Kerry Kennedy

Here at the Call to Action conference in Memphis I have just spent an hour listening to Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Bobby. She is a most inspiring person.  I could have listened to her for hours.  She has the brilliant communication skills, use of language, and engaging personality of her more famous family members.

She has spent the last thirty five years working in the area of human rights all over the world.  She told us a bit about her early years, about the assassinations that blighted her childhood, about the struggle for equal rights in this country. (Earlier on today I spent a few hours at the Civil Rights Museum, which tracked the history of African American people back through the centuries, and down to our own time when full equality was eventually enshrined in legislation.  And of course this is the city in which Martin Luther King was assassinated.)

Kerry is a practicing Catholic to this day, and she spoke of how she has worked with Catholic people around the world, because, she said, very often in developing countries it is Catholic people, priests and nuns, who are at the forefront of the struggle.  But then she comes back home to this country and sees how the Church is so often involved in oppression and marginalisation of people. So she is very much on the side of those who are working for reform in the Church.

One of her many memorable sentences:  “Silence is golden;  but sometimes it is just plain yellow”.