Letters to the Editor - Ted Kennedy Funeral Coverage - Pro and Con, Praise for LSN

Tue Sep 1, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

Re: Senator Ted Kennedy Funeral Coverage

I seem to be too stupid to understand where Senator Kennedy is coming from. Perhaps someone could enlighten me. How can one "believe and respect the fundamental beliefs of the Catholic church", and at the same time advocate abortion and sodomy?  All too clever for me I'm afraid.

Robert Smith, Australia


To the Editor,

I would like to submit the following letter concerning the royal mass the Catholic Church gave  Senator Kennedy, the great defender of the right to take the life of the least and most helpless among us:

Today I watched one of the most immoral spectacles taking place in a Catholic Church on national television.  I watched in wonder at the lavish funeral mass said by no less than seven priests decked out in royal garments for Edward M. Kennedy.  I felt a deep pain in my heart. Every priest that spoke with silver praises, and every family member who gushed in golden grief, talked about what his life meant to them. 

The president of this country went on and on about the contributions Kennedy gave to our country and all the wonderful personal memories many had shared with him.  Everyone extolled Ted Kennedy's thoughtfulness and caring he showed for each and every person he knew.

All this only called to my mind all the lives of those who were not given a chance at life at all.  I thought about all those who were never allowed to draw one breath, let alone sail on Nantucket Sound and leave behind lovely memories or powerful legacies. Mr. Kennedy believed in the impossible dream, but he decided who would be allowed to have those dreams and the opportunity to have a wonderful full life as he had.  He supported the death of the innocent and even went so far as to vote against a ban on the most vile and cruel form of abortion, partial-birth abortion. 

The priest and the speakers all failed to acknowledge even once the one woman who gave him the children he enjoyed in life and who would later testify that he was a wonderful father at his funeral.  She was the woman who gave him the opportunity to become that proud grandfather.  Yet there was silence from a church that honors motherhood and believes in the sanctity of life. No, the holy priests were too busy comforting the woman they conveniently made his second wife.

They wrote Joan Kennedy off as though she didn’t exist.  She sat there alone like a smudge of dirt hidden under a pew.  This woman whose fragile spirit never recovered from the impact of her life commitment to Kennedy was not the only woman destroyed by the hands of this man and made into nothing by the church. Apparently, some women and all the little lives that nobody wants aren’t important if you have wealth, family pedigree, and a name that spells power on your side.

One of the most powerful and important parables Jesus gave us with regard to love of neighbor was the parable of the Good Samaritan.  In this country, we have a law following that parable to come to the aid of the neediest whether it your injured and unhealthy first wife whom he married according to the Catholic sacrament, Mary Jo Kopeckney, or the unborn who are helpless and rely on the love of others to protect them. It seems these Catholic priests who celebrated and praised this man’s life and example continue to take the side of the priest in the parable whom Jesus condemned.

Shame on the church for ignoring one woman’s contributions to life while praising one man who was dedicated to taking life.

Marcella Paliekara
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin


Much as I am gratified at seeing the word "scandal" used in reference to the above event, as well as in reference to the Notre Dame tragedy, it is apparent that the word "scandal" no longer has the same meaning in the modern Church as it did in the traditional Church. Modern scandals have to do with sex, or perhaps with finances - that is, they are secular in nature.

Scandals having to do with disobedience, dissent or heresy do not register as spiritual crises - not among most of the laity, and apparently not among most of the clergy either.

John Ingram
Cincinnati, Ohio


The fact that two events relevant to the state of the Catholic Church in the U.S., the laudatory funeral Mass for Senator Kennedy and the resignation of Bishop Joseph Martino, occurred so close together is a stark reminder of the state of the Church.  Cardinal O'Malley obviously is not spiritually prepared to suffer the scorn and abuse that has been steeped upon Bishop Martino. If only he had been willing to do so and had stood for the Faith during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Sue Bergman
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania


That Kennedy cartoon should be published everywhere! (just bump up the portrayal of the babies a bit…I didn't "see" them at first, so it took me a while to "get" the point.)

Certainly every priest attending that funeral should receive it. And every Catholic publication in the US. Maybe some will publish it.

Maria Henry
Ontario, Canada


Dear Editors:

I appreciate your truthful coverage of the death of Ted Kennedy. As the mainstream media sings his praises, we truly devout Christians remember that he was less than a "defender of the poor," as he had no time for the poorest of the poor, those still in the womb, or one poor woman who needed his help while drowning. He sought to save his own life, and well—I guess he did so. But it seems to me that this was at great peril to his soul.

