Saturday, September 05, 2009

Stepping back...

Thom of Ad Dominum blog alerted me to Bishop Morlino's take on the Kennedy funeral. The following are excerpts from what the Bishop of Madison wrote for his Bishop's Column in the Diocesan paper.
I’m afraid that for not a few Catholics, the funeral rites for Senator Kennedy were a source of scandal — that is, quite literally, led them into sin. From not a few corners has come the question, “how on earth could Teddy Kennedy be buried from the Church?” There have also been expressions from some, that “whatever happens in Church, Senator Kennedy will now face justice, which will lead him inside the gates of Hell.”
The death of Senator Kennedy has called forth at least an apparent rejection of mercy on the part of not a few Catholics. On the cross of Christ, God’s justice came into conflict with God’s mercy. God’s justice was fully satisfied, but mercy triumphed in the conflict, according to the teaching of Pope Benedict. Without denying any misdeeds on the part of Senator Kennedy, the Church, seeking to reflect the face of Christ, proclaimed God’s mercy for the whole world to see in a subdued but unmistakable way. It was more than appropriate.
It is so important at this time that our Catholic homes and families re-emphasize their role as schools of mercy, not at the expense of justice, and not at the expense of Truth, but recognizing that Jesus Christ gave His body to be broken and His blood to be poured out, so that there might be mercy. This is the reason for our devotion, through the inspiration of Sister Faustina and its confirmation by Pope John Paul II, to the Divine Mercy prayers, which I hope are becoming more prominent and more frequently practiced in our homes and in our parishes. - Read the entire statement here: Bishop's Column


  1. A rational Catholic would not question the fact that he had a Catholic funeral.

    But a rational Catholic would have to question the Holy Sacrifice of the Mas turned into a public dog and pony show that also, in many ways, defied the directives of the GIRM.

    I thought it was cringe worthy...

  2. Bishop Morlino is right in criticizing the excesses of SOME objecting to Senator Kennedy's very public funeral/canonization. None of us know the state of his soul. I for one hope and pray that he died in a state of grace. After all, it is God's desire that all men be saved. Like Anita, I am glad he had a Catholic funeral. All of us need the grace of the Mass, those who may not have led a stellar life even more so.

    However, the abuse of criticism does not eliminate it use. Many have rightly been scandalized for decades by Kennedy's very public dissent from Church teaching. Many continue to be scandalized by the transformation of what ought to have been a prayer for his soul into a pseudo-canonization. Teddy was many things but a role model isn't one of them.

    Who is at fault for the anger? Certainly the bishop's of this country, particularly of Boston, deserve a share of the blame. For their failure to deal adequately and forcefully with dissent and for the acquiescence to the hijacking of Catholic funeral rites. (The first time I remember being truly appalled was over Sonny Bono's funeral.) If they had been doing their jobs, this would not be an issue.

    Certainly proclaim and pray for mercy but not at the expense of the proclamation of the truth and the call to repentance.

  3. Fsther, don't you think there would still be criticisms and the like, just like what we have now, even if the Mass had been EF with black et al?

  4. Thom,

    Very likely, but I don't think they would have been warranted if it had been a funeral Mass according to the rubrics and not televised.

  5. Like I said in an earlier post - "Cardinal, you got some 'splainin' to do" - and the bishops seem to be doing that.

    See - the thing about scandal is that it leads other people to sin - that is not a small thing. Sheesh!

  6. Oh Terry, have you read Fr Tom Euteneur of HLI's newsletter comparing the lives and deaths of Ted Kennedy and the recently departed father of Terri Schiavo, Robert Schindler, Sr? It is powerful. Here:


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