Poll – Should Ted Kennedy have a Catholic funeral?

August 29, 2009

kennedyOur post “Catholic comments on Ted Kennedy, pro and con” showed readers were deeply split on whether the late senator should have a Roman Catholic funeral. The naysayers argued that his support for choice on abortion and other disagreements with Church doctrine disqualify him from a religious ceremony. Those for a church funeral argued that he helped advance many causes championed by Catholic social teaching.

Those opposing a Mass of Christian Burial for Kennedy predominated, but not all readers take the time to write a comment. One-click poll questions sometimes give a different picture from comment pages. So here’s a simple question:

88 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

I was raised Roman Catholic. I am divorced. I am now an Episcopalian. It’s a simple matter of conscience: if one is not prepared to follow the membership rules of an organization, the right thing to do is to disassociate. The Catholic Church does not present an a la carte menu of doctrines for its members; officially at least, it insists on full subscription. A Mass of Christian Burial for Ted Kennedy is therefore a pretense.

Posted by Frank Spinella | Report as abusive

Many USA catholics are considered “cafeteria catholics” (choose and pick what they want to follow and what they don’t want to follow). Ted Kennedy (in my opinion) is far less. Unfortunately, our Catholic leadership continually exhibits favoritism throughout the church, usually associated with your social standing (reason why people like Ted can get an annulment while us “catholic serfs” don’t). Burial for Teddy in a Catholic church is no different. Amazing how someone could be married for many years, have three grown children and still get an annulment? The church wonders why the USA has so many cafeteria catholics – they breed them!

Posted by Joe D | Report as abusive

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God bless.

Posted by alice thomas | Report as abusive

The fact that you can express a dissent from the Catholic doctrine is what differentiates a democratic religion from the totalitarianism that some fundamentalists advocate, be they christian or muslim. It is because of totalitarians of that like that religions have lost credit. Fundamentalism dwindles religion into a mere opium of the people.

Posted by Oliver | Report as abusive

The Roman Catholic Church is above all an extension of Jesus Christ. Will we ever know the heart of any other person or is that God’s role?

Ted Kennedy’s political views that conflict with the Church’s social teachings should be condemned.

With that said, a priest was with Ted Kennedy in his final hours. I would suspect that Anointing of the Sick was administered. As faithful Catholics, should we still speculate?

Posted by John Placette | Report as abusive

Kennedy never recanted his rejection of Church teaching. In fact up to the point of his death he was trying to manipulate MA law by having influence over who would take over his senate seat. He feared the seat going empty or possibly “God-forbid” go republican. All in effort to push an abortion bill through congress in the name of health care reform. BTW, the democrats now want to add his name to this abortion legislation.

To boot, Obama the most prolific proponent of the culture of death will give his eulogy.

So far the pope has been silent on Kennedy’s passing. This speaks volumes. Only the tortuous cries of the millions of aborted babies speak louder.

One veteran official at the Vatican, of U.S. nationality, expressed the view of many conservatives about the Kennedy clan’s rapport with the Catholic Church: “Why would he even write a letter to the Pope? The Kennedys have always been defiantly in opposition to the Roman Catholic magisterium.”

“Here in Rome Ted Kennedy is nobody. He’s a legend with his own constituency,” says the Vatican official. “If he had influence in the past it was only with the Archdiocese of Boston and that eventually disappeared too.”

I refer anyone who is serious and not just willing to throw out that one liner–Judge not lest you be judged–to this article by Rev. Michael Orsi

Kennedy’s Funeral Further Damages the Church’s Credibility
(find at humanevents.com)
He concludes by saying:

In this case, a subdued funeral service should be offered for the repose of Senator Kennedy’s soul. It should be made clear that, as it is the purpose of every Catholic funeral, the Mass is being celebrated to beg God’s mercy for the deceased. But, then even this solution would be meaningless when the nation’s most pro-choice president ever is permitted to eulogize his ideological soul mate in the Church’s sanctuary. Imagine the accolades that will be lavished on Kennedy’s character and career!
The Church’s credibility has once again been undermined by the hierarchy of the Church in Boston. This scandal is bigger than the one enabled by Cardinal Law because of its bad message & long ranging implications.

I love this quote so I’ll repeat it in closing: Here in Rome Ted Kennedy is nobody. I’ll think they’ll be saying the same about him in the afterlife.

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

Baptized Catholics are never refused a Catholic burial service. The naysayers are focused on one issue and one issue only. Most don’t even know Church doctrine on committal services for members of the Roman Catholic Church.
I am offended each time I read the news and see a poll such as this. Senator Kennedy may have been at odds with the Catholic Church regarding abortion but how many rank and file are also– regular attendees and the so called “cafeteria” Catholics!
If only those who are so vocally opposed to Senator Kennedy truly walked on the path of social justice as he did. What not poll the Right to Life group on the question of the death penalty, immigration rights and health care. Now that would be an interesting study.
Safe home, Senator Kennedy.

A funeral Mass does not – and should not – eulogise a dead person. It begs mercy for his or her soul. No-one should be denied a funeral Mass. I’m sorry the question should even be asked.

