An Open Letter to Cardinal Sean O'Malley On His Attacking Pro-Lifers Who Objected to the Kennedy Funeral
Cardinal O'Malley posted a blog entry September 2nd "explaining" his involvement in the Kennedy funeral. It begs the question. People were not so much concerned about his presence, but about a public showcase funeral being allowed for a man who "obstinately persist[ed] in manifest grave sin" (Canon 915) who never publicly repented. With help from a prince of the Church, Ted Kennedy was allowed to scandalize to the end.
Sadly, Cardinal O'Malley shifted the argument to an ad hominem attack on those who criticized the event.
At times, even in the Church, zeal can lead people to issue harsh judgments and impute the worst motives to one another. These attitudes and practices do irreparable damage to the communion of the Church. If any cause is motivated by judgment, anger or vindictiveness, it will be doomed to marginalization and failure. Jesus' words to us were that we must love one another as He loves us. Jesus loves us while we are still in sin. He loves each of us first, and He loves us to the end. Our ability to change people's hearts and help them to grasp the dignity of each and every life, from the first moment of conception to the last moment of natural death, is directly related to our ability to increase love and unity in the Church, for our proclamation of the Truth is hindered when we are divided and fighting with each other.
And so, once again, a highly-placed cleric blames, not those who murder the innocent, work for the destruction of marriage, and endorse sodomy but those who demur when the hierarchy act as enablers. We are the ones presumed to be motivated by "anger and vindictiveness." We are the ones doing "irreparable damage" to whom the cardinal "impute[s] the worst motives." Sadly, the cardinal's language is the same used by "pro-choicers" who cannot address the argument so they engage in ad hominem attacks.
I am grieved by Cardinal O'Malley's harsh judgment on the real defenders of life. I pray for Sen. Kennedy who was allowed to go to his grave without uttering one word of public repentance for being a champion of the culture of death. In the end the clergy surrounding him apparently acted, not like John the Baptist calling for reform of life, but like the pharisees tickling his ears. I hope he sincerely repented of his mortal sins of publicly advancing the murder of the innocent, sodomy, and the destruction of marriage. Above all I hope he repented for his frequent sacrilegious reception of Communion. There is little evidence that he did, but only God knows the state of his soul in his final moments.
I left a slightly different version of the comment below on the Cardinal's blog. Whether the moderator allows it is still in question. I publish it here as an open letter to the cardinal:
You set up a strawman on your blog post about the Kennedy funeral. Pro-lifers did not oppose a Catholic funeral for Sen. Kennedy. We hope that he repented. But public sins require public repentance and, sadly, that did not happen. The funeral should have been a private, family affair not what amounted to a public canonization leading others to believe that his actions were not gravely sinful and a serious scandal. It's ironic that Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a fine example of a pro-life Catholic, chose a humble private funeral. Her humility puts in greater contrast the unseemly spectacle at the cathedral honoring a champion of child-killing.
I find your condemnation and, dare I say, "judgment" of those who objected to the extravaganza puzzling. Is our intellect not called the "seat of judgment?" Did John the Baptist not "judge" the actions of those who paid lip service to faith while their actions showed them to be "whitewashed sepulchres filled with dead mens bones?"
Kennedy died as he lived, looking for human respect and accolades. He got them with your enabling assistance. Implied approval of homosexuality and the health care plan were incuded in the prayers of the faithful. Add that to the scandal and politicization of what was supposed to be a liturgical event but was actually thinly-disguised political theater.
Your excuses simply don't fly, Your Eminence. The faithful are looking for shepherds who love and defend the faith. The glittering public funeral for the lion of the culture of death was one more scandal damaging belief in the doctrines the Church teaches. Abortion is no big deal after all. Kennedy championed it to the end and not one word of caution was said at the funeral. The babies once again were sacrificed on the altar of human respect with your apparent approval.The funeral was a scandal, Your Eminence, and your lovely words cannot make it less so.