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Cardinal Lashes out at Pro-Lifers, Soft-Pedals Criticism of Kennedy Abortion Support

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Editorial by John-Henry Westen

BOSTON, September 3, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In an entry on his blog last night, Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley defended his participation in the grandiose funeral for Senator Ted Kennedy.  "There are those who objected, in some cases vociferously, to the Church's providing a Catholic funeral for the Senator.   In the strongest terms I disagree with that position," he wrote.

The problem with that of course is that the leaders of the largest and most significant Catholic pro-life groups in the United States never criticized having a funeral per se, just a public one which would be made into a mass-media extravaganza.

Fr. Tom Euteneuer, of Human Life International, the largest pro-life organization in the world issued a statement prior to the funeral noting: "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."

Dr. Monica Miller, director of the pro-life group Citizens for a Pro-Life Society (CPLS) also called on Americans to respectfully urge Cardinal O'Malley not to allow the passing of the notorious abortion advocate to be honored with a public Catholic funeral.

Once the public funeral was announced with forthcoming eulogy by President Obama, American Life League President Judie Brown wrote the Cardinal begging him to "stop the travesty."  Brown also noted that at the very least, if the rumors of Kennedy's repentance were true it should be made known. 

"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?"

EWTN's Raymond Arroyo also expressed dismay about the funeral extravaganza. On his blog he wrote, "The prayer intercessions at the funeral mass, the endless eulogies, the image of the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston reading prayers, and finally Cardinal McCarrick interring the remains sent an uncontested message: One may defy Church teaching, publicly lead others astray, deprive innocent lives of their rights, and still be seen a good Catholic, even an exemplary one."

With the public funeral done and the worst fears of Catholic pro-life leaders realized, Cardinal O'Malley has now mounted a vigorous defense of his actions.

"I wish to address our Catholic faithful who have voiced both support and disappointment at my having presided at the Senator's funeral Mass," he wrote.  "Needless to say, the Senator's wake and Catholic funeral were controversial because of the fact that he did not publically support Catholic teaching and advocacy on behalf of the unborn."  No mention was made of the Senator's vigorous work to dismantle the traditional definition of marriage.

"As Archbishop of Boston, I considered it appropriate to represent the Church at this liturgy out of respect for the Senator, his family, those who attended the Mass and all those who were praying for the Senator and his family at this difficult time," he said.

In his remarks the Cardinal had much praise for Kennedy, his work for social justice and especially for his family.  Addressing Kennedy's working against the life of the unborn, the Cardinal called it only a "great disappointment".  He said: "there is a tragic sense of lost opportunity in his lack of support for the unborn."

The Cardinal reserved his harshest criticisms for pro-lifers who complained to him.  "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," he wrote.  "If any cause is motivated by judgment, anger or vindictiveness, it will be doomed to marginalization and failure."

First off, if anyone did send angry or vindictive comments to Cardinal O'Malley, while they may have been understandable given the perception of betrayal, they were - as are most such communications - unhelpful at best and likely harmful.  You may even want to issue an apology, and review our suggestions for writing effective communications.

Unfortunately in this case, those angry communications may have given Cardinal O'Malley an excuse for his false compassion regarding Kennedy.  I don't mean to insult the good Cardinal - and I do mean good. 

I had a personal encounter with Cardinal O'Malley years ago, just after he came to Boston.  We had a conversation marked by sincerity and open love of faith.  He is a good man.  He also has a very soft heart.  He is a man of great compassion.

But in this case, the Cardinal's compassion is misguided.  In fact, it can easily be argued that while it may seem charitable, giving Kennedy such a funeral was an act of cruelty for him and for the Church rather than one of compassion.  

The funeral itself seemed to canonize Kennedy rather than have people beg for God's mercy on his soul.  It set a bad example for Catholics, particularly Catholic politicians, it gave a false impression that the Church does not take seriously its teachings on life and family etc, etc.

It would have been hard for the Cardinal to deny Kennedy a public funeral.  He would have received the ire of the world's elite.  He would have been called mean and uncharitable, horribly lacking in compassion.  Very much like the reaction he would have received by denying the Senator Holy Communion.

However, as a father of seven children I can assure you that discipline, while hard to carry out, is an act of love.  Yes it gets complaints, but it is done out of love and for the good of the child and the rest of the family by the loving parent.  It is far easier to ignore bad behavior than to correct it, but in doing so parents harm their children, sometimes causing 'irreparable damage' by their omission.

Especially given Cardinal O'Malley's caring heart, denying the Senator Communion while he lived would have been an act of heroic charity.  It would have been the strongest call to Kennedy to come back to fullness of faith, and away from spiritual harm.

And while as an earthly father I am protecting my little ones from physical harm, the bishop is guarding his spiritual sons from the Eternal version.

