By Michael Baggot

BOSTON, MA, May 21, 2008 ( – In light of Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy’s recent discovery of a malignant brain tumor, pro-life leaders have invited the outspoken Catholic supporter of abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and same-sex “marriage” to repent of his opposition to his Church’s stance on life and family issues and experience forgiveness before his imminent death.

“We’re all praying for him,” Joe Scheidler, head of the Pro-Life Action League, told

“We hope his ailment will bring conversion.  We can’t wish anyone eternal punishment.”

“Christ forgave the very people who crucified Him.  The least we can do is to forgive the enemies of our cause.”

“I try not to make anything personal in the fight for life.  If they have a change of heart, we’ll forgive them in a second,” said Scheidler of opponents of life and family such as Kennedy.

  Scheidler noted that, through his conversion, Kennedy “at the very end could help other Catholics” who are opposed to the Church’s moral teachings.

“I hope he will denounce publicly his support for abortion.”

  Scheidler added that he would consider a day of prayer for the Massachusetts senator as a reminder of the mercy and forgiveness available to even the most hardened proponents of the culture of death.

“We are asking people to pray for his immortal soul,” Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International told

  Fr. Euteneuer added that he was planning to mention Kennedy in his latest Spirit and Life newsletter, set for release tomorrow at 3 pm.

“God loves Ted Kennedy and it’s my obligation as a Christian to do the same. My thoughts and prayers are with the Senator and the entire Kennedy family. I urge all Christians to pray for him,” Reverend Rob Schenck of the Pro-Life Religious Council told yesterday.

  Schenck called for prayers for Kennedy even though the senator has pushed him aside after Schenck encouraged Kennedy to return to the Christian faith of his mother.

  The Archdiocese of Boston did not return a call to in time for this story’s publication.

  Pro-life leaders are praying that Kennedy will abandon his long history of public work for anti-life policies, including his infamous support for abortion legislation that has earned him a 100% NARAL “pro-choice” voting record rating.

  Unbeknownst to many, Kennedy once opposed abortion.

“While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life,” wrote Kennedy to a constituent in 1971 (

“Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain right which must be recognized – the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.”

  Kennedy’s previous stand provides a glimmer of hope that the senator could reverse the pro-abortion position he has advanced over the last few decades.

“It is not impossible that he would return to something he once believed in,” Scheidler told

  Kennedy’s rejection of the Church’s moral teaching has not been reserved to the issue of abortion.  Despite his Church’s affirmation of the dignity of the human person from the moment of conception, Kennedy has repeatedly worked to expand funding to embryonic stem cell research. 

  For instance, Kennedy signed a June 2004 letter with 57 other senators urging President Bush to increase federal funding for embryonic stem cell research directed towards treating various diseases. 

  Kennedy’s public opposition to the Church’s teaching regarding marriage is also well known.

  Following Massachusetts’s vote to legalize same-sex “marriage,” an official statement from Kennedy called the decision “a triumph for civil rights and fundamental fairness.”

  As Kennedy struggles with a likely fatal condition, pro-life leaders continue to pray that Kennedy will repent of his longstanding commitment to anti-life policies and find reconciliation with the Church before his death.

  To contact
  Seán Patrick Cardinal O’Malley
  Archbishop of Boston
  2121 Commonwealth Ave.
  Boston, MA, 02135-3193
  Telephone: (617) 254-0100
  Fax: (617) 783-4564

  To contact
  Senator Ted Kennedy
  2400 JFK Building
  Boston, MA 02203
  Telephone: (617) 565-3170
  Telephone: (877) 472-9014
  Fax: (617) 565-3183

  See related coverage:

  CORRECTION: Ted Kennedy DID Receive Communion at the Papal Mass


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