28th August 2009
Senator Kennedy, along with President Obama have been the most pro-abortion and pro-embryonic stem cell research politicians in the nation. As a matter of fact, Senator Kennedy refused to vote for Supreme Court nominees Robert Bork and Samuel Alito for fear their appointment might lead to overturning Roe v. Wade. These positions are inimical to Catholic Church teaching and throughout the years, the American hierarchy has railed against Catholic politicians such as Kennedy who hold such views. Some bishops have even advised them not to receive Holy Communion — an action just short of excommunication.
In recent days the spin-doctors have done their best to portray Senator Kennedy as a devout Catholic. Stories of his visits to church in order to pray for his ailing daughter Kara, a cancer survivor, and reports of his personal religiosity have been widely circulated. The media has also noted numerous visits by priests to the Kennedys’ home during his illness for the administration of the sacraments, presumably including confession and even the celebration of a private Mass in Kennedys’ living room. There is no report, however, of repudiation of his voting record or sorrow for his obstinate refusal to adhere to Catholic morality on two of the most important life issues. An important part of the Sacrament of Penance, along with sorrow for sin, is to try to repair the damages that our sins have caused. Certainly, enough time had elapsed between the diagnosis of the Senator’s terminal illness and his death for him to make amends and to alleviate some of the scandal. Yet, there is no indication that this has happened.
A Mass of Christian Burial is a privilege — not a right. It is for those who have lived a Christian life. Senator Kennedy’s scandalous disregard of his Church’s teaching and the destruction of human life that may be attributed to his voting record make his funeral celebration quite dubious.