Skip to comments.Cardinal Lashes out at Angry Pro-Lifers, Soft-Pedals Criticism of Kennedy Abortion Support
Posted on 09/04/2009 7:08:12 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
BOSTON, September 2, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In an entry on his blog last night, Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley defended his participation in the grandiose funeral for Senator Ted Kennedy. "There are those who objected, in some cases vociferously, to the Church's providing a Catholic funeral for the Senator. In the strongest terms I disagree with that position," he wrote.
The problem with that of course is that the leaders of the largest and most significant Catholic pro-life groups in the United States never criticized having a funeral per se, just a public one which would be made into a mass-media extravaganza.
Fr. Tom Euteneuer, of Human Life International, the largest pro-life organization in the world issued a statement prior to the funeral noting: "Senator Kennedy needs to be sent to the afterlife with a private, family-only funeral and the prayers of the Church for the salvation of his immortal soul."
Dr. Monica Miller, director of the pro-life group Citizens for a Pro-Life Society (CPLS) also called on Americans to respectfully urge Cardinal O'Malley not to allow the passing of the notorious abortion advocate to be honored with a public Catholic funeral.
Once the public funeral was announced with forthcoming eulogy by President Obama, American Life League President Judie Brown wrote the Cardinal begging him to "stop the travesty." Brown also noted that at the very least, if the rumors of Kennedy's repentance were true it should be made known.
"If we are led to assume Kennedy was remorseful of his pro-abortion past and repented, Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley should make this known to the Catholic faithful clearly - before the media and pro-abortion politicians turn Kennedy's death and Mass honoring his memory into yet another victory," said Brown. "If this remains unclear, what will millions of Catholic Americans be led to believe as Obama canonizes Kennedy's pro-abortion legacy on live television?"
EWTN's Raymond Arroyo also expressed dismay about the funeral extravaganza. On his blog he wrote, "The prayer intercessions at the funeral mass, the endless eulogies, the image of the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston reading prayers, and finally Cardinal McCarrick interring the remains sent an uncontested message: One may defy Church teaching, publicly lead others astray, deprive innocent lives of their rights, and still be seen a good Catholic, even an exemplary one."
With the public funeral done and the worst fears of Catholic pro-life leaders realized, Cardinal O'Malley has now mounted a vigorous defense of his actions.
"I wish to address our Catholic faithful who have voiced both support and disappointment at my having presided at the Senator's funeral Mass," he wrote. "Needless to say, the Senator's wake and Catholic funeral were controversial because of the fact that he did not publically support Catholic teaching and advocacy on behalf of the unborn." No mention was made of the Senator's vigorous work to dismantle the traditional definition of marriage.
"As Archbishop of Boston, I considered it appropriate to represent the Church at this liturgy out of respect for the Senator, his family, those who attended the Mass and all those who were praying for the Senator and his family at this difficult time," he said.
In his remarks the Cardinal had much praise for Kennedy, his work for social justice and especially for his family. Addressing Kennedy's working against the life of the unborn, the Cardinal called it only a "great disappointment". He said: "there is a tragic sense of lost opportunity in his lack of support for the unborn."
The Cardinal reserved his harshest criticisms for pro-lifers who complained to him. "At times, even in the Church, zeal can lead people to issue harsh judgments and impute the worst motives to one another. These attitudes and practices do irreparable damage to the communion of the Church," he wrote. "If any cause is motivated by judgment, anger or vindictiveness, it will be doomed to marginalization and failure."
First off, if anyone did send angry or vindictive comments to Cardinal O'Malley, while they may have been understandable given the perception of betrayal, they were - as are most such communications - unhelpful at best and likely harmful. You may even want to issue an apology, and review our suggestions for writing effective communications.
Unfortunately in this case, those angry communications may have given Cardinal O'Malley an excuse for his false compassion regarding Kennedy. I don't mean to insult the good Cardinal - and I do mean good.
I had a personal encounter with Cardinal O'Malley years ago, just after he came to Boston. We had a conversation marked by sincerity and open love of faith. He is a good man. He also has a very soft heart. He is a man of great compassion.
