“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ted Kennedy's Letter to Pope Benedict XVI

Here is Ted Kennedy's final letter to Pope Benedict XVI as detailed on America.

Most Holy Father,

I asked President Obama to personally hand deliver this letter to you. As a man of deep faith himself, he understands how important my Roman Catholic faith is to me and I am so deeply grateful to him. I hope this letter finds you in good health. I pray that you have all of God’s blessings as you lead our church and inspire our world during challenging times.

I am writing with deep humility to ask that you pray for me as my own health declines. I was diagnosed with brain cancer over a year ago and although I am undergoing treatment, the disease is taking its toll on me.

I am 77-years-old and preparing for the next passage of life. I’ve been blessed to be part of a wonderful family and both my parents, specifically my mother, kept our Catholic faith at the center of our lives. That gift of faith has sustained and nurtured and provided solace to me in the darkest hours. I know that I have been an imperfect human being, but with the help of my faith I have tried to right my past.

I want you to know, your Holiness, that in my 50 years of elected office I have done my best to champion the rights of the poor and open doors of economic opportunity. I’ve worked to welcome the immigrant, to fight discrimination and expand access to health care and education. I’ve opposed the death penalty and fought to end war. Those are the issues that have motivated me and have been the focus of my work as a U.S. Senator.

I also want you to know that even though I am ill, I am committed to do everything I can to achieve access to health care for everyone in my country. This has been the political cause of my life. I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health field and I’ll continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone.

I’ve always tried to be a faithful Catholic, Your Holiness. [Blogger Note: Excuse me for a minute... I have to pick my 75-year-old, pro-life, Irish-Catholic father off the floor.] And though I have fallen short through human failings I’ve never failed to believe and respect the fundamental teachings of my faith.

I continue to pray for God’s blessings on you and on our church and would be most thankful for your prayers for me.”

Although a very heartfelt letter, both the Vatican and Senator Kennedy knew the 800 pound gorilla that had to be addressed in this final letter, and this correspondence with its obvious omission - almost insultingly so -does not make me feel any more confident that Senator Kennedy came to terms with the evil he had entrenched himself with for 30 years and left this world in a state of grace. It is a very sad letter, for multiple reasons.

Thoughts on Ted Kennedy's Funeral

After seeing that dog and pony show yesterday, I don’t know how this country survived 150 years prior to the birth of Ted Kennedy.

I was greatly saddened by seeing Cardinal O’Malley presiding at the Mass. (As a technical note, even through O’Malley did not say the Mass, the ranking prelate is considered the one who presides.) There was quite a lot of pressure put on His Eminence not to show up. American Life League actually sent a letter to O'Malley and started a petition. In the end, O’Malley gave the final invocation committing Senator Kennedy to God’s Mercy, which was OK, but his presence at the Mass gave Kennedy’s funeral in a Catholic Church a legitimacy. I am a great fan of Cardinal O’Malley and will defer judgment until I learn more about the situation hopefully through his blog. O'Malley did not look overly happy to be there.

Very noteworthy, O'Malley did not change into his vestments until right before he gave the final blessing. He changed post-Consecration, which I have never seen a priest do in my life. This could have been his way of portraying he was not partaking in the funeral mass, just the blessing of mercy. We also do not know if a supervisory request was made of him to be present.

When O’Malley greeted the Obama’s prior to Mass, Joe Biden extended his hand to O’Malley. O’Malley abruptly walked away, but then did shake hands with everyone in the first row at the Sign of Peace, including Biden’s. Joe Biden did receive Communion. The wide angle shot had the Obamas letting Biden out for Communion, and then cut away. It was a day of scandals. It was noteworthy also that no cameras were on the politicians receiving Communion. If you think this was random, think so more.

Fr. Mark Hession giving the Homily reminded me of Fr. Jenkins give his address at Notre Dame, trying to justify what he was doing and the life of Ted Kennedy. Maybe if you have to justify a life in a homily, you should take a step back.

George W. and Hillary where getting along swimmingly. I have a strong belief the George W. Bush will convert to Roman Catholicism. Love the fact that four former Presidents had to listen to the Ave Maria.

Mark Steyne brought up a very good point this week. The animosity and polarizations of America’s political parties origin can be traced precisely back to Ted Kennedy at the Judge Bork hearings:

"But leaving aside for the moment Chappaquiddick, which I think is, would be a stain on any man’s record, and the way he dealt with it, in a way, is an even greater stain, putting that to one side, I think I would credit him, by and large, with the politics of the modern era. And when I listen to Orrin Hatch talking about his terrific geniality and bipartisan spirit and all the rest of it, I think back to what he said about Judge Bork at those confirmation hearings twenty years ago, and I think actually a lot of the poison in our politics dates from that. I mean, it was an absurd caricature of Judge Bork’s views, it was utterly false in many respects, the idea that Robert Bork is in favor of segregated lunch counters and all the rest of it, I think it was a disgusting act from a disgusting man. But it helps you understand that a man who could behave as he did at Chappaquiddick would think nothing of doing what he did to Judge Bork in 1987."

So to say Kennedy reached out to the other side of the table, as much as I heard this yesterday, if fiction. He reached out to the other side when he needed something done.

