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The Kennedy funeral - Opportunity or capitulation of the Catholic Church....... - alaric - 08-28-2009

Which one is it?

Thursday August 27, 2009


The Kennedy Funeral - A Golden Opportunity or Capitulation for the Catholic Church

Editorial by John-Henry Westen

August 26, 2009 ( - Saturday's grandiose Catholic funeral for Senator Ted Kennedy has the potential to be a scandal that will make Notre Dame's Obama Day a walk in the park.  With all four living former Presidents in attendance and an address from President Barack Obama, the funeral is set to be a royal crowning, right inside a Catholic Church, of a man who betrayed the most fundamental moral teachings of the faith.

What example will this give to Catholics and the rest of the world looking in?  It will surely belie the Catholic teachings on the sanctity of life and sexuality.  "Surely," they will say, "if one of the most vociferous proponents of abortion and homosexuality in politics is so feted in the Church, the Church cannot possibly regard abortion as murder."  Would anyone so honor one who so advocated what the church officially considers an "unspeakable crime"?

The Church in the US has suffered a dangerous precedent with the recent Notre Dame award to President Obama.  However, President Obama is not Catholic.  Therefore, the impact of the scandal was blunted.  Regarding Senator Kennedy, however, the stakes are much higher in terms of scandal and public relations.

Kennedy, began his life as a Catholic in great ceremony. At age seven, he received his First Communion from Pope Pius XII in the Vatican. He was also pro-life early in his political career. "Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized - the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old," he wrote in 1971.

However, abandoning the practice of faith is regarded as worse than never having known.  The Bible, in the second book of Peter teaches: "For if, flying from the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they be again entangled in them and overcome: their latter state is become unto them worse than the former. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of justice than, after they have known it, to turn back from that holy commandment which was delivered to them." (2 Peter 2:20-21)

Rev. Patrick Tarrant, pastor of the Church where Kennedy is to be buried has informed the media that he was present at Kennedy's death and thus hopefully the senator made a last confession and was reconciled with the Church. 

However, only a public repudiation of his militantly anti-life and anti-family actions would serve to lessen the scandal of the upcoming funeral extravaganza.

I don't discount that that might be coming.  After all, Kennedy did have President Obama deliver a letter to the Pope when Obama made his visit to the Vatican in July.  Although unlikely, given the Senator's recent, intense support for Obama's health care reforms, perhaps there was a public confession in the letter waiting to be released.  We can hope and pray.

If we assume a private confession was made there could be a private funeral Mass for the family, without politicians and media.  And of course there would still be a secular memorial event, with all the pomp and ceremony for this star of the secular world.

Such a deliberately subdued Catholic liturgical event for the Senator would, at this time, with the announcement of the Catholic funeral already out, come at the cost of enduring the rage of those who have become used to the Church giving in to their demands. However, the eternal benefit would be to send a clear message to Catholic politicians in particular, and to the public in general, that the Church is actually serious about the sanctity of human life.

It could also be an opportunity for Church leaders to repent of having failed to work hard enough to bring wayward Catholic politicians back to faith, or even of having in many cases led them away from the faith, as some clergy are known to have influenced Kennedy.

It would not be the first time the Church has apologized for not living up to it's pro-life convictions. In 2000, when Pope John Paul II was making his much touted "Universal Prayer" of "Confession Of Sins And Asking For Forgiveness" one of the ignored apologies concerned the unborn.

Then-Archbishop François Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân prayed "let us pray for those who are most defenseless, the unborn killed in their mother's womb or even exploited for experimental purposes by those who abuse the promise of biotechnology and distort the aims of science."

The Pope responded in prayer, "God, our Father, you always bear the cry of the poor. How many times have Christians themselves not recognized you in the hungry, the thirsty and the naked, in the persecuted, the imprisoned, and in those incapable of defending themselves, especially in the first stages of life. For all those who have committed acts of injustice by trusting in wealth and power and showing contempt for the "little ones" who are so dear to you, we ask your forgiveness: have mercy on us and accept our repentance. We ask this through Christ our Lord."

