By John-Henry Westen

BOSTON, August 30, 2009 ( – The contents of the letter from Senator Ted Kennedy delivered to Pope Benedict XVI by President Barack Obama in July were made public at Kennedy's burial today.  Former Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick read excerpts from the letter and a response from the Vatican during the burial service.

Despite his advocacy for abortion and homosexual 'marriage', Kennedy told the Pope: “”I have always tried to be a faithful Catholic, Your Holiness, and though I have fallen short through human failings, I have never failed to believe and respect the fundamental teachings.”

Kennedy also wrote that he opposed the death penalty and also that he supported conscience rights in the healthcare bill which would permit Catholic doctors to refuse to participate in abortion without sanction. “I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health care field and will continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone,” he wrote.

Cardinal McCarrick only read selected portions of the Vatican reply in which a Vatican functionary assured Kennedy of his prayers and imparted him and his family a blessing. (Reading of the letter starts at 6:30 in the video)

See Kennedy letter text and Vatican's reply


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