Posted by Brendan | Report as abusive

The issue should be whether or not TK, decade after decade, led his life in such a way that he got closer to what God expects from us human beings. The idea of denying catholic funerals to TK sounds unreal. Do we catholics deserve political leaders like him, if we are busy arguing about ceremonies instead of saying thank you for half a century of battle for more justice and a life long struggle to overcome one’s own weaknesses?

Posted by Geneviève | Report as abusive

Kennedy should have a Catholic funeral Mass ONLY if he made a good confession prior to his death. He had lots of time to prepare his soul to meet his maker. One hopes that he did make a good confession. Eternity is a long time.

Posted by Paul Starzynski | Report as abusive

Oliver,

The differentiation between ‘democratic’ and ‘totalitarian’ religions is not a distinction that applies to the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is not, and never has been ‘democratic’ or ‘totalitarian’. It doesn’t operate on that axis of analysis. It has many places where democratic principles apply– i.e. election of Abbots, election of the Pope by the Cardinals– but others where it claims to teach what has been revealed by scripture and tradition as guided by a hierarchy. Not everything yields to being analyzed with modern western political categories. If the Church were to become totally democratic it would cease to be the Church. It appears you think that would be a good thing. I, for one, would think the world would lose a great gift, and the preaching of the good news that God has become man would be severly muted.

Posted by Tim Dawson | Report as abusive

Considering his actions and positions in life, a catholic funeral should not have been granted in death unless he sought the sacrament of reconciliation and was truly sorry for his sins. Murder of an innocent child is always serious sin! While Kennedy’s support of Catholic social teaching is commendable, he is by no means a model Catholic.

Posted by Justin Meyer | Report as abusive

People should check their catholic canon law: funeral services are almost never denied ANYONE! only in the rarest cases. this is probably based on the belief that people can repent even on their deathbed. God is merciful and forgiving– we should be too. (Isn’t that repeated time and again by Jesus?)

Posted by David Center | Report as abusive

Jesus said to his would be followers, let those who have not sinned, cast the first stone. God,s kingdom will be the one to judge Ted Kennedy, not us. He has done more for the little guy then you can mentioned. how many of you have done that. He wasn’t perfect, he never said he was. but when there needed a shoulder to lean on, he was there alot more then is mentioned, there was too many walls for laws to be made, he was one to break them down with no fan fare, you asked all the ones that he helped along the way, he and his whole family, let that count put next to yours, and see where you stand now. no contest, hands down. now lets try to carry on with ourselves as a people, not color. and help this great nation carry on at a time most crucial, for all of us to benifit as a people, He would have my vote to be honored in a Catholic Church. No Question.

Posted by Darrell Guay of Sanford Me | Report as abusive

Sometimes people in good conscience disagree with some tenet of their faith. If Jesus condemned us to eternal hell because we have a crises of conscience, how would the majority of us reach salvation? Not everyone in this country is a Roman Catholic – in his political life, Ted represented them all. We should commend him for that.

He conducted his life as best as any of we sinners can – it is not ours to judge. He deserved the prayers of our Church at Mass.

Two other thoughts. President Obama spoke Ted’s eulogy because he respected Kennedy as a man and a Senator and because he IS the President. Are we that bigoted that only those who believe exactly as the Church requires are allowed to speak to the congregation? He was not preaching, he was speaking.
Second, I personally know 2 couples, mere “serfs” in our faith, who had their reception of the SACRAMENT of matrimony annulled. In civil terms, the marriage was valid, but not in the Church.

None of us know the state of TK’s soul. I also say “JUDGE NOT LEST YE BE JUDGED”. May he rest in peace.

Posted by Ronald | Report as abusive

Of course he should have a Catholic service. You can
t pick and choose who gets this. He is deceased and its the proper thing to do. Besides a big part of Catholicism is forgiveness.

Posted by GK | Report as abusive

Senator Kennedy should not be buried as a catholic for
2 reason. He was not punished for killing an innocent
woman, and because of his power he was not punished.
second, he supported and promoted BHO to be the leader
of the most magnificent country in the world, knowing
his background(radical,) and not being a natural born
citizen, and a supporter of late term ABORTION. Unless
he confessed to these crimes before he died, he does not
deserve a CATHOLIC SERVICE>

Posted by soraya sussman | Report as abusive

This is a question that shouldn’t even be asked. It is NOBODY’s business – but the family and their church. How utterly disrespectful and crass to conduct a poll in the midst of a funeral. Have you no decency? Did you miss your mother’s lecture about saying no evil of the dead. Shame on you, and shame on each and every one of the posters who thinks they know the heart of someone you don’t even know. It is disgraceful. Grow up. Act like a respectful American citizen.

Posted by Ellen Scott | Report as abusive

Judge not, lest you be judged.

I find this question in very poor taste. Many that answer will not even be Catholic, or think they know the standing of the Church on burial. We must be believe that Senator Kennedy, had made his peace with God and died in a state of Grace. Jesus teaches us to not judge others so we will not be judged. Senator Kennedy followed Jesus and only he has the right to judge him. The Church in it’s wisdom allows Christian Burial for all baptised Catholic. I personneling believe it is better to show compassion for all rather than taking a chance of slighting a good person because of our judgement.

Posted by Shirley | Report as abusive

Absolutely. Ted Kennedy was a devout Catholic, and it\’s the type of funeral that he wanted. You can poll public opinion all that you want, but it doesn\’t matter what the public thinks. He wanted a Catholic funeral, and that\’s what they gave him today. The most decent thing you can do for any man is honor his dying wishes.

