"The overall tone of the funeral liturgy - from the three eulogies, to the prayers of the faithful, to the homily, to the celebrity musicians, to the guest list, and to the nationally-televised gushing color commentaries - seemed to communicate that it was more a public, political apotheosis of Senator Kennedy than a humble, insistent prayer of the Church his mother for the forgiveness of his sins and the repose of his soul," writes Fr. Landry.
"This last controversy was totally avoidable; all that was necessary was to adhere to the letter and spirit of the Catholic funeral rite."
Fr. Landry also reflects in detail on "one of the most important lessons that pastors in the United States need to draw from the history of the Church's interactions with Senator Kennedy for its future engagement of other pro-abortion Catholic politicians." The lesson is that the "education-only" strategy employed by most pastors has "failed."
"Kennedy's example was so injurious to the Church," said Fr. Landry, "because the pastors of the Church, for the most part, made the imprudent call to do little or nothing about it beyond general teaching statements that they hoped offending politicians would apply to themselves."
He added: "There were no real consequences, and as a result, Senator Kennedy, scores of other Catholic politicians, and millions of American Catholic lay people concluded that the Church's teachings in defense of human life cannot be that important if those who publicly and repeatedly act in violation of it do so with impunity."
You know what comes next, don't you?
Tuning into the Cardinal's blog in the next few weeks gushing about Rose Kennedy's quote in his pocket and making oblique references to priests who use their newspapers to divide Christ's Church as if we all don't know who he is referencing.
"With Senator Kennedy's funeral, they have now grasped that even a 100% pro-abortion voting record will not only not prevent them from having a Catholic funeral, but will not even stop them from receiving possibly one of the most publicly panegyrical Catholic funerals in U.S. history. "