Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Kennedy Funeral: It's Capitulation

In an editorial for entitled "The Kennedy Funeral - A Golden Opportunity or Capitulation for the Catholic Church," John-Henry Westen wrote: "Saturday's grandiose Catholic funeral for Senator Ted Kennedy has the potential to be a scandal that will make Notre Dame's Obama Day a walk in the park. With all four living former Presidents in attendance and an address from President Barack Obama, the funeral is set to be a royal crowning, right inside a Catholic Church, of a man who betrayed the most fundamental moral teachings of the faith.

What example will this give to Catholics and the rest of the world looking in? It will surely belie the Catholic teachings on the sanctity of life and sexuality. 'Surely,' they will say, 'if one of the most vociferous proponents of abortion and homosexuality in politics is so feted in the Church, the Church cannot possibly regard abortion as murder.' Would anyone so honor one who so advocated what the church officially considers an 'unspeakable crime'?"

Earlier this week, Father Thomas J. Euteneuer, the President of Human Life International, issued the following Statement on the Passing of Senator Edward Kennedy:

"We must, as a matter of precept, pray for the salvation of heretical Catholics like Senator Edward Kennedy, but we do not have to praise him let alone extol him with the full honors of a public Catholic funeral and all the adulation that attends such an event. There was very little about Ted Kennedy's life that deserves admiration from a spiritual or moral point of view. He was probably the worst example of a Catholic statesman that one can think of. When all is said and done, he has distorted the concept of what it means to be a Catholic in public life more than anyone else in leadership today.

Obviously we don't know the state of Senator Edward Kennedy's soul upon death. We don't pretend to. We are told by the family that he had the opportunity to confess his sins before a priest, and his priest has said publicly he was "at peace" when he died. For that we are grateful. But it is one thing to confess one's sins and for these matters to be kept, rightfully, private. It is another thing entirely for one who so consistently and publicly advocated for the destruction of unborn human beings to depart the stage without a public repudiation of these views, a public confession, as it were.

It is up to God to judge Senator Kennedy's soul. We, as rational persons, must judge his actions, and his actions were not at all in line with one who values and carefully applies Church teaching on weighty matters. Ted Kennedy's positions on a variety of issues have been a grave scandal for decades, and to honor this "catholic" champion of the culture of death with a Catholic funeral is unjust to those who have actually paid the price of fidelity. We now find out that President Obama will eulogize the Senator at his funeral, an indignity which, following on the heels of the Notre Dame fiasco, leaves faithful Catholics feeling sullied, desecrated and dehumanized by men who seem to look for opportunities to slap the Church in the face and do so with impunity simply because they have positions of power.

It is not enough for Kennedy to have been a "great guy behind the scenes" as we have seen him referred to even by his political opponents. It is also not praiseworthy to put a Catholic rhetorical veneer on his leftist politics that did nothing to advance true justice as the Church sees it or to advance the peace of Christ in this world. Every indication of Senator Kennedy's career, every public appearance, every sound bite showed an acerbic, divisive and partisan political hack for whom party politics were much more infallible than Church doctrines. Whatever one's political affiliation, if one is only "Catholic" to the extent that his faith rhymes with his party line, then his Catholicism is a fraud.

As the Scriptures remind us, there is a time for everything under the sun. This, now, is the time for honesty about our Faith and about those who are called to express it in the public forum. If we do not remind ourselves of the necessity of public confession for public sins such as Senator Kennedy was guilty of, then we are negligent in our embrace of the Faith and we are part of the problem. As Pope Benedict has reminded us recently, charity without truth can easily become mere sentimentality, and we must not fall into that error. A Catholic show of charity for the family must not eclipse the truth that is required of all with eyes to see and ears to hear.

Senator Kennedy needs to be sent to the afterlife with a private, family-only funeral and the prayers of the Church for the salvation of his immortal soul. He will not be missed by the unborn who he betrayed time and time again, nor by the rest of us who are laboring to undo the scandalous example of Catholicism that he gave to three generations of Americans."

But there was no such honesty at Senator Kennedy's funeral. Instead, the homilist implied that the late Senator lived up to the demands of Matthew 25: 31-46 and that he lived in "a far more complex world" than that in which Jesus lived. What else is this but excuse for apostasy? How often have we heard someone who doesn't want to live up to the Gospel's demands proclaim, "Yes, but life was much simpler in Jesus' day....things are much more complicated today."

But the teaching of the Catholic Church is clear and accepted by those who haven't apostasized: "For God, the Lord of life, has conferred on men the surpassing ministry of safeguarding life in a manner which is worthy of man. Therefore from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes." (Gaudium et Spes, No. 51).

What could have been, what should have been, a teaching moment for all, has instead become an occasion of scandal. And a dark reminder of just how far the apostasy has spread.


Michelle said...