Posted by JoeB | Report as abusive

who are all you people to judge whether Ted Kennedy should have a catholic burial or not? I am shocked by all those negative comments. What did Jesus teach us? Please go back to the new testament and read about how compassionate and forgiving Jesus is, and how he taught us not to judge our neighbor as this was not for us but for the father in heaven to judge. Amen.

Posted by Patrick Kessler | Report as abusive

One person I know in particular was denied a catholic burial and his family held the service in an Episcopal Church.

Why are all you people casting stones. Are you a model Catholic? Are you perfect? Get over yourselves. Bury your pomposity and go feed the hungry and we are commanded to do.

Posted by Phillip O. Hamilton | Report as abusive

Shame on the Christian right-wing for using Kennedy’s funeral as a means to spread their invective… How many of your Republican Catholic senators truly embrace Church social teaching? There is more to our faith than the one issue of abortion, and it is in no way just for anyone to pass judgement on the soul of a lion for the working class, except God himself. May Teddy today join with Bobby and John in the kingdom of heaven.

Safe home, Senator Kennedy

Posted by Sean McBrearty | Report as abusive

Clearly, Kennedy’s pastor saw him as a good Christian. Kennedy was a faithful, church-going, Catholic. Imperfect, as we all are, he did not live a sinless life. He disagreed with some “official” pronouncements. But, to cut him off from the Church because of that is to short-change its vision. In my view, Kennedy did more to advance Jesus’s counsel to Love God and our neighbor (the only rules that Jesus pronounced) than so many with a “strict constructionist” view of a papally dominated, rigidly controlled, male-dominated autocratic institution. Many of us still love the Church, warts & all, an institution that doesn’t know everything (but doesn’t know that yet), that needs to be open to new thinking rather than re-proclaiming old edicts that Jesus never preached. It is an institution we love for the richness of its history and liturgy. Yes, we are unashamedly “cafeteria Catholics.” And the cafeteria door will remain open, I believe, as long as the Church lives.

Posted by Anne | Report as abusive

I am so sorry for Ted’s family, children, wife…however, Ted promoted abortion, which is against the teachings of Christ, he promoted same sex marriage, which is an abomination to the Lord, and although these sins against God are foregiveable, they have to be sincerely repented for, and only the Lord knows the heart of a man at death. The Senator did many good works, but it is not our works that get us into heaven. Our “works”, that is, the good things we do in life are a result of our faith. And to know the scripture and know what it says about the creation of life, that only God has the right to give it and take it, and to support abortion, is contrary to what the Lord teaches us. I am sad about this where Ted is concerned. So sad…for the Lord God did not make Ted take the stances he took on these issues, so thus, Ted made his own decisions given free will, to go against the Lord’s teachings. May the Lord have Mercy…of which I believe he does show us that mercy …. I can not judge the heart of a man…only the Lord can do that.

Posted by Sue | Report as abusive

forget the annulment and choice issues. what about Mary Jo Kopechne? that alone should disqualify him.

Posted by Dianne | Report as abusive

Kennedy did not “support” abortion. Noone supports abortion. As a Catholic, I am sure he was deeply against abortion and the number of children in the Kennedy family is proof positive that the Kennedy’s were deeply Catholic and pro life. But being pro life does not mean you have to support government regulation of abortion. I am Catholic and consider myself pro life in that I would never have an abortion, counsel anyone else to have an abortion, or support the death penalty for anyone. However, I do not believe it is the government’s place to make these decisions for women, or impose a religious view on the public in general.

Kennedy’s life was very pro life – he actually supported education and civil rights and health care and did everything to MAKE PEOPLE’S LIVES BETTER, no matter what their race or background. He was a champion of the poor and less fortunate. He was a good Catholic.

Posted by Joanna | Report as abusive

A better question may be “Should the family allow the Catholic Church to handle the funeral?” People make the church, not the other way around. People need to ask if a church represents their beliefs. Are your beliefs represented by an all male clergy who rejects the equal leadership of women? Are your beliefs represented by an all male leadership who maintains significant amounts of internal secrecy so as to cover abuses that have only been made public in recent years due to secular legal actions the Church continues to spend millions of dollars of donated money on to fight? When does it happen that a church no longer represents your beliefs and you want your funeral handled elsewhere?

The Kennedy family made a choice. Only they could make that choice. It should be respected that they allowed the Catholic Church to handle the funeral.

Alsa, the real question should have been whether he truly made peace with his God before his death. Although it is true that his political views did not respect the laws of the Catolic church, or, for that matter, any truly christian denomination, he now stands before a God who will judge not only his public actions, but also his private ones. His divorce from his first wife and his subsequent marriage to his present wife. Most catholics have taken on a “Pick and choose” attitude with regard to God’s laws, namely those handed down to Moses in the form of the 10 commandments. No mattter what, as a catholic I can only say, “May God have mercy on his soul.”

Posted by N.M.R. | Report as abusive

King David married Bathsheba, after having Uriah, her soldier husband, “killed”. The people “judged” him for his actions. God did not condemn him. In fact, King David is our example of what God wants from us: “all heart”. How dare we put ourselves equal with God and judge him! The same ruler we use will be used against us! Rethink this…put the best construction on everything. Let God judge! Have a heart…like King David had!

