Monday, August 31, 2009

Joan Bennett Kennedy

Left out in the rain.
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If you watched the funeral on Saturday, you may have noticed Senator Kennedy's first wife Joan leaning out in the aisle as her son Patrick returned from the pulpit after his eulogy for his father. He seemed not to have noticed Joan as his stepmother Vicki embraced him on his return to his place in the pew. I imagined that Joan wanted to give him a hug as well.
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I felt sorry for the first Mrs. Kennedy. Not only was she divorced from Ted, but the marriage was actually annulled by the Catholic Church. How very odd. Married by Cardinal Spellman, the mother of 3 living Kennedy children, the poor woman was not only exiled from the Kennedy's, as well as her own children, but the Catholic Church declared her marriage invalid. No wonder she became an alcoholic. (She insists she turned to alcohol after the Chappaquiddick incident.)
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Some call it Catholic divorce.
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Ted was married to Joan in 1957, the civil divorce was finalized in 1982. That was a long time to be living with someone in an invalid marriage. The public only learned about the annulment after his 1992 marriage to his second wife, and the death of Kennedy matriarch Rose, at whose 1995 funeral he was seen receiving Holy Communion - which posed a scandal for faithful Catholics.
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"In his eulogy during her (Rose) 1995 funeral, Kennedy called his mother's faith "the greatest gift she gave us."
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A commitment to Catholicism was not always evident in Kennedy's personal life, which was marred by problems with philandering. He divorced his first wife, Joan, in the 1980s; the church does not recognize divorce and requires an annulment if people get remarried and wish to take Communion.
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Kennedy remarried in the 1990s, and the public latter learned that he'd been granted an annulment after he was seen accepting Communion at his mother's funeral. Joan later said that Kennedy requested the annulment, which she did not oppose, on grounds that his marriage vow to be faithful had not been honestly made." - Source
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Joan never remarried.
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"God can neither deceive nor be deceived. In our everyday life we believe many things on the word of human beings even though at times they deceive or are deceived." - Baltimore Catechism
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UPDATED: 12 PM 8/31/09

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:38 AM

    Dear Terry,

    I was just going to comment but I think it was more gossip than information about Joan Bennett. She has had a lot to deal with in her life. I will pray for her.

    Katie
    Enjoy the beauty of the day!

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  2. Poor Joan. What a nightmare it must have been for her.
    As for the annulment, the ususally told story goes that Teddy never intended to be monogamous and failed to inform his fiancee of this. That means she was tricked into a fraudulent marriage.

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  3. Anonymous1:36 PM

    Joan Bennett Kennedy was a wonderful role model of dignity and class as she mourned Senator Kennedy with their three adult children and grandchildren. I have always admired her strength and just respect her so much for overcoming such personal problems to hold her head up high as she should. Thank you for showing us how to live life on life's terms. James Whritenour, Bradley Beach, NJ

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  4. Anonymous11:14 PM

    I am not too sure that there was a clinical diagnosis of the mental illness for Joan. However, if she was diagnosed with mental illness lately, it has only been known in the last few years that the diagnosis, along with the alcoholism, is called Dual Diagnosis. (D & D) The patient self medicates. But, I think Ted Kennedy drove her to that point. He did not act as a husband to her. She was a gentlewoman and he treated her with disrespect. We all desire love and intimaticy, especially when you take the vows of marriage. He only provided abuse.

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  5. Anonymous1:13 PM

    I am sorry for Joan, I am not sure that the annulment should be a valid one in the eyes of the Catholic church to which I belong... the reason given for it was certainly not in the words of our Lord. It is quite wrong too in these stern days when my church gets attacked from all sides,to grant such an annulment. People who have tried to get an annulment because they were in a violent marriage could not...My church will loose more credit with its attackers, they will be able to say that there are two different religious rule for the rich and the ordinary...It is a good thing that ultimately it is God we trust more than the church...but it does make me immensely sad...

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