I opened up the Globe today to read that mob boss, gigolo, conman and murderer Jerry Angiulo is dead at 90.
When I read his obit in the Globe, I couldn't help thinking about the Tom Foolery in the coverage of Kennedy's death in Catholic blogosphere. I realize people had mixed emotions and thoughts about Kennedy's death, but I was somewhat fascinated by the inability to process those thoughts and emotions and articulate something honest and substantive.
Can you imagine hearing Catholic rightly formed in the faith saying things like God Bless Jerry Angiulo, let us be charitable, this is not the time to speak of his legacy on earth?
Come on kiddies, we can do better than this.
Angiulo, of course, was a ruthless killer and it really isn't a fair or accurate comparison. Kennedy was a kind, compassionate man who loved Christ who was grossly misled - by commission and omission - by the Jesuits, priests and Bishops of the American Catholic Church - the "Vatican II" and Woodstock moonbats.
But, the victims of abortion are not any less dead than Angiulo's, are they? Catholics and those of good will fighting to stop the legal atrocities to the unborn realize the impact to the victims, to Kennedy himself, the multitudes who followed the it's okay to have personal beliefs and cry out for mercy on your death bed while the people who bought into your ideas continue on the path to perdition - and we're heartsick. We had every duty to make sure the actions of the Catholic priests in the aftermath of their incompetence as shepherds doesn't further entrench the uncatechized on that path.
Like Christ crying out to the Father, interceding for those nailing Him to the Cross, I want to scream "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do". The Kennedy family has been spiritually abused. As far as I'm concerned, it's the priests and Bishops responsible for the chaos. That's where the feet have to be held to the fire.
I waited several days before posting about the situation because I wanted to see what the spiritual circumstances were surrounding Kennedy's passing. The letter Obama carried to the Pope was a clear signal several weeks ago, accounts emerged that he surrounded himself with prayer and the Sacraments. His heartfelt letter to the Pope confirmed the state of his mind and soul. I don't have any delusions that Ted was given the same treatment at the pearly gates as Pope John Paul II. Like most of us, I imagine he'll be making a pitstop into purgatory. As a trench warrior, there's nothing more delicious than to see an adversary stop the rebellion and surrender fully to Christ. We can (and should) celebrate and rejoice in that victory. For me, Ted Kennedy's story is a story about redemption and salvation - and the Rite of Christian Burial was a joyous occasion. Yes, the intercessions went awry. The Cardinal sitting there, appearing to give credibility to the Catholic Church harboring hatred for homosexuals underscores the absurdity and we have work cut out for us.
Even though we rejoice at Ted's victory, we all have grave concerns about those misled by his ideology and enticed into it who will never have the opportunity to die surrounded by priests being coached into atonement, the Sacraments - and be the recipients of daily Communion and an Apostolic Blessing.
Here in Boston, if you're lucky enough to get some advance warning that you're about to be face-to-face with the Lord and try to call a priest for Viaticum, and the Red Sox are on television, it's a crap shoot. I'm not exaggerating in the least bit. Numerous people have stories about priests unwilling to take calls to deliver the Sacraments when their relatives are dying. We've got a lot of non-believers in the Boston presbyterate. Everyone is saved, you see, and so reaching out to clean your soul is responded to as zealously as the emptiness of the confessional box at your local parish. We're in deep trouble here. Forget about sending an entourage to the Legion - at least they know this much, the Vatican needs to send an entourage to Boston.
In Ted's letter, he articulates that his mother immersed her family in the Catholic Faith. Others are not so enriched. Poverty of spirit is a pandemic in the formation of the family. Indigence, death and other misfortunes, mental illness, crime, the Jesuits, etc., create a vaccuum in some families that is too difficult to overcome. When the wind comes, they're swept away - for generations.
Mothers, fathers, grandparents and family who impart the gift of faith to their children get the opportunity for atonement and redemption Ted Kennedy got in his dying days. The people with circumstances that challenged their faith formation, not so much.
This is the injustice of reserving personal beliefs about redemption and taking full advantage of them on your death bed after having set up a generation of constituents to believe they can exercise their right to kill another human being without remorse, confession and absolution and give them the impression the life they are living is every bit as salvific as Mother Teresa's, so long as they serve in the soup kitchens.
Being blessed in this life to have the circumstances to know your Faith, take a leadership position, but set up your constituents to travel another path while reserving what you know is the path to redemption for yourself, is neither charity nor valor. I can't personally think of anything more egregious as a Catholic.
Assuming Ted Kennedy righted his ship on his death bed, there is much rejoicing as far as I'm concerned. For him.
Unfortunately, we still have some loose ends to clean up.
He was a public leader with a public ministry and stood in public defiance of many of the teachings of the Church - in spite of what he now says were his own personal convictions. That record has not been publicly corrected.
As I watched his beautiful family, I feel compelled to solicit influential theologians, priests, Bishops to help them to understand where and why we hold the positions we hold - to heal those divisions and wounds and beg for a new era of Roman Catholic political leadership in the fullness of the Truth. It isn't born of acrimony, but zeal for Christ's souls - something gone tragically awry in seminary formation in the United States.
We've done a terrible job getting this across to masses - or more accurately stated, we've been too darn lazy and craven to combat the mainstream media using the fringe to contort where our heart lies in the things we say and do in a generation where the priests are hopping into the sack, the bottle, the pills and every other indulgence to fix their broken self-esteem. I'm sorry to say it but it is what it is.
We've got to inventory the challenges and set a strategy to rise above them.
A commenter in another post wrote that if Obama turned his positions about abortion, to authentic prolife positions and then acted upon those positions, what a leader he could be. We will never, not ever, attempt to find common ground while 51 million children and counting die in the protion of the culture of death in his administration. Stop asking us. This country didn't leave slavery legal and instead attempt to influence people not to use them. Rebellion and divisions are heighted at such a stupid suggestion. It's about killing people.
How we get there, I don't know but I know we've just got to try. We can't continue this course. After Labor Day, we've got work to do.
Boston Catholics continue to be outraged that their Cardinal enticed others to carry out his abortion business to "save" Caritas Christi. The handling of the matter, the sneakiness of using the media to to distort the truth about what he was doing makes union with him is irreconcilable. It is the same cesspool Ted Kennedy fell into. With "healthcare" reform on the horizon and possibly new efforts posthumous - Boston prolifers have a duty to force the Cardinal to release the opinion of the National Catholic Bioethics Center and, to obtain copies of contracts that will reveal the current situation so others will not fall into the trap. We intend to follow through with that duty.