Catholic comments on Ted Kennedy, pro and con

August 27, 2009

Much of the Roman Catholic commentary on the passing this week of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy — who was a practicing Catholic — has applauded his record on civil rights, immigration reform and economic justice but deplored his support for abortion rights. Kennedy died on Tuesday at the age of 77.

(PHOTO: A photo of Senator Edward M. Kennedy sits at the entrance to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston. REUTERS/Adam Hunger)

KENNEDY/

The Catholic News Agency for example ran a report saying “Ted Kennedy leaves mixed Catholic legacy,” noting clerical discomfort with his support for the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that granted U.S. women a constitutional right to an abortion and related issues.

As a Catholic, though he worked hard for the poor, he was criticized by bishops and pro-life leaders for supporting Roe v. Wade, the use of fetal tissue in experiments and for voting against a ban on partial-birth abortion,” the report said.

The line from the Vatican was very much in this vein. In its article about Kennedy’s death, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano praised him for his battles in favor of immigrant rights, gun control and higher minimum wages, but regretted his “unfortunate” support of abortion.

Catholics United, a progressive Catholic organization that supports liberal economic causes and is mobilizing support for President Barack Obama’s healthcare drive, praised Kennedy’s battles on the healthcare and poverty fronts, saying: “Senator Kennedy’s legendary advocacy for justice and the common good – on issues such as health care, immigration, community service, and poverty – spanned more than four decades and touched millions.”

The American Catholic has put together a compilation of reaction from around the Catholic world that you can see here. 

Trolling through there you can find one blogger who said: “Senator Kennedy made the protection of abortion his business. So, will the Catholic Church scandalize its faithful by the pretense that Kennedy was a “Catholic in good standing” and honor him with a funeral Mass?” That blog named several mobsters who had been denied Catholic funeral masses because of their unsavory lives.

U.S. Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Joe Biden, often face scrutiny and criticism from some of their fellow Catholics. But their commitment to liberal economic and related causes often gels with Catholic social thinking — a point underscored by much of the praise that has come Kennedy’s way this week, even from those within the faith’s fold who took strong exception to his support for abortion rights.

Opposition to abortion rights has brought conservative Catholics and evangelicals together inrecent decades, often under the roof of the Republican Party. But the reaction to Kennedy’s death suggests that there may be some limits in the long run to this political alliance.

49 comments

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May God have mercy on his soul.

Posted by norma | Report as abusive

A great man, no doubt, but, he should not be granted a Catholic funeral because of his views on abortion. The Roman Catholic Church has rules, and if one doesn’t agree with them and instead stubbornly contravenes them as he did, with full knowledge of their inherent wrongness, they are barred from being granted the same entitlements as those who follow and abide by them.

Posted by Francis | Report as abusive

This article is crap. There is no compromise for his support for killing children and the true faith. Anyone that was willing to accept him because he tried to stop law abiding citizens from having guns so they need to overlook his child killing ways is not true to the faith. This article is the same old media bias crap that we get everywhere else. Today Ted is answering to GOD on his killing of children as well as his killing of Mary Jo. Lets quit putting him on a pedistal when he should be denied a catholic burial.

Posted by True Catholic | Report as abusive

The position a Catholic may hold on social issues like health care, immigration, community service, and poverty – are unlike positions a Catholic may hold on issues like abortion. Abortion is a non-negotiable issue for Catholics, it is a binary questions (yes or no,) and there is simply no debate to be had. You either believe in Catholicism – or you don’t. Yes, you may identify yourself as a “practicing Catholic” who believes in a woman’s right to have her child killed in the womb… just as you may identify yourself as a “practicing Catholic” who believes that Jesus Christ never existed. Either way – you have an integrity problem. Catholics are literally defined by what they believe. Ted Kennedy was not a “practicing Catholic” – because he did not practice Catholicism. If he did, he would have formed his conscious to the truth of God – not his party’s position on abortion.We pray for Ted Kennedy – we are grateful for the good he (and others like him) did on this earth. But we will never forget the legacy and scandal that Catholics like Ted Kennedy have burdened the faithful with. The scandal that it is “okay” to be Catholic and pro-abortion-choice – like it is “okay” to be Catholic and pro-slavery-choice, or pro-spousal-abuse-choice, or pro-child-molestation-choice. That is the type of scandal that sews confusion, destruction (particularly of human life,) and leads souls to hell.God loves Ted Kennedy very much. To God, he is a beautiful child that he has loved since the moment he was first conceived. And God wants all sinners to be with Him in heaven. But that does not mean that all sinners GO to heaven – their destination is in their own hands. So, pray for Ted Kennedy – perhaps if God had mercy on him and supplied him with the grace he needed to come to terms with his wrongdoing in his final moments – he will see God face to face.I pray that he will.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

