, I cannot but recall the last time I was invited to do so. It was 15 years ago [note: at least 16, since Robert Kennedy was murdered in 1968]. I remember vividly, Other theologians and I were driving down Route 3 to Cape Cod, with Bob Drinan at the wheel. We were to meet the Senators Kennedy and the Shrivers at their request. “I remember it vividly because the traffic lanes were jammed and halted, presumably because of an accident ahead, and Bob Drinan drove 60 miles an hour down the breakdown lane. Despite my misgivings each time we swept around a curve, we theologians arrived safely at the Kennedy compound.
“The theologians worked for a day and a half among ourselves at a nearby hotel. In the evening, we answered questions from the Kennedys and the Shrivers. Though the theologians disagreed on many a point, they concurred on certain basics. These include statements which I will make shortly. What was striking then and remains striking today is the difference between what [some] Catholic theologians say about abortion and what the Catholic Hierarchy say on the same subject …[In] flat contradiction to the Pope and the bishops in certain situations abortion is morally licit and may even be obligatory. ” [Yes, you read that right]. Internet source: Pastor’s Page By Fr. George Welzbacher.
Here are other sources which give an account of this meeting:
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