Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Phil Lawlor and Bishop Gracida Weigh in on the Kennedy Funeral

Bishop Gracida weighs in.

Bishop Rene Henry Gracida, retired Roman Catholic Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas has denounced the "scandal" of the Kennedy funeral. Writing on his blog, Bishop Gracida said, "There was so much wrong with the funeral liturgy celebrated in Boston last Saturday for Senator Edward Moore Kennedy that I hardly know where to begin."

Phil Lawlor's comments here.

The great, unanswered question hanging over the congregation in Mission Church, and in the minds of the millions who watched the funeral Mass on television, was how the Catholic Church could arrange such a highly public tribute to a man who, over the years, was arguably the most powerful political opponent of the Catholic position on the central moral issue of our time: the battle to protect human life.

Boston's archdiocesan newspaper, The Pilot, muddled that point in its coverage of Kennedy's death. The Pilot story began:

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who died late Aug. 25 at the age of 77, stood firmly on the side of the Catholic Church on a wide range of issues from immigration reform to the minimum wage during his 47 years as a U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

But the youngest son of one of the nation's most famous Catholic families ran into criticism from leaders of the U.S. Catholic Church for his stand on abortion.

That story is misleading in two important respects. First, there is no single Catholic position on questions like immigration reform and the minimum wage; these are issues on which loyal Catholics can and do differ. Second, regarding the clear moral issue of abortion, the Pilot story does not forthrightly say that Kennedy's stand was tragically wrong, but only that he "ran into criticism." Thus the archdiocesan newspaper almost trivialized the problem. But the millions of observers who watched the funeral did not make the same mistake. All America saw that the Catholic Church was prepared to honor a politician who flouted clear, direct, and repeated public statements from the hierarchy.

In all the years that dissenters in the Archdiocese have defiantly misled the faithful, the Cardinal's continued tack that those who point out the theological flaws coming from the Cathedra and politicians, etc., are the people doing a disservice to the Church, he is alienating himself from the faithful. Sadly, he doesn't even know it.

1 comment:

Jack L. said...

The bishop said, "I am afraid that if I, a bishop, were to go into the details of the scandal it would only add to the scandal and so I will let the laity speak to it."
Well, at least he's giving the laity a voice.
I'm sure there are other bishops who feel similarly dscouraged as many, many faithful lay Catholics do.
His point here shows lay Catholics that it's important not to give up. Our speaking up for true Catholic doctrine might give more bishops courage to do so, and thus lead us in this spiritual battle.