It is very hard to be a Roman Catholic, and see what ourcatholic church has come to. It seem in so many area turning in the American Catholic Church which is a cafeteriastyle church. Praise the Lord, we have a few Bishop standingup for the Roman Catholic Church following the POPE. But in the end what has happen to Ted Kenndey at the moment of death is between him and GOD. I read a statement from one of our dear saints,” Jesus was said to have ask Her why she was not praying for a certain soul, her reply was, that person commit suicide, it is to late, OUR LORD REPLY YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPEN BETWEEN THE BRIDGE AND THE WATER. So we do not know what happen with Kenndey. But I still do pray our Bishop would stand up and be counted, one can not be Catholic and still promote ABORTION!

Posted by EVE | Report as abusive

I am absolutely horrified that a person like Ted Kennedy is being allowed a Catholic funeral mass. He, along with other politicians such as Nancy Pelosi, have mocked the church and its teachings for years and should have been excommunicated years ago. He left a young woman to die, talking care of only himself and his career. He was a womanizer, a cheat, and is divorced and remarried, which in the eyes of the church is not legal and considered adultery. How then, can he be allowed the honor of a chuch funeral. I thought the church had higher standards, instead the liberal Boston bishops folded to money and the Kennedy name. They should be ashamed of themselves!!!

Posted by juniegirl | Report as abusive

I do not know what the regulations the Roman Catholic Church are regarding allowing a Catholic a catholic funeral or not, but I do know that Kennedy supported Roe v Wade unequivically and is thus indirectly responsible for the killing of million upon millions of aborted children who were aborted during the 26 plus years he was in the Senate. As a powerful voice in the Senate and the Democratic Party for so many years, perhaps he might have helped overtun Roe v Wade if he had not supported abortion so radically and might have actually been faithful to the Church’s teachings. May God have mercy on his soul for Kennedy knew the position of the Church on abortion but continued to publically support the Culture of Death in the United States.

Posted by Sue | Report as abusive

Wow, I am astonished by the lack of intelligence on this blog. You want to banish someone from the catholic church for their opinion? doesn’t christ forgive all, or is that santa, or maybe the easter bunny. Sorry I just googled it and it is the tooth fairy that forgives all.

Posted by tomd | Report as abusive

Unless Teddy had a last minute conversion, he is headed to hell. He never publicly defended his so called catholic faith and in fact violently opposed church teachings through legislation he introduced and supported. May God have mercy on his soul.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

Kennedy was a man whose various appetites exceeded his moral intelligence.

Posted by Remy | Report as abusive

Pro-murdering of the innocents. Pro-corruption of traditional marriage. Googdluck on Judgment.

Posted by Alberto | Report as abusive

I have no doubt that Ted asked for forgiveness for all his sins since he certainly had enough time to do so. God accepts repentance even if it is only given in the shadow of death as long as it is sincere. The trouble is how sincere can one be who lived his life outside the tenets of the church he purported to honor but did not respect? How many souls did he contaminate who looked up to him, even in his own family? Only God can judge, but we can do ourselves great good to pray for fallen souls, including Ted Kennedy.

Posted by Vin | Report as abusive

I am Catholic. I believe that Senator Kennedy’s position on abortion must be examined. What were his reasons for supporting it? Did he ever answer or give explanation to that direct question to the obvious conflict? Only God can examine a man’s heart. If he were simply misguided, I would not have any difficulty in according him a Mass of Christian Burial. Did he ever seek reconciliation on this issue? If he simply thought the Church was simply wrong and that abortion, particularly late term abortion, was ok, then I agonize for all who try to live their faith, particularly on the central foundational issues.Robert E. ReppWest Linn, OR

Posted by Robert E. Repp | Report as abusive

The hypocrisy of the catholic church is why I am no longera catholic after fifty years. I only wish I had awakenedearlier.

We cannot judge. Let’s hope that Kennedy went to confession before he died. God is the judge and all we can do is pray for his soul.

Posted by Terie | Report as abusive

Gald I have my own life to be responsible for and not teddys. wish him well regardless of what a poor example he set. If he is accorded a funeral mass it should be private for he failed miserably in publicly living his faith. We should all mourn his poor example and do our best to live our faith in accord with the churches teachings. As for justice thankfully God is a God of mercy too. God bless each of you.

Posted by jim | Report as abusive

Ted Kennedy has by now already had the Eternal Sentence passed upon him by the only One whose judgement really matters. I can only hope that he underwent a most sincere repentance before he breathed his last as the All-Merciful God refuses no one who makes an appeal to His Divine Mercy.

Unfortunately, Teddy should have a funeral at the local abortuary. Enough said!