I think it noteworthy that he is being buried on the feast of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist. St. John was not afraid to witness to the truth. Speaking the truth about Herod who was living sinfully cost him his life. It says in the Gospels that Herod liked to hear John speak and was "perplexed" by all he said. However, he failed to make it a part of his living, of his moment-to-moment choices. Perhaps this is how Ted Kennedy was—he liked to hear Jesus' words, liked to go to church and listen to the nice readings, but obviously did not do much to incorporate the Word into his own consciousness, into his own life.

I hope and pray that God's mercy will prevail. I know that to those who are given much, much is expected. It seems to me that, though Ted Kennedy was given much in the way of wealth and material goods, perhaps he was not given much in the way of spiritual training and  discipline. May God have mercy on his soul.

Jennifer Schmidt
Baltimore, Maryland


Thank you for expressing what has been in my heart…..although we cannot and should not judge the state of anyone's eternal soul at the moment of death, Jesus did admonish us with, "a tree is known by its fruit." Countless people, also eternal souls, have been deceived and led down the wrong path in this life and quite possibly the next because of feeding on the rotten
fruit of Ted Kennedy's life's work. This cannot go unsaid.

If, and I ernestly pray that it is true, he did repent at the end, just as his life was public would it be unreasonable to make a general statement of this profession of repentance and faith known to the public as well? This man has much blood on his hands, as St. Paul did before his conversion, but St. Paul did not hide his confession and then God elevated him. Is it too much to ask the Church, our Mother, for the same upright example?  We must never be afraid to proclaim the Truth.

Thank you, once again, for your outstanding work.

New Jersey


Re: Criticism of LSN News Coverage of Ted Kennedy Funeral

Life is sacred and Ted Kennedy's life was no less sacred than any of the aborted childred of the world, than any child in the womb or born.  Blessed are the merciful, and we are a merciful people so we give a proper funeral for any one we can because life is sacred.  Blessed are they that mourn, and we mourn any one's death even Ted Kennedy's because life is sacred.  We mourn publicly at a funeral but we don't protest it, because life is sacred. Life is so sacred that we have public funerals for public mourning for the end of a life, any life because life is so sacred.  I prayed for Ted kenedy because his life was sacred I mourned his passing because life is sacred. Yes he was a proponent of abortion for sure but life is so sacred we gave him a funeral any way, because life is sacred.  If you can't see this then you can't see the forest from the trees and have lost the profound sense of the sacredness of life, or any one life.

Theodorus Menning
British Columbia, Canada

Editor's Note: LifeSiteNews repeatedly encouraged prayers for Ted Kennedy, and its articles at no time suggested there should not be a Catholic funeral for him. We agree wholeheartedly with the writer that Ted Kennedy's life was sacred as is the life of every human. None of this was at issue in the articles.


I have been reading a lot how pro-lifers are upset that Ted Kennedy received a Catholic funeral.  I have to admit, I'm a little unsettled by such a lack of mercy and charity in our Catholic brothers and sisters.  As far as I'm away a priest came to him before he passed away, if he received the anointing of the sick doesn't that mean he was free to have a Catholic

None of us know what was in his heart, maybe when he knew the end would be in just a few hours, he realized the error of his ways?  What if he was repentant and was begging God for forgiveness, and God in His loving mercy gave it to him.  Who are we to say Mr. Kennedy didn't deserve to be buried with a Catholic funeral.

We all need to remember that in the end it is God who will do the judging, we just need to be faithful to Him and He will take care of the rest.

Amanda Stewart

Editor's Note: See note to previous letter. As well, LifeSiteNews and the articles it published repeatedly acknowledged that the final judgement of Ted Kennedy is not for anyone to make. This was not at issue in the articles.


I am an avid reader of LSN and appreciate the in-depth and excellent coverage of life issues around the world. However, I am alarmed by the vitriolic attacks on our Bishops in certain letters and articles. I was appalled and offended by the posting of a cartoon depicting Cardinal O'Malley trampling on the bodies of aborted babies. I understand the anger some readers may have toward him, but that does not justify insulting him with a cartoon.

Pope Benedict recently made the French President Nicolas Sarkozy a honorary canon of St. John Lateran, and Sarkozy is far more anti-life than Kennedy. Should we start submitting cartoons for our Holy Father as well? Pope Benedict's recent encyclical "Caritas in Veritate" should be a clarion call for pro-life Catholics reminding us that we must speak the truth, but always in charity.