Canada suffered a similar scandal in 2000, with the death of former Catholic Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Despite his having legalized abortion, divorce and homosexuality he was given a state funeral in Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica, presided over by the archbishop of Montreal, Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte. One of the pallbearers was Cuba's communist president Fidel Castro.

Five months after the funeral Calgary Bishop Fred Henry was asked if he were offended by Trudeau’s funeral. He replied: “Yes, I was.... there were some issues or questions there that might make one kind of pause and consider whether or not this was an appropriate funeral to have or not."


Re: The Kennedy funeral - Opportunity or capitulation of the Catholic Church....... - Baskerville - 08-28-2009

It will be terrible it will just cement in the cafeteria Catholicism and its okay to be pro abortion that has been running rampant for so long. If I were Bishop I would deny him a Catholic burial at all much less a big star studded funeral Mass.

Re: The Kennedy funeral - Opportunity or capitulation of the Catholic Church.... - OldMan - 08-28-2009

I wonder if anyone here heard the grotesque comments on the Catholic Network on XM / Sirius this afternoon. Most of the empty headed callers were outraged at the fact that someone had the audacity to call for a denial of a Catholic funeral for the late Senator Edward Kennedy. Some of the comments bordered on insanity: "Its his God-given right to have a Catholic funeral." "Who is the Church to judge the state of his soul?" "Since we're all sinners we should be denied a Catholic funeral." It continued in this vein until I turned it off. The host (and I don't recall his name) even sided with the dupes. Now, I really was not surprised as the Catholic Network (or whatever its called) is extremely liberal and very hostile to trads, but to hear this trash was really quite unnerving.

I take solace in the fact that what will take place Saturday will be no more Catholic than the typical Protestant funeral! So, in effect, and in strict justice, Ted Kennedy will be denied a Catholic funeral!

In charity though, I did pray for the repose of his soul and will continue to do so, but I am under no illusions that Senator Kennedy was objectively hostile to Catholic teaching and a staunch supporter of infanticide.

May Jesus have mercy on his soul!

Re: The Kennedy funeral - Opportunity or capitulation of the Catholic Church....... - SmileBugMK - 08-29-2009

All right, I'll bite.  I don't think he should be denied a Catholic funeral.

I have several good reasons.  1)  It's true, we DON'T know the state of his soul.  Mr. Kennedy's  pastor, who was present at his death, may have heard a complete and contrite deathbed confession.  Of course the pastor would not be able to tell us this.  2)  Even if we could be certain he died unrepentant, we cannot judge his culpability as he was never formally disciplined for his pro-abortion pro-homosexuality views, and was even influenced by clergy (!).  Yes, he was an intelligent man and ought to have known better and almost certainly to some degree did.  But again, THAT IS NOT FOR US TO JUDGE, and there are many more factors in play here than pure willful dissent.  If he had been formally disciplined, and refused to listen to the Church, then it would be another matter entirely.  Formal excommunication would have been the next step, and then it would have been clear that a Catholic funeral would be out of the question.  But since that didn't happen, Ted Kennedy probably sincerely believed he was all right with the Church.  3)  It would be too little, too late.  Denying Mr. Kennedy Christian burial after allowing him to receive Communion on a regular basis is absurd.  The worst of the damage has been done to Mr. Kennedy by silently allowing him to receive communion and refusing to correct him.  Refusing him the grace of a requiem Mass now would only further deny him grace from which he may greatly benefit.  We've abandoned him in life, the least we can do for him now is offer a Mass for his soul, and do penance for how we've failed him and the evil that came of that.  It's too late to undo it now.  4)  Not to mention how a sudden and unexpected denial of a Catholic funeral would impact the faith of his family.  it would just be cruel, and for what reason?  To avoid scandal?  That would just made it worse!

I think the best thing that could happen at Ted Kennedy's funeral is that the pastor makes a public apology for his lack of pastoral concern for the deceased's soul while he was still living, beg God's forgiveness, and ask Him to please not condemn Ted Kennedy to hell, but to Purgatory.  And the pastor promised to pray the Rosary daily for his soul.  That'd be the day.