Posted by le pelerin | Report as abusive

Ted KennedyTed Kennedy was “Catholic” in name only. He chose to stand up for his political electability – not his faith. His Pro life stance in 1971 (see article below) turned to PRO DEATH when his party went far left. Life is 1st, social justice is 2nd according to The Church.http://www.lifenews.com/state4373 .html“Kennedy’s abortion advocacy was so pervasive prior to his death that the Senate government-run health care bill that bears his name specifically allows abortion funding and mandates that Planned Parenthood abortion centers be included.But Kennedy’s position wasn’t always in line with abortion advocacy groups.He is one of many formerly pro-life Democrats who changed with the political winds as the party moved from one influenced by pro-life southern Democrats and pro-life Catholics to one dominated by the pro-abortion feminist groups like NARAL and Emily’s List.Kennedy displayed an eloquent pro-life position in 1971, prior to Roe v. Wade, when he wrote a letter to Catholic League member Tom Dennelly.“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. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized—the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old,” he wrote.”“On the question of the individual’s freedom of choice there are easily available birth control methods and information which women may employ to prevent or postpone pregnancy. But once life has begun, no matter at what stage of growth, it is my belief that termination should not be decided merely by desire,” he added.“When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception,” he concluded.In 2005, Catholic League president William Donohue talked about Kennedy’s transformation on abortion.”Sadly for him, history will look back at this era and recognize that he didn’t care enough about human beings to take responsibility for children from the very moment of conception,” he said.Kennedy’s legacy could be one celebrated by the majority of Americans who take a pro-life view on abortion. But, like other pro-life Democrats who lost their way over the years, he will be remembered as a turncoat who put politics over principle.Other prominent pro-life Democrats who eventually abandoned the courage of their convictions include former president Bill Clinton, current Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, and “common ground” congressman Tim Ryan.

Posted by Lisa | Report as abusive

we cannot judge him. only our Heavenly Father can do that. i have never been a fan of the kennedy family. in fact, i find them loathsome but i always remember one thing. God is love. let us pray for ted kennedy instead of condamning him.

Posted by gabe | Report as abusive

Ted supported the murder odf millions of innocent babies, the terrible use of their body tissue, and partial birth abortion. I wonder, had he supported slavery, would we still call him ‘Catholic’. A doubtful annulment (money talks), adultery, and leaving a young woman to drown to death seem pretty bad to me. While I wish Hell upon nobody, I feel he may have quite a lot to answer for.

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

You can not be ‘progressive’ or ‘liberal’ and Catholic. Ted Kennedy – unless he sincerely repented of his sins which included supporting abortion,stem cell issues, partial birth abortion (infanticide)and I have read also supporting gay marriage – can not be allowed a Catholic funeral or requiem mass as canon law forbids it because he would have died an impenitent evil-doer who by his own actions,i.e. supporting the above, excommunicated himself from the Catholic Church.

Posted by Brian Gregory | Report as abusive

Ted Kennedy was not a practicing Catholic, he was a “cafeteria Catholic”. An authentic Roman Catholic cannot saction abortion nor vote for anyone, that is in a position to further the cause, for such a horrific act.Besides, Ted was an influential and powerful senator and could have stopped this Bad Law, Roe v. Wade, from ever happening.The reality is that a “cafeteria Catholic” excommunicates him/her self and is a scandal. He was on his second wife. Not likely that he had an “authentic annulment, which a scandal for the Roman Catholic Church. Ted never disavowed condoning abortion in “public”. Unless, the news failed to report it. As for the Sacrificial Mass burial, for Ted Kennedy, that is a mystery?How can a man or woman that claims to be a practicing Roman Catholic, when in fact, he/she is a “cafeteria Catholic”; with such a contradiction, rest in peace?

Posted by Margaret | Report as abusive

Reallity check! Truth is Love, to allow for anything else is leading to slow death.

Posted by Margaret | Report as abusive

Take a single mother and her child(ren) into your home. Take a developmentally disabled person into your home. Or pay the $200.00/day it costs the government to take care of such unwanted individuals. Most of all, consider that your Catholic faith is gift from Almighty God and not something that can be legislated. The government does not force any woman to have an abortion. To choose rightly, such a woman needs your Catholic faith. Share your faith with actions, not words. Talk is very cheap.