Posted by Hanne | Report as abusive

I agree totally with a previous post, that it is not our place to judge. I am tempted though to judge the self righteous judgers who sound so shallow a hateful. TK You were loved by so many, and accomplished so much. I am not qualified to understand God, let alone to speak for her.

RIP Teddy. And God bless you.

Posted by mpf | Report as abusive

People make the Church? I thought Jesus made it?

Posted by Sean Preston | Report as abusive

Devout Catholic? Devoted to what? Abortion? Certainly not ANY of the 10 Commandments.

Devoted to re-election maybe…

Finally! A true “shovel ready” project that I can get behind.

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

Two things. That any of you presume to have the right to judge that question calls into question your own religious values and understanding. In particular, those of you who are Catholic have no right to question as your own church’s leadership up to and including the pope have counted him as a friend. So follow their example instead of, as you say, picking and choosing.

Secondly, if Mary Jo Kopechne were alive, none of you would care about her. You don’t give a damn about women and children who die from lack of health insurance, killed by political indifference. You don’t give a damn about the thousands who have died in Iraq. You didn’t give a damn about the tens of thousands murdered in Africa. And really, you don’t give a damn about Kopechne either. You just exploit her death for partisan ends.

Posted by Kija | Report as abusive

Ted Kennedy supported more government control over American lives. Welfare and the WIC only make more people become ever more dependent on the government instead of working and making decisions on their own. Illegal aliens do not respect the laws of Ceasar as they come into this country like thieves in the night. Illegal aliens also bring in drugs, gangs, rapists and muderers—please stop painting them like innocents, they have broken the law. All countries must protect their countries’ sovereignty. The democrat party was the KKK party and the Catholic Church has been ill advised to associate with it and applaud its dependency programs just as many cafeteria Catholics have supported the Democrats and their self-proclaimed communist members of Congress.

To me, it doesn’t matter what kind of a funeral someone has or if they have a funeral at all. It only matters what kind of a life they led and if they tried to help others during their time on earth. It is important to leave a positive aura behind and good influences on others.

Posted by Martina Pappas | Report as abusive

Senator Kennedy abandoned his Catholic Faith long ago, to get the liberal vote on abortion. During his early career, he clearly opposed it by saying, “Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized.” And by the end of his political career, he was regularly awarded a 100% positive rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America for his abortion-related votes. Even-though, Senator Kennedy championed many social-justice issues; his public stance regarding abortion, placed him in direct defiance to the Holy Magisterium of the Church. The Doctrine of Faith declares that anyone who advances the cause of abortion, merits immediate excommunication and the loss of eternal salvation.

Ironically, in his final days, he spoke about “everyday being a gift”. At least Teddy had a life to live and he recognized it to be a gift. What about the victims of abortion? They had no life or chance to live it. Catholics like Ted Kennedy are delusional about their liberal faith. They think, just because they answer the call to public office and attach themselves to social issues, they will buy themselves a free ticket to heaven. Yet, no amount of good works will save them, if one act of evil is committed by their actions. Sadly, how could Senator Kennedy ask for the sacraments of his faith, if he failed to have conviction by standing up for the unborn? Ted Kennedy had a chance to work out his salvation much like the “good thief”; but instead, publically remained silent regarding this matter. His legacy remains in tact. He died a true liberal right up to the end. No wonder the Holy Father has remained silent on his passing! I’ve heard it said that we can not find true happiness, if the things we do are different from the things we believe in.

Romans 2:5 states: But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. ‘God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.’

So much for his politics-at what cost!

Posted by Rueben | Report as abusive

to Sean Preston: you are W.R.O.N.G.! Jesus never made any Church whatsoever. Christianity was founded by the followers of the Nazarene AFTER his death. He would not have permitted it in his lifetime. I recommend a book that might be of some help to you. It is called the Bible.

Posted by Oilibheir Álain | Report as abusive

The spiteful pettiness of the question, it’s utter lack of grace, in fact, demeans to person who poses it.

Posted by Julia Dover | Report as abusive

I didn’t even read comments after the first one about shovel-ready projects! How tragic that such a heartless sentiment might express someone who THINKS he is standing up for his faith. Every devout Catholic, Protestant and/or Jew should cringe. I’m not catholic nor am I a Democrat! I’m a conservative evangelical….but I thank God for Ted Kennedy’s good works and his family’s many sacrifices for our country. I pray God will confort them now. They clearly love God and each other. I hope they don’t read the comments on this site, and somehow cannot imagine they weill bother…at least they prob. won’t make it past Patrick either.

Posted by DG | Report as abusive

Typographical error on last comment: ‘demeans THE person who poses it.’ Apologies.

Posted by Julia Dover | Report as abusive

Julia Dover, this question was already being debated or hinted at in the comments by readers on our earlier Kennedy post. This post simply poses the question directly. The ones who lack grace are those who give spiteful and petty answers to it.

As a Catholic myself,I say yes he should have had a Catholic Funeral. Find one person who agrees with 100% of anything! He did so many good things for the people of this country during the many years he served us. Let him rest in peace, he is with God now. He has met his maker!

