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Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Pope and the Senator -- is there more to the story?

In another move to sanctify Senator Ted Kennedy, excerpts from the Senator's letter to Pope Benedict and a reply from the Vatican were read graveside in Arlington Cemetery by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a Kennedy family friend. Friend indeed, After the 2007 Red Mass in D.C. McCarrick motioned to Kennedy and the two recessed together down the aisle, the liberal senator and the liberal cardinal, dare I say both cafeteria Catholics? Pro-abortion Catholic politicians were always welcomed to receive Communion sacrilegiously in Washington, D.C. under Cardinal McCarrick as they are still under his successor, Archbishop Donald Wuerl. Some things never change.

McCarrick's graveside performance reminds me of another Vatican letter, one he downplayed and concealed from the American bishops in 2004 because he disagreed with its contents. That letter too was from the pope, when he was still known as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. And it also relates to the Kennedy drama since it unequivocally stated that pro-abortion politicians, in accordance with Canon Law 915, should not present themselves for or be given Communion. Cardinal Ratzinger wrote at the time:
5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

6. When "these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible," and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, "the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it" (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration "Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics" [2002], nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgement on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.


Now with regard to the current papal letter, we have no way of knowing whether Cardinal McCarrick repeated his 2004 performance and concealed portions of the pope's letter. Even those parts read offer little more than a promise of prayers and encouragement to seek God's will, good advice for any Catholic facing death. Was there more?

This week has been a teachable moment. Unfortunately, those with he greatest obligation to teach the truth, have chosen instead politically correct silence and promotion of worldly respect for a man who was little more than a celebrity because of his name, his siblings, and his fortune. Despite all the nonsense about Ted Kennedy's greatness, the only "great" impact he had was in advancing the culture of death and the enemies of the Church. Cardinal O'Malley could have shown courage in gentleness by calling for a private family funeral. Perhaps the dynasty would have rebelled at such a humble display and gone elsewhere. Many of them are elsewhere already in rebellion against the faith. Maria Shriver made it clear a few months ago that she's a cafeteria Catholic and, in fact, appears to revel in the label. Claiming to be "Catholics in good standing" while opposing key doctrines of the Church seems to be a Kennedy dogma.

In view of the fact that those with authority to teach are failing to do it, the laity must once again, speak the truth. It is charitable to do so. Hell is forever and those who think God is captive to their opinion of themselves need to read the parable of the pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:9-14). Kennedy's letter to Pope Benedict sounded very much like the pharisee patting himself on the back for all his good works. But, Jesus tells us, it was the repentant publican who went home from the temple justified. Cardinal O'Malley lost a golden opportunity to teach his flock about the importance of repentance and final perseverance. Instead, he fostered the belief, common among most people these days, that no matter what we do here on earth our sugar daddy in the sky will welcome us to Candyland on the last day. That fairy tale could not be further from the truth.

Teddy, We Knew Ye Well

Scandal Time

Human Life International's Statement on the Passing of Senator Edward Kennedy

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna be sick.

Fra Giles Mary Christopher said...

You hit on something very important here. The Franciscan movement was a Lay movement. It wasn't until some time later on that the clergy wrestled the Order away from Francis and laxity reigned supreme!

Today, once again, I see the Catholic laity rising up out of the ashes of sin and laxist attitudes to lead our Church back to the truth of the Gospel.

Ray Schneider said...

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would come as the Spirit of Truth and reside with his Church always ... He didn't say that He would limit His activities to the clergy and judging from the record He hasn't. The current batch seems much more interested, by and large, in their perks than in their vocations.

G said...

From the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts:
***PLEASE READ THE LAST PARAGRAPH**

'The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today decried the scandal which occurred this morning at Boston's most historic Catholic shrine — the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, known as 'Mission Church' — where a Mass of Christian Burial was used to 'celebrate the life' of one of America's most notorious opponents of Catholic morality, the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Senator Kennedy fought for more than three decades to keep the killing of pre-born children legal and unrestricted in the United States. Surgical abortion has claimed more than 51 million human lives since 1973. The Catholic religion defines abortion as an 'abominable crime.'

'President Obama delivered the eulogy, in which he alluded to Kennedy's support for gay rights. One of the Prayers of the Faithful was a petition to end divisions 'between gays and straights.'

'Ecclesial participants included the Rev. Raymond Collins, rector of the Basilica; the Rev. Mark Hession, Kennedy's parish priest from Our Lady of Victories Church in Centerville on Cape Cod; the Rev. J. Donald Monan, chancellor of Boston College; and Sean Cardinal O'Malley, archbishop of Boston, who thanked President Obama for his words and his presence. Father Hession and Cardinal O'Malley suggested that the late senator had found eternal salvation.

'The Catholic Action League called the event 'a tragic example of the Church's willingness to surrender to the culture, and serve Caesar rather than Christ.'

'Catholic Action League executive director C. J. Doyle stated: 'Senator Kennedy supported legal abortion, partial-birth abortion, the public funding of Medicaid abortions, embryonic stem cell research, birth control, federal family planning programs, and so-called emergency contraception. He defended Roe v. Wade, endorsed the proposed Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), and opposed both the Human Life Amendment and the Hyde Amendment. Kennedy maintained a 100 percent rating from both NARAL and Planned Parenthood. In 1993, he received the Kenneth Edelin Award from Planned Parenthood, and in 2000 received the Champions of Choice Award from NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts at the hands of the same Dr. Kenneth Edelin, the infamous abortionist.'

'During his 1994 reelection campaign, Kennedy said, 'I wear as a badge of honor my opposition to the anti-choicers.' His successful obstruction of the nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987 effectively prevented the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Beyond his specific positions on human life issues, Senator Kennedy, along with the late Congressman Robert Drinan, provided the cover and the example for two generations of Catholic politicians to defect from Church teaching on the sanctity of innocent human life.'

'No rational person can reasonably be expected to take seriously Catholic opposition to abortion when a champion of the culture of death, who repeatedly betrayed the Faith of his baptism, is lauded and extolled by priests and prelates in a Marian basilica. This morning's spectacle is evidence of the corruption which pervades the Catholic Church in the United States. The right to life will never be recognized by secular society if it is not first vindicated and consistently upheld within the institutions of the Church itself.'


© Matt C. Abbott

Fra Giles Mary Christopher said...

Thank you, Ray!

God has kindly and undeservedly blessed me with His healing touch, especially for people with terminal cancer.

I was told by a priest that I could not be used in his congregation to pray over people because I had not attended some "school for intercessory prayer" somewhere in Florida!

"School" for me is when you let your nose hit the dirt before our Almighty and Merciful Eucharistic Lord!

Jean-Therese Delacroix said...

I agree with you here. But what do you think about how many liturgical abuses that were in the Mass (to check it out, go to this link: http://saacdelcroix.blogspot.com)? And that is even more than just having the possibility of pro-abort Catholics like Biden (and maybe even a few non-Catholics like the Clintons) take Communion?

Jean-Therese Delacroix said...

Oh, sorry about that, the link is broken. Here's that link again: http://saacdelacroix.blogspot.com. Whoops!