Monday, August 31, 2009

Excellent Reflections on Ted's Funeral and Boston Cathedra that is Sede Vacante

Thanks to the many of you who have sent me articles, opinions and blog posts about the Kennedy Funeral and the spiritual chaos that it's left in it's wake.

I could literally take weeks to post all the excellent reflections.

Judie Brown and our friends at the ALL have several posts that I think summarize the sentiments most of the convictions you've sent to me. I was taken back by Judie's description that the funeral went beyond anything she's seen in her 65 years of experience. Considering her credentials, that's breathtaking. She describes the opportunity given to Obama in the Sanctuary as perhaps the most dastardly thing she's ever seen.

After the heaping pack of lies of the Caritas debacle and the long history of the past five years of malignant spirituality metastasizing from the Cardinal and the Chancery wizards -- there is nothing that will surprise me. I actually expected Obama to politically manipulate the moments to lobby for socialized medicine and the Cardinal applauding. So, two moments of great relief for me - one, when Obama left the Sanctuary without lobbying for deathcare -- and two, when he stood up and exited the aisle when Communion started and the camera quickly swung to the ceiling until everyone was through the Communion line. I'm sure - he was just moving out of the way for Joe Biden to receive...but...I'm glad there was nothing to postmortem about who got in line.

Mike Huckabee, by the way, hit the irony of advocating for socialized medicine at this moment, right between the eyes. Ted would have been denied the surgery and medicines that bought him his time and given the pills to end his own life a year and a half ago.

Steve Jalsaevec has written some great reflections here on Lifesite.

The message from the Boston Catholic Basilica event to all Catholic politicians, to all Catholics in positions of authority and to the world was clear. In the end, abortion doesn't really matter. Same-sex marriage is not really an important issue. Church moral teachings in general are just talking points for consideration. And finally, the central teaching authority of the Church is an outdated concept. It does not matter what Christ, the Ten Commandments, the Pope's and the saints have said. Image, worldly respect, your local bishop or priest friend or theologian trump all the other universal things of the faith. I do not at all mean to say that Cardinal O'Malley believes any of this. He does not. But he let this happen and gave the event his presence.

Much of what took place in the Basilica, regarding Kennedy's political legacy, was missing real love and real charity. Christ showed what true love was and they crucified him for it

It is impossible to have the desire the salvation of your flock and make the kind of decisions made by Cardinal O'Malley. It's as inane as packing up the vestments and heading to the Boston Common to sit with the thousands of children smoking pot at the annual ritual of having a day of weed defiance. Your presence and silence means something. Shaking the hands of people selling crack pipes on the way to your pious corner as the televison cameras roll and Austin Fleming gives a blow by blow (no pun intended) -- it's not a show about salvation.

Father Michael Orsi from Ave Maria has written another dynamic piece here.

I still don't agree with Father's conviction that Ted should have been denied the Rite of Christian Burial. It's clear to me from the descriptions of his last days - - and most certainly from the letter Ted authored himself to the Pope that he was grappling with the drivel he was fed by the misfits of the American presybterate. He wanted affirmation from the Pope himself that his public defiance of leadership of others on the Church's teachings and the resulting 51 million deaths will not be judged by Christ because all of his wonderful deeds and kindnesses. It wasn't gelling on his deathbed. If (and I think the chances are remote) his confessor left that as an omission when the man was clearly reaching out for guidance - the sentence of that penance is served by the confessor. I don't seek solace in this - and I think many Catholics misunderstand it - - (especially priests) but at least his confessor is still alive and can mosey into the confessional - should he get it through his thick skull. If they are not going to set the record straight on the teaching publicly -- the funeral should have been a very private affair. I think there's still time to set the record straight. We need to lobby for it.

Some of Fr. Michael's thoughts:

A Mass of Christian Burial is a privilege -- not a right. It is for those who have lived a Christian life. Senator Kennedy’s scandalous disregard of his Church’s teaching and the destruction of human life that may be attributed to his voting record make his funeral celebration quite dubious. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to evil… and that it takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it”(n. 2284-85). For such a person the Code of Canon Law says, “Church funeral rites are to be denied to the following (unless they gave some sign of repentance before death): manifest sinners to whom a Church funeral could not be granted without public scandal to the faithful” (c. 1184.3). How many Catholics have been led astray by Senator Kennedy and other prominent pro-choice Catholics? And, finally, how many other Catholic politicians will be emboldened to emulate his behavior because the honor the Church is extending to him?

It's about the people left behind.

....from an address by Archbishop Fulton Sheen to the Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus in June 1972,

Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops, and your religious act like religious."

Thanks to everyone who sent articles and their thoughts about my reflections.

God help us.

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