Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston has come out strongly defending his scandalous witness at Kennedy’s funeral. He posted an entry about it on his blog.
The music was outstanding with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus enriching the liturgy along with mezzo-soprano Susan Graham who later sang an absolutely striking rendition of Schubert’s “Ave Maria.” Cellist Yo-Yo Ma graced us with his beautiful solo performance of Bach and later joined Placido Domingo, who sang the “Panis Angelicus.” Placido has a superb voice. I told him how much I like the Zarzuela, the Spanish classical musical theater productions. His family had a troupe that presented Zarzuelas in Mexico and he promised to arrange a performance.
Goodness me. Yo-Yo Ma and Placido Domingo performed for the premier abortion-pushing senator of all time. Tell me, your Eminence, who do you think sang for the unborn children who were butchered because of the enabling of Ted Kennedy? Do you think the angels sang “Ave Maria” for them? Do you think it was tinged with a tone of sadness?
Needless to say, the Senator’s wake and Catholic funeral were controversial because of the fact that he did not publically (sic) support Catholic teaching and advocacy on behalf of the unborn. Given the profound effect of Catholic social teaching on so many of the programs and policies espoused by Senator Kennedy and the millions who benefitted (sic) from them, there is a tragic sense of lost opportunity in his lack of support for the unborn. To me and many Catholics it was a great disappointment because, had he placed the issue of life at the centerpiece of the Social Gospel where it belongs, he could have multiplied the immensely valuable work he accomplished.
“He did not publicly support Catholic teaching and advocacy on behalf of the unborn“? “A tragic sense of lost opportunity“, your Eminence? The Cardinal is making it sound like Ted Kennedy merely excused himself from the debate and stood idly by, not favouring one side or the other. That would be bad enough, of course, because no one, especially politicians, will ever be able to say that they were neutral on the question. There is no such moral position on abortion. The fact is, however, that Ted Kennedy wasn’t merely a bystander who didn’t live up to the Catholic faith. On the contrary, he actively and vigorously promoted the abortion agenda with a fervent and religious zeal that would make the Counter Reformation look like the ecumenical event of the century. That’s a fact. And it doesn’t even begin to count the cost concerning other so-called “Catholic” politicians in the U.S. and around the world who took Kennedy’s lead for the past 30 years in separating their Faith from basic moral questions. And yet, do these inconvenient truths square with how the Cardinal describes Kennedy’s conduct on this issue above? No, it doesn’t. And that says quite a bit about what Cardinal Sean O’Malley thinks about confronting pro-abortion politicians and facing the truth squarely instead of distorting it.
The thousands of people who lined the roads as the late Senator’s motorcade travelled from Cape Cod to Boston and the throngs that crowded the Kennedy Library for two days during the lying in repose, I believe, were there to pay tribute to these many accomplishments rather than as an endorsement of the Senator’s voting record on abortion.
How can the Cardinal know this? Kennedy was in the tank for the abortion lobby for most of his political career, and he quickly realized that he had to tow their line in order to secure his political future. There was likely a strong contingent of the pro-abort clique at the funeral, precisely because of Kennedy’s abortion-pushing ways. But even if that were not so, what does that tell us about how the Church regards educating the public about the heinous crime of abortion? It shows us that the people who were there learned what everyone else learned: the Catholic Church does not take abortion too seriously, given one of its most famous sons was one of abortion’s greatest enablers, did so with impunity his whole political life, and was crowned at the end of his life in an elaborate and majestic funeral.
If the Cardinal wants to talk about opportunities lost, he should reflect well on the opportunity that would have been created by limiting Kennedy’s funeral to a private service for family only – provided that Kennedy actually repented. Instead of being a walking mat for Ted Kennedy’s dubious accomplishments, Cardinal O’Malley had a wonderful opportunity to engage the public in the reason why the Church does not honour pro-abortion politicians. Instead of being a beacon of light for the Gospel of Life, Cardinal O’Malley scandalized the Faithful and betrayed the unborn.
In fact, the Cardinal is contradicting the principles espoused by his own brother bishops. In 2004, the USCCB issued “Catholics in Political Life.” The document directs Catholic schools not to honour pro-abortion politicians. So, just to keep this straight, Catholic universities are not to honour pro-abortion politicians at its events, but Catholic bishops can do so with impunity when it concerns a Funeral mass? Have I got that right, Yo-Yo and Placido?
There are those who objected, in some cases vociferously, to the Church’s providing a Catholic funeral for the Senator. In the strongest terms I disagree with that position. At the Senator’s interment on Saturday evening, with his family’s permission, we learned of details of his recent personal correspondence with Pope Benedict XVI. It was very moving to hear the Senator acknowledging his failing to always be a faithful Catholic, and his request for prayers as he faced the end of his life. The Holy Father’s expression of gratitude for the Senator’s pledge of prayer for the Church, his commendation of the Senator and his family to the intercession of the Blessed Mother, and his imparting the Apostolic Blessing, spoke of His Holiness’ role as the Vicar of Christ, the Good Shepherd who leaves none of the flock behind.
Actually it was not the Pope’s letter, but the Vatican Secretary of State’s letter. “First of all, it must be recalled that Cardinal McCarrick has a rather unfortunate history involving the delivery of letters, particularly those from a certain Vatican official by the name of Ratzinger,” says Arroyo. “In 2004, when the Bishops of the US were anguishing over whether to allow communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion laws, Cardinal McCarrick concealed a letter from his brother bishops. The missive was from the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then Cardinal (now Pope) Joseph Ratzinger. Had the bishops received the letter intended to help guide their debate, things might have gone very differently. The contents of that letter are still relevant, particularly now when dissenting Catholics have made grandiose pronouncements about what it means to be a Catholic in public life.” (Source)
As Archbishop of Boston, I considered it appropriate to represent the Church at this liturgy out of respect for the Senator, his family, those who attended the Mass and all those who were praying for the Senator and his family at this difficult time. We are people of faith and we believe in a loving and forgiving God from whom we seek mercy.
It’s good to seek mercy from God. The problem is not with God’s mercy. The problem is that this is a zero sum event. Attending the public funeral “out of respect for the Senator” means attending the public funeral “and disrepecting the unborn”. One cannot simply ignore the public legacy of the most notorious pro-abortion, pro-homosexualist politician in the history of the world, and pretend that his legacy had nothing to do with the dismembering and destruction of the innocent and the family. Would the Cardinal host a public funeral for a politician who espoused pedophilia or anti-semitism? Of course not, because those sins are politically incorrect for now.
For my fellow Canadian Catholics reading this, many of you will remember that our former “Catholic” pro-abort prime minsters, Jean Chretien and Paul Martin, were also responsible for ushering in same-sex “marriage” in this country back in 2005.
I have a really easy question for you all: what do you think the chances will be for them to receive a public funeral as well, when they pass on?
Pretty high, eh? Yeah, I think so too.
But do you think Yo-Yo and Placido will come? THAT’s the real question.