Posted by RM | Report as abusive

Senator Kennedy spent his life defending the poor, providing for those without voices for themselves, bringing good changes to individual’s lives. Hm… who else did that with their entire life? Ah, yes, Jesus did! When Christ gave the instructions to help the poor, he didn’t amend it or curtail it or condition it. Anyone who believes anything else is not a true Christian. Anyone who believes there are conditions set to those instructions do not themselves deserve a Catholic funeral for they seek to divide by self-aggrandizement, a sentiment not given to us in instructions from Christ.

Posted by Kim Mc Cain | Report as abusive

Folks, for me the bottom line is what the Word of God says. The Lord is so patient, kind and forgiving and full of Agape love for us that we can’t even understand it in our own sinful human form – remember, he died for our sins…they were all nailed at the Cross…past, present and future sins, for all times and for everyone….but, there has to be true repentance44444w4.

And so I say, as far as Mary Jo is concerned, I would venture to guess that Teddy has repented with such remorsefulness in his heart over the years and been on his knees to the Lord to beg forgiveness with a true repentive heart. When a person repents, he is forgiven by the Lord, and the sin is remembered no more by our Lord. Perhaps it is best said, that we should not judge, lest we be judged also (paraphrased) and who among us has not sinned? As it is written: Romans 3:10 – “There is none righteous, no, not one; Rom 3: 23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

The Word of God says
Luke 6:41 and 22: And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that [is] in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that [is] in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

Because Ted was so adamant about supporting abortion, regardless if he personally approved, his support of abortion still counts – babies died because of Rowe v. Wade. However, even to the end, anyone can repent over decisions and support of laws that were put into place that costs lives of millions of babies…even to a persons last breath…we don’t know how the Holy Spirit ministers to those who are dying or what final decisions are made that are just between that person and the Holy Spirit as one is prepared for what lies beyond…we just don’t know…we just trust in the Lord…ask for mercy and pray for those left behind to comfort them with the peace that passes all understanding.

Posted by Sue | Report as abusive

When I think of Ted Kennedy, I can only think of the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, his drinking, his womanizing, his support of late-term abortion and his divorce. How in the world did the Catholic Church ever grant him an annulment? What crap.

Posted by Concerned Citizen | Report as abusive

The man was a lifelong practicing Catholic, from the most famous Catholic family on this, or any other planet.

What was he supposed to do, have a Hare Krishna funeral?

The mere existence of this poll is a great insult, and I’m not even Catholic.

Posted by Sebastian Doyle | Report as abusive

Of course he should! What kind of question is this? He was a lifelong practicing Catholic!

This question is more about politics than religion.

The right-wing nutters who hated Ted will vote no.

And the liberals who loved Ted will vote yes.

This poll has been an enlightening waste of time.

Posted by Snorky the Giant Squid | Report as abusive

The issue here is that Ted Kennedy was openly and very publicly know to express views contrary to Catholic Teachings and doctrines. As John Kerry as told during his run for the White House. You cant publicly campaign for abortion, and gay marriage and then claim to be a practicing catholic when it is convenient. Kennedy was not a real catholic, as no real catholic supports abortion, ever period under any circumstances.

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive

Ted kennedy was a great person. He will not be forgotten but will be missed!

Write you farewells about Ted Kennedy or other famous people or people you lost on http://www.MyFarewells.com

God Bless and keep Ted Kennedy, I feel sorry for anyone who has judged him. They are the ones that need to worry about God’s justice. Ted gave his all to our country. He fought for the rights of all people. I as a Catholic am proud of what he stood for. This world is a sadier place without Teddy.
Ted rest in peace and enjoy the family reunion. Hope to see you.

Posted by Linda | Report as abusive

As the old saying goes, Let he (or she) who is without sin, cast the first stone.

Nobody’s perfect. We all have faults. Teddy was a devout Catholic. Who are we mere mortals, to decide whether or not he should have the funeral of his choice. This is not American, nor is it Christian.
Christ would have forgiven him, and Teddy did an awful lot for a lot of people. Have some respect for the dead, for humanity’s sake.

Posted by Rocco Rizzo | Report as abusive

Agree. Graceless to ask the question, no matter the context. No human being gets to sit in judgment to decide a Catholic burial or not.

Posted by sister of mother jones | Report as abusive

the truth: ezra 2:13 rev 2:13 666+jezebel=667 nehemias 7:18 rev 13:18 satan is the pope be Christian STAY CHRISTIAN LOVE JESUS

Posted by monica | Report as abusive

The question is insulting and foolish, why do I waste my time on this crap? I am not religious, but everyone has the right to their faith, and it clearly saved him from his demons. This has not a small man, and he deserves more respect that this silliness allows.

Posted by Karen Nielsen | Report as abusive

Came across this site doing research. It goes without saying the RC church is run and controlled by money. I wonder how many lesser individuals could get annulments without good reason.

There is no doubt about the work of Ted Kennedy, but influential people like him are allowed to have the rules bent to their favor.

It really is of no consequence as they play there silly religious games!

Posted by BR | Report as abusive

This comment about money is very telling. Yes, Kennedys get annulments because of money. They also get out of jail time for manslaughter when they drive a young girl to her death in a drunken haze. Infidelity, womanizing, heavy drinking, promoting abortion, and these are “Catholic” people? They give Catholicism a bad name. As a Catholic, I am embarrassed by the fact that Ted Kennedy has been adulated and buried with full, religious honors.

