Around New England

Markey and Kennedy Discuss Church-Going Habits; Markey Mentions Priesthood

June 2, 2020

Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy III couldn’t have been expecting to be asked about church-going during their U.S. Senate debate on Monday, June 1.

But they were.

Janet Wu of WCVB-TV Channel 5 asked each of them when the last time they went to church was.

Markey, the incumbent Democratic U.S. senator, seemed to have difficulty answering, pausing several times. He also along the way offered a cryptic reference to having once had an option to be ordained a priest.

Kennedy, a Democratic U.S. representative challenging Markey in the September 1 primary, gave a shorter answer. He offered an apparently unrelated fact and then a vague timeline that could conceivably be consistent with this past Christmas.

A transcript of the exchange follows. The back-and-forth begins at 47:20 of the video.


Janet Wu:  Senator, when was the last time you attended church as a congregant?  In other words, you didn’t — you were not going to a funeral or a wedding.


Congress–, uh, Senator, I’m sorry, Senator. [pause]  Did you hear me?


Ed Markey:  Oh yes. Yes. Ahm. Well, again, I’m, I’m a, a, I, I’m, I’m, I’m — both religions?  My wife is Jewish. I married the dream. I married a Jewish doctor.

And so, uh, between my wife’s religion and mine, Catholicism, going up to the Immaculate Conception Church in Malden or just sitting in the back of the church or —


Janet Wu:  When was the last time you were there?


Ed Markey:  Ahh, well, I actually — last week, wearing a face mask, I actually went up outside of the Immaculate, and, uh, stood there for half an hour and prayed.

And so, it’s just last week that I went up to the Immaculate Conception Church.

And it was a shame that, again, it wasn’t open. But it’s, it’s been a part of me – because I went to the Immaculate Conception grammar school, Boston College, uh, uh, Malden Catholic.

Uh — And so, I had a choice of taking the bar exam or getting, or getting ordained. And so — just last week.


Janet Wu:  Congressman Kennedy, when was the last time you attended church as a congregant?


Joe Kennedy III:  Grateful for the absolution that’s been given by the pope to not attend over the course of the past several weeks.

But it would have been a couple of months before Covid-19 happened.



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