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Compiled by Steve Jalsevac

The Senator, the Cardinal, and the Bishop (among others)by Carl Olson
In 1973, then, abortion activists had no qualms about denouncing Ted Kennedy's pro-life position as “thoroughly revolting.” In 2009, however, it's difficult to find bishops and cardinals willing to use language nearly as strong or as obviously moral in describing Kennedy's three decades of supporting, advocating, defending, and funding abortion. It is, to put it mildly, disheartening.

Because, you see, when Sen. Kennedy was doing all of his good deeds, he was motivated by the Gospel and Catholic doctrine, but when he mysteriously failed to advocate for the unborn, it was one of those strange mishaps, like Michael Jordan missing a game-winning shot (“Goodness, I guess he is human!”), or Babe Ruth striking out (“Well, who would thunk it possible?'), as if it was the exception to the rule.

But for Kennedy, being a driven and vigorous supporter of the culture of death was the rule, with few exceptions. So, the funeral was controversial, in fact, because:
1). He publicly opposed and attacked Catholic teaching.
2). He publicly and very ardently supported abortion.
3). And embryonic stem-cell research, contraceptives, and “same-sex” marriage.
4). And he never publicly acknowledged or expressed remorse for these great public wrongs.

The best piece I've read so far about the Senator and the Cardinal is Phil Lawler's September 3, 2009, piece, “The Kennedy Funeral: Boston's Latest Scandal.” Read the entire article. Which brings me to the second bit of disheartening writing, a column by Bishop Robert C. Morlino titled, “God's Mercy and Senator Edward Kennedy.”

As I've asked and argued elsewhere, why must it be assumed that expanding federal programs, opposing school choice, and growing the welfare system are each an iron-clad, can't-be-debated part of Catholic social teaching? Those matters, which are bound up in policy and prudential judgment, can be disagreed upon and debated among Catholics and others of good will. More importantly, who are the most poor and downtrodden, the most naked, the most vulnerable in our society? Surely it is the unborn, no?

Is the attitude described by Bishop Morlino really the prevalent stance among Catholics who are upset or concerned about the funeral? Having read many articles and numerous comments about the topic, I have a hard time believing so.

Liberal Catholics and Catholic LiberalsBy Frank Walker
The Cardinal has become a striking example of one of the most insidious and pervasive problems in the Church today. He is a Catholic liberal.

“Catholic liberals” stand on Catholic principle but they fall down in application and practice as Cardinal O’Malley demonstrated in recent weeks.

Liberalism as it exists today is immoral. This is because it is so generally false. While on the one hand it espouses such ideals as charity, mercy, justice, tolerance and peace; in reality it achieves none of these things.

Senator Kennedy’s life was a perfect example of this. Lauded by other liberals as a champion of the poor and powerless, in fact he was a ruthless political player and a murderer. His idea of charity was to impose huge tax burdens on families then build government agencies on behalf of the poor. This is not charity or justice, as many Catholics will intone, but slavery and theft.

Clearly one of the gentlest, most restrained, engaging and popular American Church leaders, O’Malley finally voiced where his contempt does fall when he rebuked the Catholics dismayed by the Kennedy funeral; an event that undermined every holy and good thing that the Cardinal’s life represents.

A Parish Priest’s Feedback About the Funeral of Sen. Kennedy
My problem is that it was not a Catholic Funeral. This was not a Funeral. Ted Kennedy’s Funeral did not even follow even the guidelines of the Archdioceise of Boston. It was poorly planned because whoever directed the planning had no idea of what a Catholic Funeral is about.  Worst of all from a parish priest’s perspective is that now that millions have seen this, this is the type of Funeral they want.

Edward Kennedy – DavidWarrenOnline
Those who could not guess what I thought of Ted Kennedy, could not have been reading my columns. But to review, quickly, I classed him among the horrible freaks of electoral politics, an embodiment of almost everything I detest in public life, from open advocacy of “the culture of death,” and socialist tyranny, to great personal hypocrisy; sometimes nearly a traitor to his country; and certainly a traitor to his religion.

I'd have been scandalized, and ashamed, had my Roman Church given him a Christian burial. In the event, the responsible bishops gave him all the pageantry they could supply, thereby further alienating themselves from the faithful laity.

…but it is not incompatible with something else I really think: that Kennedy was a great and interesting man, and not without some noble qualities…he really did have extraordinary skills as a legislator, to forge political deals. He had a formidable will, and the personal charm to assert it. But these are gifts, not moral accomplishments. Ted Kennedy was, from my understanding, capable of bold generosity.

Signs of Repentance or of the Status Quo?  By Mark Brumley
Do canonical requirements for church funerals clear up misconceptions or foster more confusion about Church teaching on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage?

But if, as in the case outlined in my example, what are taken as “signs of repentance” can’t tell us anything about whether the politician came to see his support of 40 million legal abortions, embryonic experimentation, and same-sex marriage as incompatible with the Catholic faith, how can a church funeral for such a politician avoid giving scandal? How will it be taken by many people—or most—to mean anything but that these things are not, after all, serious evils, and that they are not, in the end, contrary to the Catholic faith?