Posted by thomas | Report as abusive

Kennedy to Have Funeral Mass in Catholic ChurchNo comment from Vatican newspaper or Press Office.On Saturday morning, a funeral Mass for the late senator will take place at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica — commonly known as the Mission Church — in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston according toPresident Obama will deliver the eulogy at Sen. Ted Kennedy’s funeral Saturday at a Boston church.A private family Mass will take place in the senator’s home in Hyannis Port Thursday. The Kennedy family plans to travel by motorcade with his body from their compound to the library in Boston following the Mass. The facility will be open to the public for certain periods on both days while Kennedy lies in repose. The Kennedys have planned a private memorial service at the library for Friday night, according to a schedule of events released by Kennedy’s Senate office.On Saturday morning, a funeral Mass for the late senator will take place at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica — commonly known as the Mission Church — in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston…Sources say the funeral will be held in Boston before a burial at Arlington — a symbolic resting place.FOXNews.com (August 26, 2009).THE Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has paid homage to the late US Senator Edward Kennedy but criticized his championing of abortion rights.The liberal senator “was constantly in the front line in battles such as the protection of immigrants, gun control, (and) minimum wage for the poorest. But unfortunately there were positions on his part in favour of abortion”, the paper wrote today.Kennedy, who died yesterday aged 77, “put his signature to many laws that — some say — redesigned contemporary America”, the paper said.Kennedy was Catholic but began backing women’s reproductive rights in the mid-1970s.Couriermail.com.au (August 27, 2009)The Vatican newspaper has not commented on how a pro abortion Catholic can have a public funeral Mass in the Catholic Church.Kennedy was in manifest mortal sin. Assuming he had gone for Confession he still had not made public amends. There was no change in his public policy on abortion. This is scandal a grave sin.A Catholic living in public scandal is oriented to Hell at the time of death. This is the case of Ted Kennedy.Canon 916 of the Code of Canon Law states: “A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible (see also Canon 1335).”Canon Law 916 says that the priest and Archbishop in Boston who were conscious that Ted Kennedy was in grave sin and should not have been giving him the Eucharist – also they should have not celebrated Holy Mass. ‘A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass’. (Canon 916) It is sacrilegious cooperation to give the Eucharist during Mass to someone in manifest mortal sin.According to Judy Brown President of the American Life League priests are in mortal sin who gives the Eucharist knowingly and freely to pro abortion politicians.Cardinal Sean O’Malley the Archbishop of Boston is now also permitting the Kennedy family to have the funeral Mass in a Catholic Church.”For mortal sin exists also when a person knowingly and willingly, for whatever reason, chooses something gravely disordered. In fact, such a choice already includes contempt for the divine law, a rejection of God’s love for humanity and the whole of creation: the person turns away from God and loses charity.…”With the whole tradition of the Church, we call mortal sin the act by which man freely and consciously rejects God, his law, the covenant of love that God offers, preferring to turn in on himself or to some created and finite reality, something contrary to the divine will (conversio ad creaturam). This can occur in a direct and formal way, in the sins of idolatry, apostasy and atheism; or in an equivalent way, as in every act of disobedience to God’s commandments in a grave matter”.-Veritatis Splendor N.70, Pope John Paul II (1993)There are no reasons to permit the Archbishop of Boston to allow the funeral Mass. There are no reasons by which he can justify mortal sin.Consequently, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “there are certain specific kinds of behaviour that are always wrong to choose, because choosing them involves a disorder of the will, that is, a moral evil”.127 And Saint Thomas observes that “it often happens that man acts with a good intention, but without spiritual gain, because he lacks a good will. Let us say that someone robs in order to feed the poor: in this case, even though the intention is good, the uprightness of the will is lacking. Consequently, no evil done with a good intention can be excused. ‘There are those who say: And why not do evil that good may come? Their condemnation is just’ (Rom 3:8)”.-Veritatis Splendor N.78With regard to intrinsically evil acts, and in reference to contraceptive practices whereby the conjugal act is intentionally rendered infertile, Pope Paul VI teaches: “Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good, it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (cf. Rom 3:8) — in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general”. -Veritatis Splendor 80.81. In teaching the existence of intrinsically evil acts, the Church accepts the teaching of Sacred Scripture. The Apostle Paul emphatically states: “Do not be deceived: neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the Kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9-10). –Veritatis Splendor”As for acts which are themselves sins (cum iam opera ipsa peccata sunt), Saint Augustine writes, like theft, fornication, blasphemy, who would dare affirm that, by doing them for good motives (causis bonis), they would no longer be sins, or, what is even more absurd, that they would be sins that are justified?”.Consequently, circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act “subjectively” good or defensible as a choice. – Veritatis Splendor 81The Church has always taught that one may never choose kinds of behaviour prohibited by the moral commandments expressed in negative form in the Old and New Testaments. As we have seen, Jesus himself reaffirms that these prohibitions allow no exceptions: “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments… You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness” (Mt 19:17-18).-Veritatis Splendor 52Ted Kennedy was in mortal sin and even if had prayed and received the Eucharist regularly he was oriented to Hell. He had lost Sanctifying Grace. Even if he had received the Sacrament of Reconciliation he needed to publically reject the scandal-his support for mortal sin (abortion).The Church has always taught that one may never choose kinds of behaviour prohibited by the moral commandments expressed in negative form in the Old and New Testaments. As we have seen, Jesus himself reaffirms that these prohibitions allow no exceptions: “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments… You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness” (Mt 19:17-18). –Veritatis Splendor 68Protestant liberal theology says that we cannot judge the intentions of the sinner. Catholic teaching is that the outward action indicates the interior motive.Unlike Protestant theology for Catholics the exceptions do not make the rule.Catholics believe that the sole moral authority has been given by Jesus only to the Catholic Church. It is only the Catholic Church which can interpret objective reality.Objective reality according to the Church is that Ted Kennedy’s soul was marked with mortal sin and with death in that state he was oriented to Hell.Here is a description of the place where Ted Kennedy was oriented to. The quotation is from Catholic First (online)A long time after the Lord had granted me many of the favours which I have described, together with other very great ones, I was at prayer one day when suddenly, without knowing how, I found myself, as I thought, plunged right into hell. I realized that it was the Lord’s will that I should see the place which the devils had prepared for me there and which I had merited for my sins. This happened in the briefest space of time, but, even if I were to live for many years, I believe it would be impossible for me to forget it. The entrance, I thought, resembled a very long, narrow passage, like a furnace, very low, dark and closely confined; the ground seemed to be full of water which