Ted Kennedy was the rare national politician vociferously against the death penalty - in line with Catholic teaching. Didn’t matter.
Ted Kennedy was the rare national politician to embrace even illegal immigrants - again, in line with Catholic teaching. Didn’t matter either.
He did not speak out forcefully during the church’s sex abuse of children disaster, or demand that Cardinal Bernard Law step down.
That seems to bother nobody.
In fact, many Catholics, liberal and conservative, want to move past that mess, though it continues. Just yesterday came another accusation of priestly abuse, this time in Watertown.
But then the same pope who offered a lukewarm response to Kennedy’s declaration of his faith - read at his graveside service Saturday - has hardly been an anti-abuse warrior himself. When he visited the United States last year, Pope Benedict chose as his host Chicago Cardinal Francis George. Up until 2005, George either ignored or covered up for a priest on his staff now serving five years for abusing boys aged 8 to 11.
Yes kiddies, it all goes to show that if you're against Ted's advocacy of decapitating infants alive and tearing their limbs off by vacuum until they're dead - we're advocates of sexual abuse and who don't care about the poor.
Sane logic is hard to come by these days.
Such a pity.
Eagan recycles the former Voice of Faithful crony Krueger, who apparently still hasn't made his way to the Catholic Catechism:
Steven Krueger of Catholic Democrats says there’s an ever more powerful campaign by certain bishops “right out of Republican talking points saying good Catholics can’t be Democrats,” he said. These same bishops want to deny communion to pro-choice Catholics. But no one, says Krueger, suggests denying it to pro-death penalty Catholics.
So I guess we must conclude that for certain Catholics it’s not about the poor, meek, mourning or hungry anymore. The new deal: they’ll ignore other horrible transgressions. But you’re either pro-life, or you’re out.
Thoughts enduring the agony of twisting and turning in a twisted mind must conclude all kinds of things.
Knock yourself out darling.
Meanwhile - several friends have forwarded the below refreshing reminder that there are many good priests out there whom poor Ted, his family and the millions of people who've bought into the counterfeit theology were deprived of in their formation:
Monday, August 31, 2009
Priest Lashes Out On Kennedy Debacle
As a Roman Catholic priest, I feel a duty in conscience today to register,
to the couple of hundred people to whom I have ready access, my emphatic
dissent from a message that was projected around the nation and the globe
this morning to millions of viewers and listeners by certain other members
of the Roman Catholic clergy.
Kennedy's Funeral Mass is a Scandal
I refer to this morning's televised funeral Mass, celebrated in Boston's
Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, for the recently deceased Senator
Edward Moore Kennedy. It was a Mass I regard as a scandal comparable to,
if not worse than, the scandal given several months ago when the nation's
most prestigious 'Catholic' university bestowed an honorary doctorate upon
Barack Hussein Obama, the most pro-abortion and 'pro-gay' president in
Why, you ask, should a Catholic priest raise such objections to a Catholic
funeral for a Catholic legislator? Well, I am afraid this funeral was no
ordinary Catholic funeral. For to those innumerable viewers and listeners
of many religions (or none) who were aware of Sen. Kennedy's public,
straightforward, radical, long-standing, and (as far as we know)
unrepented defiance of his own Church's firm teaching about the duty of
legislators to protect unborn human life and resist the militant
homosexual agenda, this morning's Mass, concelebrated by several priests,
presided over Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, and adorned by
a eulogy from the aforesaid U.S. President, effectively communicated a
tacit but very clear message: the Church does not really take too
seriously her own 'official' doctrines on these matters! I feel impelled,
therefore, to make known to anyone willing to read these lines that there
are many other representatives of the Catholic Church, such as the
undersigned, who take those doctrines very seriously indeed.
How would our Church leaders act if they really did take seriously an
official Church position from which a prominent deceased Catholic had
publicly dissented? To answer that question, we need only imagine a
situation in which some well-known Catholic legislator had for years
supported the Church's social teaching 'across the board', in regard to
human life, marriage, compassion toward the poor and underprivileged,
etc., but had then, in old age, lapsed into supporting some ideological
position that was strongly opposed not only by the Church, but also by the
dominant Western elites in government, law, education, commerce and the
Suppose, for instance, that he had come to endorse white supremacism or
holocaust denial. Now, when the moment for this Catholic legislator's
funeral came, could we imagine for one moment that our cardinals, bishops
and other leading clergy, mindful of this man's sterling and thoroughly
orthodox contributions to the common good over so many years in Congress,
would 'compassionately' overlook his latter-day lapse into racism or
antisemitism? Would they agree to give him a free pass in regard to this
defect? Would they speak and act as if it were non-existent? Would they
grant him a televised funeral Mass in a large basilica, presided over by a
cardinal, in which he would be publicly eulogized by both family and
These questions really answer themselves. Of course none of that would
occur! The local bishop might go as far as allow our hypothetical Catholic
racist or antisemite a Church funeral, if it was known that (like Senator
Kennedy) he had confessed sacramentally to a priest before death. However,
the bishop would allow the use of church property for this funeral on the
strict condition that only close personal family and friends would be
admitted. All media transmission or even presence during the service
itself would surely be forbidden. (It would, of course, be unnecessary for
the bishop to ask his fellow bishops and other high Church dignitaries not
to attend the service; for all of them, like the bishop himself, would
already prefer to be anywhere else on earth than at the funeral of one who
had lapsed so unspeakably from society's ruling canons of acceptable
behavior.) Yes, society's canons. There, I am afraid, lies the difference
between our two scenarios. Is it that official Catholic doctrine is
incomparably more opposed to racism and antisemitism than it is to
abortion and sodomy? Not at all. The big difference is simply that most
members of the Catholic hierarchy in Western society today - and there are
of course a number of honorable exceptions - are lacking in prophetic
courage. They are ready and eager to take vigorous and resolute public
disciplinary action only against those deviations from Church teaching
which also happen to be excoriated by the cultural and media elites. But
if it is our prelates themselves who will be excoriated by those elites -
as would certainly have occurred had they required for Ted Kennedy's
funeral the kind of severe restraint we envisaged
above for that of our hypothetical bigot - then all eagerness for just
discipline will evaporate as fast as dew in the morning sun. "Pastoral
Compassion", "forgiveness", "tolerant respect" and "Christian charity"
will now be instantly invoked as reasons for cloaking in total silence the
public enormities committed decade after decade by an ecclesially
heterodox but socially orthodox legislator.