But in this case, the Cardinal's compassion is misguided. In fact, it can easily be argued that while it may seem charitable, giving Kennedy such a funeral was an act of cruelty for him and for the Church rather than one of compassion.
The funeral itself seemed to canonize Kennedy rather than have people beg for God's mercy on his soul. It set a bad example for Catholics, particularly Catholic politicians, it gave a false impression that the Church does not take seriously its teachings on life and family etc, etc.
It would have been hard for the Cardinal to deny Kennedy a public funeral. He would have received the ire of the world's elite. He would have been called mean and uncharitable, horribly lacking in compassion. Very much like the reaction he would have received by denying the Senator Holy Communion.
However, as a father of seven children I can assure you that discipline, while hard to carry out, is an act of love. Yes it gets complaints, but it is done out of love and for the good of the child and the rest of the family by the loving parent. It is far easier to ignore bad behavior than to correct it, but in doing so parents harm their children, sometimes causing 'irreparable damage' by their omission.
Especially given Cardinal O'Malley's caring heart, denying the Senator Communion while he lived would have been an act of heroic charity. It would have been the strongest call to Kennedy to come back to fullness of faith, and away from spiritual harm.
And while as an earthly father I am protecting my little ones from physical harm, the bishop is guarding his spiritual sons from the Eternal version.
As the Archbishop of Ottawa explained to me once in an interview: "The Church's concern is for anyone who persists in grave sin, hoping that medicinal measures may draw them away from the wrong path to the truth of our faith." He said that "medicinal" remedies such as "denial of communion" are employed to "draw them back to the way of Christ, Our Lord, the Way, the Truth and the Life."
In the final analysis, Cardinal O'Malley's answer to those requesting no funeral is an answer to a straw man. Another answer must be given to those who wrote him charitably begging the good Cardinal to avoid the scandal of a grandiose public funeral.
In the words of Phil Lawler the editor of Catholic World News: "A week after the death of Ted Kennedy, the relevant question is not whether the Massachusetts Senator deserved a Catholic funeral, but whether he deserved a ceremony of public acclamation so grand and sweeping that it might, to the untutored observer, have seemed more like an informal canonization."
....The Cardinal reserved his harshest criticisms for pro-lifers who complained to him. "At times, even in the Church, zeal can lead people to issue harsh judgments and impute the worst motives to one another. These attitudes and practices do irreparable damage to the communion of the Church," he wrote. "If any cause is motivated by judgment, anger or vindictiveness, it will be doomed to marginalization and failure."
Cardinal O’malley.. Softpedalling of abortion is conduct unbecoming a Catholic.
Maybe you should become a Unitarian.. you might feel more at home there.
This is adding insult to injury. Not only does he rationalize his evil activity, he expects apologies from true Catholics and those who value human life who take issue with his inexcusable actions.
Not so respectfully, O’Malley, you can kiss my a$$!
I think the problem is not so much the participation in the funeral (it doesn’t seem the appropriate moment to get on a soapbox), but rather the lack of any reprimand by bishops of the public activity of these abortion- and homosexual acitivity- promoting Catholic politicians while they are alive.
Where is this side of his personality when it's really needed?
How come he reveals it only for the Kennedy critics?
Like we are the real danger to the Church.........
“Maybe you should become a Unitarian”
Yeah, well, this trend is so widespread now GLOBALLY,
and in so many respects, I am not sure ANYONE representing ANY institution or “way of life” is willing
to come out and defend the Traditional Identity of ANYTHING, as strenuously as the enemy is willing to DEMAND their “rights” to get a seat at the head of the table. To defend tradition, whether it’s “being British”, “being Dutch”, “being French”, “being Catholic”, or anything else. What they (the official institutional spokesmen ONLY) opt for is participation and membership
in some kind of “forward-leaning” homogenization of belief, and wide-open latitude of “acceptance” of just about everything, the “urge to merge” into a supposedly
“greater whole”. Not so ironically, that “greater whole”
features all kinds of flaccid and retrograde belief systems getting a starring role. Think Islam.
If you want to see the most soft spoken Bishop show his fangs, ask him why he shows up a prayer vigils for death row inmates, or breaks the law by harboring illegal aliens, and is never seen at praying at an abortion clinic or Pro-life rally. The blood that rushes to his eyes WILL scare you!