looked like filthy, evil-smelling mud, and in it were many wicked-looking reptiles. At the end there was a hollow place scooped out of a wall, like a cupboard, and it was here that I found myself in close confinement. But the sight of all this was pleasant by comparison with what I felt there. What I have said is in no way an exaggeration.My feelings, I think, could not possibly be exaggerated, nor can anyone understand them. I felt a fire within my soul the nature of which I am utterly incapable of describing. My bodily sufferings were so intolerable that, though in my life I have endured the severest sufferings of this kind — the worst it is possible to endure, the doctors say, such as the shrinking of the nerves during my paralysis[18] and many and divers more, some of them, as I have said, caused by the devil — none of them is of the smallest account by comparison with what I felt then, to say nothing of the knowledge that they would be endless and never-ceasing. And even these are nothing by comparison with the agony of my soul, an oppression, a suffocation and an affliction so deeply felt, and accompanied by such hopeless and distressing misery, that I cannot too forcibly describe it. To say that it is as if the soul were continually being torn from the body is very little, for that would mean that one’s life was being taken by another; whereas in this case it is the soul itself that is tearing itself to pieces. The fact is that I cannot find words to describe that interior fire and that despair, which is greater than the most grievous tortures and pains. I could not see who was the cause of them, but I felt, I think, as if I were being both burned and dismembered; and I repeat that that interior fire and despair are the worst things of all.In that pestilential spot, where I was quite powerless to hope for comfort, it was impossible to sit or lie, for there was no room to do so. I had been put in this place which looked like a hole in the wall, and those very walls, so terrible to the sight, bore down upon me and completely stifled me. There was no light and everything was in the blackest darkness. I do not understand how this can be, but, although there was no light, it was possible to see everything the sight of which can cause affliction. At that time it was not the Lord’s will that I should see more of hell itself, but I have since seen another vision of frightful things, which are the punishment of certain vices. To look at, they seemed to me much more dreadful; but, as I felt no pain, they caused me less fear. In the earlier vision the Lord was pleased that I should really feel those torments and that affliction of spirit, just as if my body had been suffering them. I do not know how it was, but I realized quite clearly that it was a great favour and that it was the Lord’s will that I should see with my own eyes the place from which His mercy had delivered me. It is nothing to read a description of it, or to think of different kinds of torture (as I have sometimes done, though rarely, as my soul made little progress by the road of fear): of how the devils tear the flesh with their pincers or of the various other tortures that I have read about — none of these are anything by comparison with this affliction, which is quite another matter. In fact, it is like a picture set against reality, and any burning on earth is a small matter compared with that fire.I was terrified by all this, and, though it happened nearly six years ago, I still am as I write: even as I sit here, fear seems to be depriving my body of its natural warmth. I never recall any time when I have been suffering trials or pains and when everything that we can suffer on earth has seemed to me of the slightest importance by comparison with this; so, in a way, I think we complain without reason. I repeat, then, that this vision was one of the most signal favours which the Lord has bestowed upon me: it has been of the greatest benefit to me, both in taking from me all fear of the tribulations and disappointments of this life and also in strengthening me to suffer them and to give thanks to the Lord, Who, as I now believe, has delivered me from such terrible and never-ending torments.Since that time, as I say, everything has seemed light to me by comparison with a single moment of such suffering as I had to bear during that vision. I am shocked at myself when I think that, after having so often read books which give some idea of the pains of hell, I was neither afraid of them nor rated them at what they are. What could I have been thinking of? How could anything give me satisfaction which was driving me to so awful a place? Blessed be Thou, my God, for ever! How plain it has become that Thou didst love me, much more than I love myself! How often, Lord, didst Thou deliver me from that gloomy prison and how I would make straight for it again, in face of Thy will!This vision, too, was the cause of the very deep distress which I experience because of the great number of souls who are bringing damnation upon themselves — especially of those Lutherans, for they were made members of the Church through baptism. It also inspired me with fervent impulses for the good of souls: for I really believe that, to deliver a single one of them from such dreadful tortures, I would willingly die many deaths. After all, if we see anyone on earth who is especially dear to us suffering great trial or pain, our very nature seems to move us to compassion, and if his sufferings are severe they oppress us too. Who, then, could bear to look upon a soul’s endless sufferings in that most terrible trial of all? No heart could possibly endure it without great affliction. For even earthly suffering, which after all, as we know, has a limit and will end with death, moves us to deep compassion. And that other suffering has no limit: I do not know how we can look on so calmly and see the devil carrying off as many souls as he does daily.This also makes me wish that in so urgent a matter we were not ourselves satisfied with anything short of doing all that we can. Let us leave nothing undone; and to this end may the Lord be pleased to grant us His grace. I recall that, wicked creature though I was, I used to take some trouble to serve God and refrain from doing certain things which I see tolerated and considered quite legitimate in the world; that I had serious illnesses, and bore them with great patience, which the Lord bestowed on me; that I was not given to murmuring or speaking ill of anyone, nor, I think, could I ever have wished anyone ill; that I was not covetous and never remember having been envious in such a way as grievously to offend the Lord; and that I abstained from certain other faults, and, despicable though I was, lived in the most constant fear of God. And yet look at the place where the devils had prepared a lodging for me! It is true, I think, that my faults had merited a much heavier punishment; but none the less, I repeat, the torture was terrible, and it is a perilous thing for a soul to indulge in its own pleasure or to be placid and contented when at every step it is falling into mortal sin. For the love of God, let us keep free from occasions of sin and the Lord will help us as He has helped me. May it please His Majesty not to let me out of His hand lest I fall once more, now that I have seen the place to which that would lead me. May the Lord forbid this, for His Majesty’s sake. Amen.After I had seen this vision, and other great things and secrets which, being what He is, the Lord was pleased to show me, concerning the bliss reserved for the good and the affliction for the wicked, I desired to find some way and means of doing penance for all my evil deeds and of becoming in some degree worthy to gain so great a blessing…-St.Teresa of Avila, Life. Chapter 32.Many of us have prayed for Ted Kennedy over the years. We remember his mother Rose who was an exemplary Catholic by her life and writings which were an inspiration for Catholics all over the world.It is now too late to say may God have mercy on him, since the time of mercy is over. It is when one is alive on earth only that the mercy of God is available, says St. Faustina Kowalski. The mercy of God is available for those who ask for it. We hope Ted Kennedy asked for it.Now is the time of God’s Justice for Ted Kennedy indicates says St. Faustina Kowalski.By the time the funeral Mass is being held his Particular Judgment would long be over and his eternal place decided