Posted by E. Hayes | Report as abusive

When I think of Ted Kennedy, I can only think of the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, his drinking, his womanizing, his support of late-term abortion and his divorce.

How in the world did the Catholic Church ever grant him an annulment?

Why a Catholic burial?

Why not excommunication years ago?

Posted by Concerned Cotizen | Report as abusive

No. Ted was a hypocrite. Repent about Mary-Jo, what are you talking about, according to friends, he joked of it. Cheating, infidelity, support of abortion, traitorous acts to his own country; what branch of Catholicism is that?

Posted by Edwin | Report as abusive

Though as a Catholic, I feel that though many of the Kennedy family scandalized the church by their beliefs and behaviors, we are not to judge Ted at the moment of death. There are more important things to deal with in the world today

Posted by Gil M | Report as abusive

May God bless his soul rest in peace.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13
If I speak in the tongues of men and angels,
but have not love,
I have become sounding brass or a tinkling symbol.

And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.

And if I dole out all my goods, and
if I deliver my body that I may boast
but have not love, nothing I am profited.

Love is long suffering,
love is kind,
it is not jealous,
love does not boast,
it is not inflated.

It is not discourteous,
it is not selfish,
it is not irritable,
it does not enumerate the evil.
It does not rejoice over the wrong, but rejoices in the truth

It covers all things,
it has faith for all things,
it hopes in all things,
it endures in all things.

Love never falls in ruins;
but whether prophecies, they will be abolished; or
tongues, they will cease; or
knowledge, it will be superseded.

For we know in part and we prophecy in part.

But when the perfect comes, the imperfect will be superseded.

When I was an infant,
I spoke as an infant,
I reckoned as an infant;

when I became [an adult],
I abolished the things of the infant.

For now we see through a mirror in an enigma, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know as also I was fully known.

But now remains
faith, hope, love,

these three;

but the greatest of these is love.

Peace!

Posted by Ernelia Quickel | Report as abusive

Shame on Reuters for allowing the framing of the issues in these silly terms, thus trivializing the death of a human being no less. Shame on the Mainstream Media for dumbing down reporting and failing to promote an informed public debate. I have yet to read, listen to, watch any broadcast shedding light on what are contained in the health care reform bill that the late Sen Kennedy proposed. This utter failure of the Press is a great disservice to democracy and the world. Where is your ethics?

Posted by Novo Nurse | Report as abusive

The man is dead and only God has the power to judge the actions of this man…I didn’t care for him or his politics….but you can’t change his past

Posted by Nancy | Report as abusive

If we work for justice for the poor and rescue for the oppressed “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” Isaiah 1:18
Who are we to say we know the mind and heart of God.
Rest in Peace, Senator Kennedy

Posted by enelson | Report as abusive

I was so moved watching the family and loved ones the last two days at the services of Ted Kennedy -those wonderful children and grandchildren. I was glad to learn even more than I had knownabout his dedication all those years to the causes of the less fortunate. I wonder how many people who stand in judgement of him have ever gotten behind the wheel after drinking and thank God that they did not have a tragic accident. I think so little of those who stand in judgement of him or anyone else. The letter he wrote to his priest after learning he would not survive the cancer was read by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend on “Meet the Press” this Sunday morning was so moving – I wish all those who cannot find anything good in all he did to make lives better could hear that including Laura Ingraham who hit a new low even for her on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly show (and could not even wait until he was buried. I thank God for all he and his family have contributed to this country.

Posted by Faye Reeves | Report as abusive

Absolutely not. In spite of the fact that he may have done some good things in things in his life, they were far overshadowed by the scandelous things. He championed tirelessly against most Church teachings, and caused even more grave scandal to the Church by professing to still be a “Catholic” christian to further confuse and mislead peoples faith. That sounds like it was designed by the father of lies himself, not God. Only God knows how many babies perished because of him. Why would he even want a Catholic funeral? The Kennedy hypocracy has been breathtaking for too many decades. That any Bishop would grant him a Catholic funeral, likewise, continues to cause grave scandal to all the Church teaches. They will both be held culpable, as we all will. Yes, God is the final judge, so we can only pray that he repented before he died.

Posted by George | Report as abusive

I do not believe a political career is worth a young woman’s life. Period. I don’t think Mary Jo Kopechne was proud to die for Ted Kennedy. I don’t think her horrifying death was a necessary human sacrifice to enable his “fortunate fall.” Ted Kennedy was not the victim of Chappaquiddick. Anyone who believes those things is a degenerate who should be shunned by civilized people.

I disagree with the notion that any aspect of Kennedy’s life “redeemed” him for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Redemption requires contrition, an admission of guilt. Kennedy never admitted responsibility or guilt for what happened

I don’t believe that destroying the reputation of a judge, through insane and reckless allegations that challenge his very humanity, represents great statesmanship. He tried the same slimy tactics he used on Robert Bork against Clarence Thomas. I don’t think the legacy of personal destruction Ted Kennedy inaugurated during the Bork confirmation hearings has been a plus for America.

I disagree that the world will “sorely miss” the “moral clarity” of someone who enjoyed jokes about the woman who died because of his cowardice and lust for power. The human race will be greatly improved when it is infested by fewer such creatures.

