Catholic Publisher Apologizes after Distributing Prayer Praising Kennedy

Tue Sep 15, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

By Kathleen Gilbert

CHICAGO, Illinois, September 15, 2009 ( - A publisher associated with the Archdiocese of Chicago has revoked and apologized for a prayer they distributed that praised the late pro-abortion senator Edward Kennedy as one who promoted "values of peace, justice, equality, and liberty." The prayer has been replaced with another one, urging prayer for the soul of Kennedy, but excising the words of praise.

Liturgy Training Publications issued the original prayer as a suggested Prayer for the Faithful for use at Sunday Masses after the prominent Catholic senator's death on August 25.

The text of the prayer, available in the publisher's online Prayer of the Faithful resource, read: "For those who have given their lives to service to their country, promoting values of peace, justice, equality, and liberty; especially, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, that he may find his eternal reward in the arms of God. ... We pray…"

Kennedy, a professed Catholic who succumbed to brain cancer August 25, was a staunch advocate of abortion, embryo-destructive research, and same-sex "marriage."  The Boston archdiocese met with controversy and opposition from the pro-life Catholic community after it hosted a public funeral ceremony for the senator August 29.  Pro-life Catholics, including American Life League president Judie Brown and Human Life International president Rev. Tom Euteneuer, had called for a private Catholic ceremony for the publicly pro-abortion figure, to avoid public scandal.

The Mass prayer triggered complaints from the pro-life Catholic blogosphere, including popular Catholic writer Rev. John Malloy, who encouraged prayers for Kennedy on his pro-life blog, but noted: "To pray for Senator Kennedy as one who promoted peace, justice, equality, and liberty, ignoring the 49 million+ babies killed through legalized abortion, would be simply to pray a lie at Mass." 

Liturgy Training Publications director John Thomas quickly issued personal apologies to Fr. Malloy and others who complained for what he called the "extremely poor use of words" in the prayer.

"Upon reflection, the editors who adapted and wrote the prayer recognize their poor judgment," Thomas wrote in his letter to Fr. Malloy. Thomas explained that the prayer had been adapted from a standard text for "Prayers on the Inauguration of a Public Official." 

Within about a day of original publication, the prayer was removed and replaced with a more generic version calling for prayers for Kennedy as a member of "all our beloved dead."

Malloy told Chicago Catholic News that he was satisfied with the outcome, and that he felt Thomas' apology was sincere.

"I think we pray for everyone who's dead, our enemies, we pray for them, but we don't extol them," Malloy noted. 

See related coverage:

Pro-Abortion Kennedy Lauded as "Champion for Those Who Had None" at Funeral Mass

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

UPDATED: Pro-Life Leaders to Cardinal O'Malley: Do Not Honor Pro-Abortion Kennedy with Public Catholic Funeral

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