Posted by Lionel Andrades | Report as abusive

EXCELLENT REPORTING AND TRUTHFUL…MY COMPLIMENTS ARE IN ORDER.TED GAUVIN OSJ/SOMA Servant of Marywww.ourladyofsorrow.org

[...] FaithWorld Blog Archive Catholic comments on Ted Kennedy, pro and con | Blogs | The Vatican newspaper has not commented on how a pro abortion Catholic can have a public funeral Mass in the Catholic Church. Kennedy was in manifest mortal sin. Assuming he had gone for Confession he still had not made public amends. There was no change in his public policy on abortion. This is scandal a grave sin. A Catholic living in public scandal is oriented to Hell at the time of death. This is the case of Ted Kennedy. [...]

Wow, what wonderful eulogies for the Senator Ted Kennedy by some on the forum!! No one got space in their tiny heart for the burial of the senator.Each catholic is flaunting his/her expertise as to how Ted actually was not a practicing cathlolic, the killer of milllion babies through abortion, immoral and what not. Some are bit softer and are ready to accord him a Mass of Christian Burial if Ted was misguided in his policies.It is depressing and in a different setting all these commentaters are no better than the Islamic fundamentalists they condemn. These people just lack enough opportunities.Grow up people. Sickening to say the least.

Posted by Michael Moore | Report as abusive

I’m amazed how many people who read this story have a telepathic link with the presumably most powerful force in the universe. Everyone seems to know exactly what God is thinking, how He plans on judging, and what his conclusions are. Has it ever occurred to any of you that you might be wrong? I think a little humility is in order.

