Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
While reaction to the Aug. 25 death of Sen. Edward Kennedy is ranging from hero-worship to condemnation, it is also proving to be a divisive event in the lives of Americans.
Criticism is already raging over the fact that President Barack Obama will once again be given a “Catholic stage” at the Senator’s funeral tomorrow by being allowed to eulogize him during the funeral Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in Boston. And within hours of his death, his colleagues on Capital Hill were already using his death as a new way to hopefully pass the pro-abortion health care reform he so desperately wanted.
However, faithful Catholics are hopeful about signs that the Senator may have repented of his pro-abortion beliefs toward the end of his life. The New York Times reported that in his later moments, the Senator began attending daily Mass, prayed often, and called for Monsignor Patrick Tarrant moments before his death on Tuesday evening.
Msgr. Tarrant later told the local news that the family was gathered around him when he died, and that he “expressed to his family that he did want to go. He did want to go to heaven. He was ready to go.”
Meanwhile, questions are being quietly raised about why the Pope has thus far remained silent about the Senator’s death. This reaction is especially intriguing since President Obama’s July 10 meeting in which he passed along a personal letter from Kennedy to the Pope, the contents of which were never revealed.
The only reaction from Rome thus far was in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. The article reported Kennedy’s death, praised him for his work on civil rights and fighting poverty, but noted that his record was marred by his pro-abortion stance.
Others were not so guarded in their criticism. Judie Brown, co-founder of the American Life League, lamented how the Senator abandonment of his Catholic faith in 1971 when presidential aspirations found it more expedient to switch from being pro-life to pro-abortion.
“By breaking faith, Kennedy set a catastrophic precedent for ‘Catholic’ public officials to publicly dissent from fundamental Church teachings while continuing to identify themselves as Catholics,” Brown said in a statement.
”As Senator Edward Kennedy’s death provides a platform for others to applaud him as a historic figure, we mourn the loss of only God knows how many preborn children –lives snuffed out by this man’s advocacy of abortion. God have mercy on his soul.”
If the Senator did indeed repent at the end of his life, Brown is calling for Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley to let the public know before subjecting them to the scandal of a public Mass at the Basilica with a pro-abortion president being permitted to eulogize him.
“Senator Edward Kennedy spent the past 30 years doing all he could to advocate and support the act of procured abortion – including his divorce, remarriage, et cetera — and yet he continued to call himself Catholic,” stated Brown. “These are public matters, not private.”
“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? The truth does not change because of the respect the world is paying to this man. . . If this funeral Mass proceeds as planned, Sen. Edward Kennedy will have spit one more time on Christ, this time from a casket.”
© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace® http://www.womenofgrace.com