Re: The Kennedy funeral - Opportunity or capitulation of the Catholic Church.... - OldMan - 08-29-2009

...we cannot judge his culpability as he was never formally disciplined for his pro-abortion pro-homosexuality views,

Therein lies the problem. The modernist hierarchy did nothing - nothing but lip service! They too should be denied a Catholic burial!

Re: The Kennedy funeral - Opportunity or capitulation of the Catholic Church....... - alaric - 08-29-2009

What is with all this "no-judging' business? What are we a bunch of moral zombies?

Sorry, but we are called to condemn sin for what it is, to be silent is to partake in it.

Re: The Kennedy funeral - Opportunity or capitulation of the Catholic Church....... - SmileBugMK - 08-29-2009

Absolutely, Alaric.  I really don't think we're really in disagreement on most of this.  What should have happened is that Ted Kennedy should have been disciplined years ago, even formally excommunicated if he remained obstinate.  But since that didn't happen, it's too late to impose discipline only posthumously.  The bishops might need more prayer and penance on their behalf than Mr. Kennedy! 

When I say we can't judge, I'm only talking about the state of Mr. Kennedy's soul.  His actions were indubitably vile.  Since no real confrontation with the Church ever took place, we cannot assume full knowledge and full consent of the will in Mr. Kennedy's cooperation with evil.  Charity demands this of us.

The way the funeral was conducted was an absolute scandal.  Notre Dame was nothing to Obama's eulogy, in my opinion.  A private, family-only funeral with an apology by Mr. Kennedy's pastor for abandoning the care of his soul and begging God's mercy for himself and the soul of the departed would have been appropriate.

Re: The Kennedy funeral - Opportunity or capitulation of the Catholic Church....... - alaric - 08-29-2009

Kennedy knew full well the position and doctrines of the Church regardless of a few V2 bishops or priest giving him the green light to allow the infanticide of millions of unborn babies, he knew the consequences for his decisions and votes in the legislature and bills he helped get passed enabling the doctors of death to engage in their "practice". This was an educated man from a powerful, elitist family Irish "catholic" family, they all know full well what the practice of abortion encompasses, he didn't need the blessing or inaction of the bishops or his family priest to have a change of conscience one way or another. Do anyone of us have to have a bishop or priest explain to us about the sin, tragedy, and eternal consequences that go along with the practice of aborting unborn children in their mothers wombs? No, we all know damn well it's unnatural, it's murder and it's grievous mortal sin, no matter what a few liberal clergy try to peddle to us. Teddy knew the score and he chose to side with the "pro-choice" crowd because it was politically expedient, it garnered him more votes and political clout and power.This guy did everything he could to undermine the pro-lifers and enable this barbaric practice to continue. He put his immortal soul in danger to please man and create his already cushy lifestyle, a little more cozier. Now he will be accountable for his actions not the Church's inaction.

Even though I despise what this man did in life, I do hope that God is a merciful, but he is also righteous. Mr Kennedy will be accountable for every thought, act and sin he ever committed (as we all will) regardless of the Church's failure to reprimand or discipline one of their own.I don't believe in "death-bed" confessions that will erase a life committed to mocking God's laws or enabling the genocide of the most weak and defenseless of his human creation.

I don't believe the Church is solely responsible for Kennedy's decisions on life issues, but they are definitely complicit in making him feel justified somewhat in those decisions. And this "catholic" funeral was an absolute sham.

Re: The Kennedy funeral - Opportunity or capitulation of the Catholic Church.... - remnant - 08-29-2009

Ted Kennedy was the son of an Irish mobster (read The Dark Side of Camelot by Seymour Hirsch). Is anyone surprised that he gets treated the same as Italian mobsters? They usually get Catholic funerals. Whether they die here or in Italy, there is usually a Catholic service for them.

Re: The Kennedy funeral - Opportunity or capitulation of the Catholic Church....... - Tobri - 08-29-2009

when I was channel surfing a caught a brief sentence of the funeral "for your servant Senator Edward Kennedy ", reminds when barbarian boxer told a general to address her as"senator" and not "ma'am", these libs certainly like their titles and little letters after their names don't they? Even in death lol. reminds me of how the communists back in the old country were so into their party titles and positions.