By Judie Brown, President, American Life League (ALL)
September 1, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Each of us who believe in the justice and mercy of God are called, as an act of charity, to pray for the repose of the soul of the deceased. However, there are some rubrics of decorum that should - at the very least - have been respected over this past weekend. I speak, of course, of the grandiose funeral ceremonies, particularly the Catholic funeral Mass, for Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
The entire travesty, from the television cameras to spectacle itself, goes beyond anything I have witnessed in my more than 65 years of life. In fact, while we all thought the appearance of President Barack Obama at the University of Notre Dame was a scandal, the very idea that he offered a eulogy in a basilica, while the real presence of Christ was in the tabernacle, is perhaps the most dastardly thing I have ever seen.
America witnessed this nation's most avid supporter of abortion on demand, standing in a Catholic basilica, during the Mass, speaking of a fellow pro-abort in glowing terms! That alone is such an insult to Christ that words simply cannot express my sorrow. Yet a greater source of sadness is that the Cardinal Sean O'Malley, of the Archdiocese of Boston, looked on as though insulting Christ Himself were an everyday occurrence.
Oh yes, there will be those who will excoriate me for saying such a thing, but please, let's get to the heart of the matter, shall we?
I am a practicing Catholic. I understand the laws of the Church as they relate to funerals, public figures who persist in supporting grave moral evils while calling themselves Catholic and the proper type of funeral for someone who did not publicly repent of such actions.
Not a single one of us knows the state of Senator Kennedy's soul at his death, but his public record is sufficient to clarify for one and all the myriad reasons why such a Mass, presided over by a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, was a total, absolute insult to Christ the Lord.
A learned gentleman, who has written at length about problems in the Catholic Church over these past 40-plus years, told me that the funeral Mass was the "inversion of all things Catholic." It is a perfect example of what many describe as bowing to human respect rather than abiding by the laws of God and serving Him first without counting the cost.
Clearly, Saint John Vianney was correct when he said, "Do you know what the devil's first temptation is to the person who wants to serve God with dedication? It is human respect!" Senator Kennedy devoted a great deal of his public life to assuring the deaths of millions of human beings - members of the human family who happened to reside in their mother's wombs. He repeatedly defied Catholic teaching, arrogantly receiving the body and blood of Christ when he knew as certainly as he knew his name that aborting a child is an act of murder and a grievous crime defined in precisely those terms by the Catholic Church. And the hierarchy looked on.
By presiding at the funeral Mass and subsequent burial service, prelates of the Roman Catholic Church created much more than a scandal. Now millions of Americans are totally confused about what it means to be Catholic. The words that were uttered by these prelates prove that they did, in fact, ignore the dead babies in order to give glowing words of praise to the man who sanctioned their killing.
Spitting on Christ Himself at His crucifixion could not have been any more disdainful than what we witnessed Saturday.
I pray that the suffering this debacle has caused faithful Catholics turns into a renewal of commitment to Christ, His Church, His real presence in the Eucharist and His little ones. Finally, in response to the Saturday disgraces, I do not hesitate to quote Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger), who, in his 1997 book, Salt of the Earth: Christianity and the Catholic Church at the End of the Millennium, wrote of the state of the Church, including the "lowering of moral standards even among men of the Church":
"The words of the Bible and of the Church fathers rang in my ears, those sharp condemnations of shepherds who are like mute dogs; in order to avoid conflicts, that let the poison spread. Peace is not the first civic duty, and a bishop whose only concern is not to have any problems and to gloss over as many conflicts as possible is an image I find repulsive."