Posted by Ken | Report as abusive

A religious service by any other name is merely self-expression.
The notion of eating Christ’s body and drinking his blood, seems
like a ode to cannibalism and vampirish ways — and is repugnant –
a testimony to why the United States separates church and state.
It would seem more odd, that taxpayers paid for transport, security and
housing for our elder states people to pay tribute to the Senator’s accomplishments.

At the same time, this family chose to seek comfort in familiar rituals steeped in
a tradition of their ancestors. It is not our place to decide the manner in which others shall chose to manage their grief. Had the Senator’s religious icons been prominently displayed in his offices 317 Russell Senate Building Washington D.C. 20510 and 2400 JFK Building in Boston Ma – it would have been a “put off” to those who suffered at the hands of Catholics during WWII and subsequently. We were, however, not in the Senator’s Place of business,we were in his place of spiritual worship: we were given
the impression his God is a forgiving one and while those rituals performed
may seem arcane and antiquated to some of us – they provide an infrastructure for his family to communicate about what came before and what will come after.

There is no less pomp and circumstance in the changing the Heraldry of a Military Wing.

A non-denominational service in Ted’s house of worship would have delayed our understanding of how he chose his path and also provided a measure of his self-knowledge—and even acknowledgement –(a hidden apology) for having strayed from what he understood to be ideal behavior during the graveside reading of his letter to his Pope.

In a historical context, the only other route to closure would have been to begin with Pantheism and Paganism and so on and so forth. We heard one member of the clergy reference how he embraced the Hebrews. Were it not for the Tower of Babble (or is the Babylon) – would our species be any different in our quest to find a common underpinning for our future’s past? For those who remain concerned about the manner in which Teddy Kennedy, Sr. lived or died, read Victor Frankel’s Man’s Search For Meaning. In turn, you may find your purpose by what inspired you or caused consternation in your observation of Edward Moore Kennedy’s lifestyle and life.

Posted by Witness | Report as abusive

Leave all vengence to God. Who are we to judge. Let those without sin cast the first stone.

He is in a better place than us right now. No pain, war or suffering to face. May his soul rest in peace.

Posted by LauraleeT | Report as abusive

One of the principles that runs through Catholic social encyclicals is subsidiarity. “That govern’t is best which governs least.” The founding fathers knew it well. They absorbed it through classical learning. Senator Kennedy was a strong advocate for central power, an approach that ultimately dehumanizes. This kind of governing runs counter to Church teaching. It is consistent with Fascism, Socialism, Communism. He meant well, but this approach ultimately does not serve the poor and dispossessed.

Posted by John Clancy | Report as abusive

Kennedy a catholic! If you had not told me I would have never of known!

Posted by DAVID | Report as abusive

The fact that this apostate man has been given a Catholic funeral is a disgrace. His alleged concern for the poor is nothing more than humanism. Catholic Social Teaching requires that Christ be King – Ted Kennedy did not treat Christ as King. Far from it.

In any case, to say that his alleged concern for the poor cancels out his support for the murder of the unborn and the promotion of sodomy, is Theology for the Brain-Dead.

The Church in America has lost all credibility now. They have participated in one of the worst cover-ups in recent history, presenting Ted Kennedy as some kind of saint instead of the apparently unrepentant sinner he was, in fact. Of course, we don’t know if he asked God’s forgiveness at the end, but since he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong by defying God’s moral law in legislation (to say nothing of his personal life) then it seems unlikely. Thus, in the absence of any public repudiation of his apostasy from the Church authorities, we are left with a massive scandal. Not just an apostate senator to deal with but faithless clerics as well. Shocking.

The disparaging comments made against Senator Kennedy reflect the “Holier than thou ” Clique. Such comments made by ‘patricia’ calling Kennedy “this apostate man” and the brave ‘witness’ who wrongly blames the ‘Catholics for all the deaths WWII’- ( Has he not heard of the 6 million Catholic Poles killed in labor camps!? These wrong headed comments reveal individuals who wish to scourge the man and his faith for past failings.They no longer mirror the redeemed Ted Kennedy who worked tirelessly for the all of us-Americans. The poor and the rich, The Middle-class workers long forgotten by the Republican hierarchy, The sick and the voiceless Mass of humanity- Not everybody is able to be as magnanimous as Senator Ted Kennedy-He assumed a certain greatness that Bill O’Rielly and ‘Dick Cheney fan club’ Fox news set who simply will never have true courage- Kennedy was a man driven to help people. He is not a demagogue or a ‘draft dodger’- He died a man of Peace.

Posted by walter | Report as abusive

It was right that Ted Kennedy was given a Catholic funeral. We have to allow the possibility that he had a death bed repentance. However in no event should he have had the massive exulting funeral he had in the Catholic church. The fact that he championed many causes for the underpriveleged person does not give hime the right, in itself, to be honored as a Catholic. He spurned many moral principles the church holds holy, the greatest one being respect for the life of the unborn. Also included are his support for embryonic stem cell reserch and his violation of the sanctity of marriage, and his support for gay marriage.
Ted Kennedy did tremndous damage to the Catholic church.
While in a position of authorty and popularity he engaged in active catholic worship while, on the other hand, violating the basic priciples of the Catholic church. He advanced the growing mentality that the Catholic church really does not feel that strongly on these issues.
Unfortunately the damage was furthered by the
church in their pandering to popularity by giving
him an alaborate funeral.