Posted by kyle | Report as abusive

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, let’s 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 can’t count to four! His father, Joseph P. Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador 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, andto 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 citedfor reckless driving four times, including once when he was clocked driving90 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood with his headlightsoff after dark… Yet his Virginia driver’s 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 ofthose tests remained a “state secret” until in the 1980′s when the report was unsealed.Didn’t hear about that from the unbiased media, did we?6. On July 19, 1969, Kennedy attended a party on Chappaquiddick Island inMassachusetts . At about 11:00 PM, he borrowed his chauffeur’s keysto his Oldsmobile limousine and offered to give a ride home to Mary Jo Kopechne, acampaign 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 anda 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 theupholstered floor above her head in the upside-down car. The Kennedy family began “calling in favors”, ensuring that any inquirywould 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 didn’t call police because he was in a state of shock. It is widely assumedKennedy was drunk, and he held off calling police in hopes that his family could fix theproblem overnight. Since the accident Kennedy’s “political enemies” havereferred to him as the distinguished Senator from Chappaquiddick.He plead guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, and was given aSUSPENDED SENTENCE OF TWO MONTHS.Kopechne’s family received a small payout from the Kennedy’s insurance policy and never sued. There was later an effort to have her body exhumed and autopsied, but her family successfully fought against this incourt, and Kennedy’s family paid their attorney’s 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 everyexpansion of an increase in immigration up to and including the latest attempt to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. Not to mentionthe pious grilling he gave the last two Supreme Court nominees, as if he was the standard bearer for the nation in matters of “what is right”. 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.And let’s not forget his secret negotiations with Russia to oust Reagan from the presidency .Let’s not allow the spin doctors to make this jerk a hero — how quickly the American public forgets what his real legacy is.

Posted by crimson | Report as abusive

Should not receive a Catholic burial.

Posted by Iwannabnorma | Report as abusive

I’m amused by those who confuse right wing politics with Catholicism. It is of course easy to judge someone one one issue. How many of the right wing Catholics out there use being “pro-life” as a cloak hiding all of their other beliefs. The ala carte approach is quite interesting. I can support capital punishment, but thats ok because I’m prolife. I can support the Iraq war, because I’m prolife. I can oppose any legislation that makes abortions less necessary, because I’m prolife. I can lie about gay people and support hate crimes because I’m prolife. Mr. Kennedy was a far better Catholic than most of the people who have posted on this site. Shame on the hypocrites!

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive

“……no one got space in their heart?” Poor grammar suggests poor knowledge of a subject. Especially this one regarding Catholic positions.

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive

The whole point of being Catholic and not protestant is that one is connected to the church that Jesus founded. The reason that Jesus created the church was to ensure that people were guided ( albeit by flawed individuals) towards the truth amid confusion.Catholics believe the right to life is the most important human right of all, that respect for human life must come first. The Catholic Catechism clearly ranks murder as an issue of more importance than tax and housing policy ( though all three are important). Abortion is identified by Catholic teaching as far back as the 1st century as murder, even before Catholics were scientifically sure the unborn was human or not.For a person to shun the right to life, even to the point of supporting partial birth abortion, tax funded abortion and abortion on demand until birth, is profoundly un-catholic. True, many other Catholics have failed to protect the innocent as well but Kennedy opposed EVERY SINGLE pro life law, even reasonable middle of the road regulations that are present in even the most liberal european democracies.

Posted by John O'Shea | Report as abusive

For the head of the pre-eminent Catholic family in America, Teddy Kennedy was a great disappointment to those of us who expected him to defend the weakest and most powerless among us, unborn children. We will remember his single-handed campaign to defeat Judge Bork and the many times he bullied and intimated with bombast anyone who appeared before a committee he sat on with whom he disagreed. He was not even-handed or fair, and he used his power and influence as much to harm as he did to do good.

Posted by Jack Gentile | Report as abusive

I can only wonder how the parents of Ms. Kopechne are dealing with this media glorification of the man who was responsible for their daughter’s death. Mr. Kennedy’s family should have acknowledge Ted Kennedy’s cowardice and shown more respect for the Kopechne family by opting for a small funeral with very limited media attention.

Posted by D Dennison | Report as abusive

With all due respect to the late Sen. Kennedy, it should be noted that during his career, he rabidly opposed the Catholic Church’s positions on moral truths including abortion, same-sex “marriage,” and stem cell research. So it’s unfortunate and confusing that in his passing, he would be honored by the Cardinal/Archbishop of Boston in this manner. It’s disappointing that the Cardinal’s own blog does nothing to address this, but instead refers to Ted Kennedy’s “legacy” and how this will be carried on – does this include his legacy in supporting abortion, stem cell research and same sex marriage?For those interested in letting the Cardinal know their views, His Eminence has a bloghttp://www.cardinalseansblog.org/

Posted by jay | Report as abusive

A reply to John 0′Shea. You’re talking through your hat, John when you say Jesus founded a church. Re-read the NT more carefully!