So, It's St. Kennedy Now?
So it was, in this morning's funeral Mass, that the homilist, Fr. Mark
Hession (pastor of Kennedy's Cape Cod parish), made his sermon a eulogy
about what a wonderful Catholic Christian Ted was, assuring us that we
could be "confident" that he is already with Jesus in glory. So it was
that the principal celebrant, Fr. Donald Monan, S.J., Chancellor of Boston
College, not only repeatedly told those present - and the whole watching
world - that Sen. Kennedy was a man of "faith and prayer", with a deep
devotion to the Eucharist, but also assured us that this "faith and
prayer" in private was precisely what inspired and motivated his public
policies, so that there was (surprise, surprise) a real integration and
unity between his private and public life!
Well, a lot of us didn't quite manage to see any private-public unity
based on Roman Catholic principles. On the contrary, Kennedy's huge
political influence, based on both the family's prestige and the personal
dynamism of this "Lion of the Senate", if anything made his U-turn on
abortion (yes, he was pro-life in his younger days) an even more
scandalous counter-witness: a sign of conflict, not union, with that
Church to which he professed loyalty.
Here are two comments I have just lifted off a Catholic blog:
1. "There's this big, 'What if?'" said Catholic author Michael Sean
Winters. "If Ted Kennedy had stuck to his pro-life position, would both
the (Democratic) party and the country have embraced the abortion on
demand policies that we have now? I don't think so."
2. "Russell Shaw, former spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic
Bishops, said that when Kennedy defied the church on issues such as
abortion and later, gay marriage, he reinforced a corrosive belief among
Catholics that they can simply ignore teachings they don't agree with."
Public Scandal Is Grave Matter
I myself remember several years ago a conversation with a young woman who
had been brought up Catholic but had recently been 'born again' as an
Evangelical Protestant. One of the arguments she threw at me was, "Even
your Church leaders don't really believe what Catholics are supposed to
believe. Why don't they excommunicate Ted Kennedy? He's blatantly, 100%
pro-choice! Yet they do nothing!"
What could I say to her? And what can I say now, after today's public
scandal? That young lady's complaint was simply that this man remained a
Catholic in good standing. I find I must now complain to you of something
worse. Before the whole world this morning, my fellow Catholic clerics in
Boston did not just accord him the "good standing" of a normal, flawed
Catholic whose soul we can hope is in Purgatory. Rather, clad in
triumphant white vestments instead of penitential violet (never mind the
traditional black!), they have placed him on a pedestal, granting him an
unofficial 'instant canonization'!
Scripture Warns Us
The Church's teaching is already abundantly clear that all this is very
wrong. So perhaps we can legitimately discern the hand of God's
Providence, which rules all things, in a 'coincidence' that suggests a
manifestation of God's grave displeasure at this kind of mockery -
injustice masquerading as "pastoral charity". In our liturgy, Sunday has
begun as I write at the hour of Vespers on Saturday. But the earlier part
of this day, August 29, including the time of the Kennedy funeral, was
observed by Catholics round the world as the Feast of the Beheading of St.
John the Baptist. In normal Masses celebrated today, the biblical account
of his martyrdom was read (Mark 6: 17-29.) The parallels are striking: (a)
We see two powerful civil authorities; (b) both of them flip-flop in a
morally bad direction (Herod originally respected and defended John, and
Kennedy originally respected and defended the unborn; (c) both of them
abuse their power by authorizing the shedding of innocent blood.
As if that were not enough, the longest Scripture reading in today's
liturgy also grabs our attention. It is prescribed not for the Feast of
John the Baptist, but independently, for the Saturday of Week 21, in the
'Office of Readings', This is a part of the daily 'Liturgy of the Hours'
which is required spiritual reading for us Roman Rite clerics. And today's
reading just happens to be Jeremiah 7: 1-20, in which the prophet
vigorously denounces - guess what? - the hypocrisy of Israel's religious
leaders who proudly identify with the temple and the rites they celebrate
within it, while at the same time they are living unrighteously (including
"shedding innocent blood", v. 6) and even "pouring out libations to
strange gods" (v. 18). God therefore warns, "my anger and my wrath will
pour out upon this
place" (v. 20). Orthodox Catholics will surely ask whether God can be any
less angered now by those clerics who today carried out temple rites
giving undeserved honor to a legislator who for decade after decade poured
out the 'libations' of his eloquence, influence and Senate votes in the
service the 'false gods' of Planned Parenthood and NARAL -which regularly
with 100% ratings for his 'pro-choice' record.
Enough. If, in your charity, you pray for God to be merciful to the soul
of Edward Moore Kennedy, please pray for all of us Catholic priests as
well - and be cognizant of the fact that some of us are profoundly
indignant at what we saw our brethren doing today.
Father Brian Harrison, O.S.
Oblates of Wisdom Study Center,
St. Louis, Missouri