Tales from the Trail

The Pope blessed Ted Kennedy

KENNEDY/As a divorcee who was pro-choice on abortion, the United States’s most prominent Catholic politician was not exactly in the Vatican’s good books.

Yet Pope Benedict XVI blessed the terminally ill Senator Edward Kennedy, according to correspondence made public at his burial in Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday.

Kennedy, whose political career was marred by scandal, asked for the Pope’s prayers in a letter that was handed to the pontiff by President Barack Obama in Rome on July 10.

“I am writing with deep humility to ask that you pray for me as my own health declines. I was diagnosed with brain cancer more than a year ago, and, although I continue treatment, the disease is taking its toll on me. I am 77 years old and preparing for the next passage of life,” Kennedy wrote.

“I know that I have been an imperfect human being, but with the help of my faith, I have tried to right my path.”

Youngest Kennedys remember Ted Kennedy’s causes

In one of the most poignant moments of the funeral service for Ted Kennedy on Saturday,  the youngest members of the Kennedy clan offered up prayers for some of the causes dearest to the late senator’s heart.

Max Allen, one of Kennedy’s youngest grandchildren, offered up a prayer:

“For what my grandpa called ‘the cause of his life.’  As he said so often: ‘In every part of this land that every American will have decent quality healthcare as a fundamental right and not a privilege.’”

Other Kennedy children mentioned his work with the poor and to ensure that all people are respected for what they can do.