“We’ve come to bury Kennedy, not to praise him!”
It’s very difficult for spiritual leaders to call-out those in visible public places for their attitudes and behaviors. We have made tolerance such an all-important virtue that nothing else seems to matter.
Second to “diversity”, “tolerance” is the word/concept that makes me want to power puke!
We are, albeit incrementally, being forced to tolerate the intolerable. It’s like that fine line where you’re forced to look back and try to figure out at what point you sold your soul. Very, very insidious!
THIS IS WHAT’S WRONG WITH AMERICAN CATHOLICISM.
There’s too much politics in Catholicism in the USofA and maybe elsewhere.
The Bishop, Archbishop or Cardinal should have denied the Eucharist to Teddy Kennedy a LONG LONG LONG time ago. Much of what occurred in Ted’s life might have been altered if they had. Read below for a list of occurrences which should have Triggered a response from the Catholic Church.
The True Teddy Kennedy Dynasty
Courtesy of Dick Bailey... From an Email
The Last of The Kennedy Dynasty
As soon as his cancer was detected, I noticed the immediate attempt at the canonization of old Teddy Kennedy by the mainstream media.
They are saying what a great American he is. I say, lets get a couple things clear & not twist the facts to change the real history.
1. He was caught cheating at Harvard when he attended it. He was expelled twice, once for cheating on a test, and once for paying a classmate to cheat for him.
2. While expelled, Kennedy enlisted in the Army, but mistakenly signed up for four years instead of two. Oops! The man cant count to four! His father, Joseph P. Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassa dor to England (a step up from bootlegging liquor into the US from Canada during prohibition), pulled the necessary strings to have his enlistment shortened to two years, and to ensure that he served in Europe, not Korea , where a war was raging. No preferential treatment for him! (like he charged that President Bush received).
3. Kennedy was assigned to Paris, never advanced beyond the rank of Private, and returned to Harvard upon being discharged. Imagine a person of his education NEVER advancing past the rank of Private!
4. While attending law school at the University of Virginia , he was cited for reckless driving four times, including once when he was clocked driving 90 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood with his headlights off after dark.. Yet his Virginia drivers license was never revoked. Coincidentally, he passed the bar exam in 1959. Amazing!
5. In 1964, he was seriously injured in a plane crash and hospitalized for several months. Test results done by the hospital at the time he was admitted had shown he was legally intoxicated. The results of those tests remained a state secret until in the 1980s when the report was unsealed. Didnt hear about that from the unbiased media, did we?
6. On July 19, 1969, Kennedy attended a party on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts . At about 11:00 PM, he borrowed his chauffeurs keys to his Oldsmobile limousine and offered to give a ride home to Mary Jo Kopechne, a campaign worker. Leaving the island via an unlit bridge with no guard rail, Kennedy steered the car off the bridge, flipped, and into Poucha Pond.
7. He swam to shore and walked back to the party passing several houses and a fire station. Two friends then returned with him to the scene of the accident. According to their later testimony, they told him what he already knew - that he was required by law to immediately report the accident to the authorities. Instead Kennedy made his way to his hotel, called his lawyer, and went to sleep. Kennedy called the police the next morning and by then the wreck had already been discovered. Before dying Kopechne had scratched at the upholstered floor above her head in the upside-down car. The Kennedy family began calling in favors, ensuring that any inquiry would be contained. Her corpse was whisked out-of-state to her family before an autopsy could be conducted. Further details are uncertain, but after the accident Kennedy says he repeatedly dove under the water trying to rescue Kopechne and he didnt call police because he was in a state of shock. It is widely assumed Kennedy was drunk, and he held off calling police in hopes that his family could fix the problem overnight. Since the accident Kennedys political enemies have referred to him as the distinguished Senator from Chappaquiddick. He pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, and was given a SUSPENDED SENTENCE OF TWO MONTHS. Kopechnes family received a small payout from the Kennedys insurance policy and never sued. There was later an effort to have her body exhumed and autopsied, but her family successfully fought against this in court, and Kennedys family paid their attorneys bills.... a token of friendship?