Posted by Oilibheir Álain Christie | Report as abusive

Catholicism is not just Christianity. One must believe in the creeds and the moral teaching of the church to be a member of the church. If you do not believe in what the church teaches then you cannot believe it is guided by the holy spirit as Jesus promised it would be. Catholics have always believed that the church, though lead by flawed members, would teach the truth. Even Ted Kennedy was pro life until the mid 1970′s. Ted Kennedy clearly believed in a full Catholic ethic in 1971. Unfortunately the church IN BOSTON was a corrupt, dissenting church in the 1970′s. They opposed the vatican on many moral issues, covered up sexual abuse and sent priests to visit with the Kennedy’s in 1974 where they coaxed them to become pro choice in the public arena.Sen. Edward Kennedy, [D-Mass.], in a letter to a constituent, August 3, 1971″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. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized — the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grown old.”I share the confidence of those who feel that America is working to care for its unwanted as well as wanted children, protecting particularly those who cannot protect themselves. I also share the opinions of those who do not accept abortion as a response to our society’s problems — an inadequate welfare system, unsatisfactory job training programs, and insufficient financial support for all its citizens.Edward Kennedy’s sister Eunice stayed pro life her whole life. She never waivered on that.

Posted by John O'Shea | Report as abusive

How is it that Ted Kennedy was able to have a Catholic funeral mass when divorced Catholics are automatically excommunicated? Yet another example of money talking??

Posted by liz brendel | Report as abusive

All Catholics are against abortion. Whereas the bishops focus on making it illegal, Kennedy focused on making it unnecessary. I happen to think more lives were saved by Kennedy’s efforts than by our bishops.May you rest in peace.

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive

First off, divorced Catholics are not excommunicated. Secondly, people I know who had marriages annulled paid nothing or minimal administrative fees. May I remind Catholics that there is a difference between wanting to retain a law of the land and being a personal advocate of abortion. Pro life advocates seem to think that if abortion is criminalized, it will go away and everybody will live in tra la la land after that. Abortion will go underground and possibly there will be even more of them. If government leaders who support prochoice were denied Catholic burials, than no politican in Europe would have a Catholic burial.

Posted by W. Worth | Report as abusive

Some Catholics fail to realize that America is a country governed by laws. Christ said that people should render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. It seems to me that fundamentalist Catholics want Caesar and God to be the same in the same way that fundamentalist Muslims want Sharia to be the law of the land. I am saddened by the letter writers who so clearly represent the Publicans praying in the Temple. How mean spirited you are!

Posted by w.worth | Report as abusive

Ted Kennedy was entitled to a Catholic funeral and burial. Benny XVI even bestowed an Apostolic Blessing on Ted and his family. One’s conscience is still the highest guide, acc’d. to Catholic dogma. And none of us is a saint–not even those self-righteous ones who have posted here!

Posted by Lillian | Report as abusive

True that divorce does not = excommunication..BUT remarriage does. That’s cannon law. Unless you are a rich “catholic” that is. Been there, done that.My wife deserted me while i served overseas during viet nam…the catholic church says too bad, sorry, can’t remarry. (I did) “You cannot receive communion or rights as a catholic since you entered the first marriage without reservation or burden.”kennedy’s have a special exemption…moneyTells you something abut the church, doesn’t it.

Posted by excom chuck | Report as abusive

Just reading the many comments shows how confussed Catholics are on Church teachings. The Catholic Church is clear on its antiabortion stance. IT IS A MORTAL SIN.Kennedy was aiding and abetting the murdering of the Innocent, as are Kerry, Dodd, Biden, and many others.It is time the Church ends the hypocracy, double standards, and Sophistry,and speaks out with one clear voice to all Catholics.If one does not live by the teachings of the Catholic Church, they may be Christians, but they are not Catholics.

Posted by Ralph Cutro | Report as abusive

Christians are pro-life by anti-abortion stanceChristans are against life by pro-gun stanceConfused????Ted is perhaps too big to have space in the heart of some catholics.

Posted by michael moore | Report as abusive

tancksthis post very very helped me !Good Time

The Archdiocese of Boston is wicked and corrupt. Priests raped little boys, Mr. Bernard Law, the CEO of the Archdiocese covered up for them and shuffled them from one parish to another, and finally, the Polack Pope in Rome gave Mr. Law sanctuary and made him a citizen of the Vatican, so that he cannot be brought to justice in the United States. A criminal organization like this presumes to “excommunicate” someone?

Posted by shirtfree | Report as abusive