Posted by Dan Chesire | Report as abusive

The disparaging comments made against Senator Kennedy reflect the “Holier than thou ” Clique.

This seems to apply to the KENNEDYS… not those that criticize them. Get the facts straight. Kennedy has made his way through life breaking legal AND moral laws!

Posted by Sue | Report as abusive

Isn´t up to the Kennedy´s to decide how Ted will be buried? Why is this being openned up to public scrutiny?

In response to some of the criticims, those bloggers who claim that he wasn´t a good enough Christian should probably stop judging others and worry about their own problems. Isn´t that what your religion asks you to do in the first place?

It is entertaining to see Americans argue about religion.

I myself used to be religious although I outgrew that shortly after I stopped wetting my bed.

That said, I have nothing against believing in a higher power. I just find it hard to believe that higher power wrote a book. Maybe he recorded a mixtape as well.

Posted by alejandro | Report as abusive

Ted Kennedy…Defender of the right to kill the powerless unborn! Ted Kennedy…. Defender of the right to commit serial adultery. Ted Kennedy…Defender of the right to hear new and fun jokes about Mary Jo Kopechne’s
drowning! Ted Kennedy…Defender of the right to same sex marriage! Ted Kennedy…Defender of the right to consistently reject and ignore the basic Teachings of the Catholic Church!

The Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ…Defender of the right to life and marriage between a man and a woman. The Catholic Church would have allowed a very private family funeral Mass because Ted Kennedy had the Last Rites.

The disobedient American Catholic Church of Boston…Defender of the the right to honor and glorify mutual apostates and pretend that they are all in union with Rome.

Posted by Georgia | Report as abusive

What if to the dismay of many…Ted Kennedy is not in a better place? Heaven is reserved for those “who care for the least of these”…children. Obviously the unborn children were not protected and cared for by this man and his policies. Not a great legacy in my mind!!! I fear for the judgment of his deeds…and so should his family who gave him so much praise…even through prayers!!!!

Posted by Ryan | Report as abusive

Ted Kennedy is someone who worked hard as a politician, but also as many politicians he is not an honorable man. Not a man to be honored or admired.

I don’t believe the majority of Americans were too deeply affected by his demise.

Posted by george papas | Report as abusive

I think this is an example of why Catholic people think they can do what they want and not what God wants. The Pope should have gave instructions that Ted are any of the so called Catholic public figures that openly disagree with the Churches teaching and laws should not have been able to receive communion based on the records. IS it a Law are is it a suggestion? Is it the 10 Commandments are the 10 suggestions? There is a Catholic Voters Guide. These type people could not win election if it was not for the so called Catholic voter.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

While it is certainly a Catholic doctrine that a repentant sinner can be forgiven, at the same time, to avoid public scandal, a PUBLIC, NOTORIOUS sinner, who dies apparently without any repentance, should be denied a Catholic requiem mass and burial, because the way he lived his life and died is not an example for Catholics to follow.

Ted Kennedy was not only a public, notorious sinner, he flaunted it with ostentatious pride. If there ever was one to whom the rule applies, it is him. He not only supported abortion, he PROMOTED IT. He not only supported the sin of Sodom, he PROMOTED IT. He not only lied in public, he did all he could to advance the telling of lies by anyone. He not only escaped justice for his manslaughter of Mary Jo, he spent the rest of his life LAUGHING IN PUBLIC for Chappaquiddick jokes.

He made a mockery of our entire country and of the Church, and did so with open rebellion. The only way it seems he could have gotten away with this is to have had on his side some very dark powers, indeed. No, he would be much more appropriately buried with the rites of quite a different religion, perhaps Voodoo, or Animist.

Posted by btpcm | Report as abusive

I fault the “Catholic Church” for not denouncing this man’s actions way early in his career. His pronounced “good deeds” do not outweigh the “he was not a perfect man” accomplishments. The letter he wrote and his arranged prayers offered by his “grandchildren” should have included repentance and confession of some pretty “grave” actions that according to the bible…God condemns.

Posted by Ryan | Report as abusive

Where is the “none of my business” option for the poll question? If he wanted a catholic funeral that’s fine with me. Seems Catholicism might be a good fit for such a politician.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

Did anyone ever wonder why 16 U.S. Senators,45 Congressmen ,50% of all bishops,and priests, and 55% of all CATHOLICS ARE pro-abortion,and pro-homosxuality. its because the Pope is weak and lily-livered when enforcing CHURCH LAW ?

Posted by Jack Angelo Territo | Report as abusive

Wow – after reading all these comments by (I assume) pious Catholics, I’m sure glad that I’m not one. Don’t think that I’ve read so much hatefulness and intolerance since. . . well, I can’t think of when I’ve read so much of it. Bless you, but keep your religion to yourself.

Posted by outsider | Report as abusive

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not and you shall not be judged. Condemn not and you shall not be condemned. Forgive and you shall be forgiven….And why seest thou the mote in your brother’s eye: but the beam that is in thy own eye thou considerest not? Luke 6:36-37, 41 (Douay-Rheims Bible)

Posted by Michael B. | Report as abusive