As the Archbishop of Ottawa explained to me once in an interview: "The Church's concern is for anyone who persists in grave sin, hoping that medicinal measures may draw them away from the wrong path to the truth of our faith." He said that "medicinal" remedies such as "denial of communion" are employed to "draw them back to the way of Christ, Our Lord, the Way, the Truth and the Life."

In the final analysis, Cardinal O'Malley's answer to those requesting no funeral is an answer to a straw man.  Another answer must be given to those who wrote him charitably begging the good Cardinal to avoid the scandal of a grandiose public funeral.

In the words of Phil Lawler the editor of Catholic World News: "A week after the death of Ted Kennedy, the relevant question is not whether the Massachusetts Senator deserved a Catholic funeral, but whether he deserved a ceremony of public acclamation so grand and sweeping that it might, to the untutored observer, have seemed more like an informal canonization."


See Cardinal O'Malley's full blogpost

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Reflections on the Kennedy Funeral

ALL President on Kennedy Funeral: "Beyond Anything I have Witnessed in 65 Years"

Priest: Imagine the Funeral if Kennedy was an Anti-Semite Rather Than Pro-Abortion

HLI Priest-President Re: Kennedy Funeral Scandal: "Private funeral, family only - period"

EWTN's Arroyo Takes Cardinal McCarrick to Task over Kennedy & Pope Letters

The Kennedy Funeral - A Golden Opportunity or Capitulation for the Catholic Church

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For Hillary Clinton, abortion access trumps religious liberty

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- For Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, apparently abortion trumps religious liberty.

It may have gotten bipartisan support in the House of Representatives last night, but a spokesperson for the Democratic Party's leading presidential candidate says a resolution protecting religious liberty in the District of Columbia "overrule[s] the democratic process" and hurts women.

The vote, which saw three Democrats join the GOP majority and 13 Republicans stand with Democrats, was meant to protect pro-life and religious organizations in the District from the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA).

RHNDA was signed by the mayor of the District of Columbia, Muriel Bowser, in January, and makes it illegal for any employer, including religious and pro-life organizations, to use a person's belief or actions about abortion in employment considerations. It also requires employers to provide abortion coverage.

The resolution now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to fail due to the Senate being on recess. Under existing federal law, the measure has 30 legislative days to be disapproved by Congress and President Obama. If this does not happen, it becomes law.

The 30-day window ends on Saturday. President Obama promised a veto of the resolution on Thursday, even though RHNDA was opposed by former District mayor Vincent Gray. According to Gray, while he "applaud[s] the goals of this legislation," the former mayor believes RHNDA could violate the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal treatment under the law.

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The statement by the Clinton campaign left no doubt that she stood with Obama and a majority of Democratic legislators. Spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri told CNN, "Hillary Clinton has fought for women and families and their right to access the full range of reproductive health care without interference from politicians or employers."

"Hillary will fight to make it easier, not more difficult, for women and families to get ahead and ensure that women are not discriminated against for personal medical decisions."

The remarks come a week after Clinton took criticism for saying that "religious beliefs" critical of "reproductive rights" must "be changed."

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” she told the Women in the World Summit on April 23.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper," said Clinton in her speech. "Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will."

“Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed,” said the candidate.

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Social conservatives may be funding the destruction of marriage: corporate watchdog

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By Dustin Siggins

May 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- With over $55 million in annual revenue, the Human Rights Campaign may be America's most powerful LGBT activist group. And according to a conservative corporate watchdog, that's in part because social conservatives are funding it.

"Conservatives would be surprised to know that many of the dollars they spend every day are helping fund an agenda that seeks to destroy traditional marriage and undermine religious freedoms," said 2nd Vote National Outreach Director Robert Kuykendall. "Even when they purchase a beverage from a company like Coca-cola or Starbucks, their dollar is going to support HRC's liberal agenda to redefine marriage."

Less than 18 months old, 2nd Vote has graded hundreds of corporations on six issues -- corporate welfare, the environment, education, support for the Second Amendment, abortion, and as of two weeks ago, same-sex "marriage." Using their "scoring" system, 2nd Vote ranks corporations on their direct or indirect involvement with these hot-button public policy and cultural issues.

And according to them, some of America's favorite corporations are making the radical HRC agenda possible.

"HRC is the largest LGBT lobbying organization in the United States with reported revenues of over $55 million," Kuykendall told LifeSiteNews. "The redefinition of marriage and the undermining of religious freedom are major components of HRC’s policy agenda. To fund their policy goals, HRC has enlisted the help of many major corporations that we do business with every day to help fund. Over a third of the contributions received by HRC are listed as 'Corporate/Foundation Grants.'" 