I have spoken with bishops who feel attacked by LSN, and after opening LSN's homepage today and seeing that disgusting cartoon, I can no longer blame them. Bishops deserve our respect, support and prayers; judgment should be reserved to Christ alone. By posting these defamatory letters and cartoons, LSN assists in casting our bishops in a disparaging light. I am tired of reading letters and articles which presume to instruct our Bishops on how to be Catholic.

Bishops are the one with Apostolic Authority, and the power of binding and loosing, even when they are wrong.  LSN would do well to avoid publishing glitzy letters of reprimand to our bishops  e.g. "Judy Brown Letter to Cardinal O'Malley re: Ted Kennedy Funeral" which only serve to tear them down in some vain attempt to "enlighten" them. I would encourage the editors to conduct a review of the publishing practices of LSN in order to better support and uphold our Bishops in the support of life. LSN provides a great service to the church, please continue to report the truth, but also in charity.

David Dobbelsteyn
Saint John, NB, Canada

Editor's Note: The emphasis of the cartoon was on the funeral procession of Ted Kennedy passing over the bodies of the unborn - an appropriate artistic presentation of the Senator's sordid record on the issue. The fact that the Cardinal gave his presence to this event that glorified Ted Kennedy without any acknowledgement of the Senator's responsibility for the death of millions is more the presentation of a sad reality than a "vitriolic attack". The emphasis however, of the cartoon was much more on Kennedy than the Cardinal. LifeSiteNews has always considered Cardinal O'Malley to be a pro-life bishop. He has inherited a heavy task in a diocese with an especially sordid history.

Also, LifeSiteNews does not publish letters to the editor that are "vitriolic attacks" on Bishops although some readers wrongly perceive some letters as being so. Any criticism of bishops is considered by some Catholics to be "vitriolic." Intensity of conviction and expression of deep concern and disappointment is not true vitriol and is the right of Catholics to express. It is the right of Catholics to appeal to their bishops to be better bishops. Western culture has suffered greatly from the fact that most of the modern faithful have not been aware of or exercised that right.

LifeSiteNews has published very many articles reporting positive actions of prelates (including Cardinal O'Malley) and other clergy. We do not "attack" bishops or other religious leaders in our news reports. Nor do we ever condone "vitriolic attacks" on bishops (see Composing Effective Communications in Response to LifeSiteNews Reports) which are always counterproductive. We are however, deeply committed to reporting the truth.

The truth is true charity. Turning a blind eye to news of important statements, events or actions that may portray some clergy in a bad light is not respect or love or the spreading of scandal. Quite the contrary. Such turning a blind eye (e.g. the sex abuse scandals or the tolerance of persistent pro-abortion prominent Catholics clery or laity) is in fact very much the opposite of love. See the comment from Archbishop Fulton Sheen at the end of Reflections on the Kennedy Funeral.  
See also the comment in that same article by Fr. Richard John Neuhaus.


In the United States, we all have the right to our own beliefs: both politically and religously.  I am not Catholic, but I respect your beliefs as your own, and I would hope that you would respect mine.

What bothers me is not your beliefs, but the fact that you would choose to deny someone of their choice of funeral, because you don't see them as "good" of a Catholic as you.

Yes, the bible says "thou shalt not kill", and "thou shalt not suffer a man's touch", but there is also a little known concept in Catholisism called "Primacy of Conscious".  This concept, which was long ago endorsed by the Vatican basically states that if you believe that a current law of the church is against the true intent of God, and deep down in your conscious, you know
it to be true, you should follow your concsience.  i.e.: If you believe that taking birth control or having an abortion is less evil that watching your child starve, or passing on an illness such as AIDS to your child, then you should do what you truly feel God believes is right.  This was told to me by a priest of 35 years who also had a doctorate in theology. Sen. Kennedy felt that what he did in politically was right.  Whether you agree with him or not, he followed his conscience.  When those that pass disagree with you, please let them be buried in peace, in whatever method they choose.  The funeral was public, because he was a public figure.  He was being honored as a public servant.  It is not right to make accusations at a man that is no longer alive to defend himself.  Shame on you.

Laura Jenkins
United States

Editor's Note: The letter writer presents an excellent example of what Pope Benedict as Cardinal Ratzinger condemned as “the dictatorship of relativism,” which denies that there are any absolute truths. The theology presented above greatly distorts genuine Catholic teaching and fairly well presents the non-Catholic theological justification adopted by Ted Kennedy and most other pro-abortion Catholic politicians, clergy and theologians.


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