Obama called Senator Kennedy the "soul of the Democratic Party." How blind many have become. It would seem that the Archdiocese of Boston doesn't view abortion as an "unspeakable crime" anymore.

Susan Esposito said...

News analysts have been describing the rain during Kennedy's funeral as "tears from Heaven." The lives of countless saints who lived exemplary lives of holiness and even suffered martyrdom are cheapened by this outrageous spectacle.

The Archdiocese of Boston genuflected before the secular world to honor its "brother and friend" Ted Kennedy.

It would seem that in Boston, God's Commandments are seen only as suggestions.

Ted Loiseau said...

Not only should such a public funeral been avoided by Church officials, but the Catechism of the Catholic Church, citing OCF 41 in 1688 states that, "The liturgy of the Word during funerals demands very careful preparation because the assembly present for the funeral may include some faithful who rarely attend the liturgy, and friends of the deceased who are not Christians. The homily in particular must 'avoid the literary genre of funeral eulogy' and illumine the mystery of Christian death in the light of the risen Christ."

The priest-homilist did treat the homily as a sort of funeral eulogy.

Marie Tremblay said...

From American Life League...

Washington, D.C. (27 August 2009) –Once again, President Barack Obama will be given a Catholic stage to eulogize the memory of a man whose life was spent committed to the destruction of innocent preborn life. And once again, the bishops are silent.

The New York Times reported that, in his later moments, Senator Kennedy began attending daily Mass, prayed often, and called for Father Patrick Tarrant moments before his death on Tuesday evening.

“The deaths of untold millions of preborn babies rested on the conscience of Ted Kennedy,” said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. “There is an impending disaster about to take place at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica. Senator Edward Kennedy spent the past 30 years doing all he could to advocate and support the act of procured abortion - including his divorce, remarriage, et cetera -- and yet he continued to call himself Catholic,” stated Brown. “These are public matters, not private.”

“If we are led to assume Kennedy was remorseful of his pro-abortion past and repented, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley should make this known to the Catholic faithful clearly – before the media and pro-abortion politicians turn Kennedy’s death and Mass honoring his memory into yet another victory,” said Brown. “If this remains unclear, what will millions of Catholic Americans be led to believe as Obama canonizes Kennedy’s pro-abortion legacy on live television?”

“The truth does not change because of the respect the world is paying to this man. The Catholic principles which Cardinal Sean O’Malley has sworn to uphold have not disappeared because of Senator Kennedy's death,” continued Brown. “If this funeral Mass proceeds as planned, Sen. Edward Kennedy will have spit one more time on Christ, this time from a casket.”

American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to natural death. For more information or press inquiries, please contact Katie Walker at 540.659.4942.

Anonymous said...

Many in the Catholic Church are losing their faith. Great article on the Lutherans - ELCA - acceptance of "gay" sex:

Homosexuality and the apostate church
Exclusive: Ellen Makkai sees Lutherans' acceptance of 'gay' sex as a hate crime
Posted: August 29, 2009

By Ellen Makkai

Many members of the clergy must be using the Bible like the old Sears catalogue – for toilet paper – because they obviously don't read it.

Last week, another once-great church succumbed to the relentless, media-savvy campaign of determined homosexuality. "Leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America voted to lift the ban that prohibited sexually active gay and lesbian people from serving as ministers," reported the Associated Press.

In July, the Episcopal House of Bishops and laity approved liturgies for same-sex couples and endorsed the right to elect gay bishops. Lutherans and Episcopalians join other denominational giants, Unitarians and Presbyterians, in their reckless moral compromise.

All failed to do their homework on homosexuality, a lifestyle that can only be described as sexual and spiritual quicksand.

This ecumenical green light, masquerading as enlightened sensitivity, is a hate crime of colossal proportions. It endangers those captured by a stubborn and perplexing sexual predilection and reinforces the lie that all is well with their souls.

Are you and your church being decieved? Take defensive action – read "Seduction of the Saints: Staying Pure in a World of Deception"

"When God is alleged to sanction the abominable, a religious travesty is being played out, and boldly. The travesty is twofold. Not only are believers falling into homosexual sin and legitimizing it, but uninformed heterosexual Christians are applauding them as they do!..."

Sanctus Belle said...

How are we to know who to follow? How are we to know who serves God and who serves His enemy?

"By their fruits you will know them"

Kennedy to my knowledge never championed the most vulnerable of our society , the unborn. Instead he championed their wholesale slaughter, sparing not even those pitiable few who actually survived their own killing.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

And Kennedy never repented from his stance on abortion but instead attempted to justify or rationalize it. And for this he had a Catholic funeral with seven priests in attendance - one of them a Cardinal, a Prince of the Church.


albizzi said...

In a time when, due to the priest's shortage in remote places, it is difficult to get only a small funeral benediction, it is a shame that there were a number of priests and bishops to celebrate the funeral mass of a notorious abortionist

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