Why should conservatives care about corporate donors to HRC? Kuykendall says the organization is both politically influential and publicly deceptive. "Last election cycle, HRC spent around a million dollars on electioneering activities and in support of liberal candidates willing to push their legislative agenda. HRC is responsible for spreading much of the misinformation regarding [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] laws and has also mischaracterized the protections provided by these laws."

"HRC organized a massive grassroots campaign in support of the legal battle to overturn state laws protecting marriage and influence the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges," said Kuykendall.

Marriage isn't the only issue on which conservatives may be at odds with HRC's corporate backers. "2nd Vote’s research into other issues such as life, the environment, and the 2nd Amendment shows that many of the companies supporting HRC have taken liberal stands on other issues as well,” he said. “For example, Apple, Citigroup, Microsoft, and Coca-Cola are Platinum Partners, the highest level of HRC’s National Corporate Partners, that have also funded the liberal Center for American Progress [CAP]."

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"Bank of America, Google, Goldman Sachs, Starbucks, PepsiCo, and Morgan Stanley are also HRC Corporate Partners that have funded CAP. Furthermore, all of these companies signed the amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn state marriage laws."

In Indiana, the state's religious liberty law was modified because of corporate pressure led by Tim Cook, Apple's gay CEO. Kuykendall says conservatives should not give up, though he acknowledges that "for too long, conservatives have let liberals and groups like HRC bully companies into not just going along with their agenda, but actively funding and promoting it."

"However, conservatives have also proven their ability to mobilize and use their dollars in support of traditional values as we’ve seen through the fundraising campaigns for the pizza parlor and wedding cake makers who have been attacked by liberals for their beliefs. Conservatives need to turn the tables on the left, and groups like HRC, and motivate companies to stop funding the liberal agenda through the power of their shopping habits."

Only nine companies have ranks of "five" or "four" on 2nd Vote's ranking system, indicating a pro-marriage perspective. They are outnumbered more than 10 to 1 by organizations that support redefining marriage.

Concerned citizens can download the app on 2nd Vote's website. The full list of corporation scores can be found here.

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First graders exposed to book about transgender boy—without parental notification

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By Fr. Mark Hodges

KITTERY POINT, ME, May 1, 2015, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Parents at one Maine school are upset that children as young as six were exposed to a book promoting transgender issues, in the name of "acceptance."

Parents were not only not consulted, they were never even notified of their children's exposure to transgenderism.

Horace Mitchell Primary School read the book I Am Jazz to first-grade students. The book is about a boy who identifies as a girl from the age of two, "with a boy's body and a girl's brain." He eventually finds a doctor who tells his parents, "Jazz is transgender."

Parents began to inquire about what was being taught at Horace Mitchell Primary after children came home with questions about their own sex and wondering if they, too, might be transgender.

One mother, upset that teachers would broach the subject of transgenderism with her little boy, said the primary school ignored her complaint. "I feel like my thoughts, feelings and beliefs were completely ignored...My right as a parent to allow or not allow this discussion with my child was taken from me," she told Hannity.com.

"When I spoke with the principal he was very cold about it," the mother continued. "It's amazing how thoughtless the school has been with this whole thing."

Only after Sean Hannity made national inquiries did Horace Mitchell Primary School suggest that teachers should have told parents ahead of time.

Allyn Hutton, the superintendent of the local district, said she supported reading the book but admitted that parents should have been given advance warning about the subject matter. "We have a practice of – if a topic is considered sensitive – parents should be informed. In this situation, that didn't happen," she said. "We understand that toleration is tolerating people of all opinions."

Horace Mitchell Primary School sent an e-mail, after the fact, to concerned parents, including a link to a blog post of the school's guidance counselor, explaining their motivation was "cultivating respect."

"Some may think primary school students are too young to worry about addressing issues surrounding gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students. Not so, experts say,” the school's guidance counselor wrote. “It’s never too early to begin teaching children about respecting differences."

Homosexual activists say they support the teaching of transgenderism to first-graders, with or without parental notification. "The staff of Mitchell School is...shedding a light on [LGBTQ] issues,” said a column in Gay Star News.

The LGBT puublication goes even further, advocating homosexual propaganda be commonplace in elementary schools across the country. "LGBTQ issues should never be classified as a 'sensitive subject,' [because] there is nothing sensitive about the way we are born. Blonde hair, brown hair, gay, straight or somewhere in-between."

Brian Camenker of MassResistance commented on the infiltration of homosexual propaganda in children's schools. "We deal with parents and teachers a lot, and the idea that teachers would do this is unconscionable. It's like the people that promote this stuff are evil. It's demonic. You can't imagine adults that would do this to other people's children, and do it with such anger, and such vitrol.”

Camenker emphasized that this is “not an isolated incident with just one, rogue teacher. This happens because the whole administrative hierarchy buys into it.”

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“The new generation of educators is very, very frightening,” he said.

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