8. Kennedy has held his Senate seat for more than forty years, but considering his longevity, his accomplishments seem scant. He authored or argued for legislation that ensured a variety of civil rights, increased the minimum wage in 1981, made access to health care easier for the indigent, funded Meals on Wheels for fixed-income seniors, and is widely held as the standard-bearer for liberalism. In his very first Senate roll he was the floor manager for the bill that turned U.S. immigration policy upside down and opened the floodgate for immigrants from third world countries.
9. Since that time, he has been the prime instigator and author of every expansion of an increase in immigration up to and including the latest attempt to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. Not to mention the pious grilling he gave the last two Supreme Court nominees, as if he was the standard bearer for the nation in matters of ³what¹s right². What a pompous ass!
10. He is known around Washington as a public drunk, loud, boisterous, and very disrespectful to ladies. JERK is a better description than great American. A blonde in every pond is his motto.
Lets not allow the spin doctors to make this jerk a hero! How quickly the American public forgets what his real legacy is.
A LOT of the younger people dont have a clue about all of this, and us older ones tend to forget things that happened so many years ago. Although I HAVENT!
LOOK AT THE TEN VERY PUBLIC TIMES IN TEDDY’S LIFE WHEN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SHOULD HAVE TAKEN HIM ASIDE FOR SOME FORMATION OF HIS CONSCIENCE. But NO. Politics and Money . . . The American Catholic Church is NOT the Church I joined in 1992.
I just sent this to Sean Cardinal O’Malley at his blog. It’s awaiting moderation. Wanna bet it doesn’t show up there?
I’ve seen stupid people in my day...
There are those who feel TEDDY KEGGER does NOT Deserve a Catholic Burial because of his PRO ABORTION Stance, which HAS BEEN a cornerstone of Catholic doctrine. Comparing them to ISLAM proves you’re definitely NOT a CATHOLIC... actually I’d classify you as BARELY HUMAN!
“The road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”
-St. John Chrysostom
Judie Brown makes an excellent point that I didn’t consider: given that Kennedy was a very public supporter of intrinsic evil, and given the necessity of repentance before absolution of that sin, why didn’t the Cardinal take the opportunity of making it publicly clear that Kennedy retracted his support of abortion? It’s not as if he would be revealing someone’s sins that weren’t already known to all of America. What, he didn’t want to embarass abortion-lovers by stating that Kennedy had a change of heart?
I recall in the biography of Francis of Assisi that the church bigwheels were ... decadent. I gather it would be futile to convince O’Malley of much.
Francis knew that “if you cannot convince a man to skip lunch, you won’t persuade him in other matters.”
“... he did not publically support Catholic teaching and advocacy on behalf of the unborn.”
O’Malley is lying here.
Kennedy publicly OPPOSED “Catholic teaching and advocacy on behalf of the unborn.” And he publicly slandered those who did “support Catholic teaching and advocacy on behalf of the unborn.”
“Pray for those who persecute you” has been changed to “publicly honor the one who persecutes those who follow the Gospel.”
As I pointed out in an earlier post, had Kennedy made such a retraction/penance/repentance, the life that Kennedy had just repented of (i.e. his previous four decades in the Senate) would not have been in celebration at the funeral. That his previous four decades in the Senate were the focus, is clear evidence that Kennedy made no such retraction/penance/repentance.
O’Malley like so many of our illustrious and courageous bishops misses the point. It is IRRELEVANT to Kenndedy’s funeral whether or not he was repentent before his death and confessed his sins. That is a PRIVATE affair. What disqualifies him from a PUBLIC funeral is the fact that Kennedy was a prominent (in some people’s eyes) PUBLIC figure and because he was a PUBLIC figure, his being a so-called Catholic and advancing PUBLIC support for abortion (a heinous sin in the Catholic Church) caused a PUBLIC scandal and a scandal within the Church itself. It was these PUBLIC positions on abortion that REQUIRED Kennedy to make a PUBLIC declaration of disavowing his PUBLIC position before he would warrant a PUBLIC funeral. Please, someone get this message to O’Malley before he plans the funerals for Biden and Pelosi.
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