To have his grandchild read a petition in the middle of the mass praying that we pass National Health Care and excepting the gay community more was an outrage and the exploitation of a minor. It is par for the course because the Kennedy’s have always used the Catholic Church to their benefit when needed.

Very surprisingly, Obama's Eulogy was very lacking. His oratory skills took the day off. I was expecting him to bring the place down. He seemed tired and not engaged. Could be the stress of the office is taking a tole. This could have been such a moment to seize for him with his popularity plummeting. Ted Kennedy Jr. stole the show and the limelight from the President. Maybe the wrong Ted Kennedy son is in politics.

Archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick oversaw the grave site service. Another thing that needs an explanation.

Fox news mentioned the Vicki Kennedy carried herself with all the grace and dignity as the former Kennedy widows at their husband’s funeral. I totally agree.

Fr. Euteneuer from Human Life International has some worthy thoughts on the subject of Ted Kennedy being burried in a Catholic Church:

"...There was very little about Ted Kennedy's life that deserves admiration from a spiritual or moral point of view. He was probably the worst example of a Catholic statesman that one can think of. When all is said and done, he has distorted the concept of what it means to be a Catholic in public life more than anyone else in leadership today.

...Ted Kennedy's positions on a variety of issues have been a grave scandal for decades, and to honor this "catholic" champion of the culture of death with a Catholic funeral is unjust to those who have actually paid the price of fidelity.

...Senator Kennedy needs to be sent to the afterlife with a private, family-only funeral and the prayers of the Church for the salvation of his immortal soul. He will not be missed by the unborn who he betrayed time and time again, nor by the rest of us who are laboring to undo the scandalous example of Catholicism that he gave to three generations of Americans."

Euteneuer has a little bit of Chaput in him. He drives a truck of truth through the veils of deceipt.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Grieve An Asterisked Life

Today I grieve over a life that did not reach its true potential. Today I grieve over a life that will forever have an asterisk associated with it.

It was a life that chose not to speak with the absolute conviction of the Divine Truths that had been revealed to it through its heritage, but instead chose to attenuate the voice of a secular confusion at the altar of man-made power.

It was a life that could have been a Profile in Courage by delivering his Party of millions to a culture of setting a place at the table for even the most defenseless members of our human family but in its stead chose to support, entrench and perpetuate the destruction of the innocent as part of his Party's platform.

It was a life that lovingly and profoundly penned in 1971:

"... it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized—the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.

...When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception."

It was a life that after accepting this written truth, then turned from it.

It was a life that will forever will be known as a tireless worker on behalf of the poor and the disadvantaged, but in the same breath will always have a scarlet asterisk anchored to it. The asterisk will forever acknowledge that this life was politically selective in his care towards society's most downtrodden when they were placed before him - - framed by his meditated, complete abandonment of the unborn.

I grieve this asterisk mostly today and the true 'Lion of the Senate' that could have been.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pat Buchanan: Obama's Option A

In my post on the Catholic case against Obamacare, I mentioned that Euthanasia would be the demonic offspring of Obama's new health care system. Pat Buchanan sees this coming as well. He wrote a very powerful column a few days back. Here are some excerpts:

"…[the] Washington Post [had a] story about Obamacare’s "proposal to pay physicians who counsel elderly or terminally ill patients about what medical treatment they would prefer near the end of life and how to prepare instructions such as living wills," and there is little doubt as to what is coming.

…Three weeks ago [under a socialize health care system], Sir Edward Downes, the world-renowned British orchestra leader, who was going blind and deaf, and his wife of 54 years, who had terminal cancer, ended their lives at a Zurich clinic run by the assisted suicide group Dignitas. They drank a small amount of liquid and died hand in hand, their adult children by their side.

This is the way of de-Christianized Europe. For years, doctors have assisted the terminally ill in ending their lives. Indeed, it has been reported that indigent, sick and elderly patients who could not make the decision for themselves had it made for them.

…To traditional Christians, God is the author of life and innocent life, be it of the unborn or terminally ill, may not be taken. Heroic means to keep the dying alive are not necessary, but to advance a natural death by assisting a suicide or euthanasia is a violation of the God’s commandment, Thou shalt not kill.

To secularists and atheists who believe life begins and ends here, however, the woman alone decides whether her unborn child lives, and the terminally ill and elderly, and those closest to them, have the final say as to when their lives shall end. As it would be cruel to let one’s cat or dog spend its last months or weeks in terrible pain, they argue, why would one allow one’s parents to endure such agony?

In the early 20th century, with the influence of Social Darwinism, the utilitarian concept that not all life is worth living or preserving prevailed. In Virginia and other states, sterilization laws were upheld by the Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who said famously, "Three generations of imbeciles are enough."

…Revulsion to Nazism led to revival of the Christian ideal of the sanctity of all human life and the moral obligation of all to defend it. But the utilitarian idea — of the quality of life trumping the faith-based idea of the sanctity of life — has made a strong comeback.

And the logic remains inexorable. If government intends to "bend the curve" of rising health care costs, and half of those costs are incurred in the last six months of life, and physician-counselors will be sent to the seriously ill to advise them of what costs will no longer be covered, and what their options are — what do you think is going to be Option A?"