Saturday, August 29, 2009

Read Kennedy's letter to the pope

At the graveside service at Arlington National Cemetery for Sen. Edward Kennedy, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, read from a letter from Kennedy to Pope Benedict XVI, hand-delivered earlier this year by President Obama, and from portions of the pope's reply.


Sen. Edward Kennedy laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

Kennedy's letter:

"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 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 these 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 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.

"I have been blessed to be a part of a wonderful family, and both of my parents, particularly my mother, kept our Catholic faith at the center of our lives. That gift of faith has sustained, 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 path.

"I want you to know, Your Holiness, that in my nearly 50 years of elective 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, fight discrimination and expand access to health care and education. I have opposed the death penalty and fought to end war. Those are the issues that have motivated me and been the focus of my work as a United States 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 care field and will 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 have always tried to be a faithful Catholic, Your Holiness, and though I have fallen short through human failings, I have never failed to believe and respect the fundamental teachings. I continue to pray for God’s blessings on you and our Church and would be most thankful for your prayers for me."


Pope Benedict XVI's reply:

"The Holy Father has read the letter which you entrusted to President Barack Obama, who kindly presented it to him during their recent meeting. He was saddened to know of your illness, and has asked me to assure you of his concern and his spiritual closeness. He is particularly grateful for your promise of prayers for him and for the needs of the universal Church.

"His Holiness prays that in the days ahead you may be sustained in faith and hope, and granted the precious grace of joyful surrender to the will of God our merciful Father. He invokes upon you the consolation and peace promised by the Risen Savior to all who share in His sufferings and trust in His promise of eternal life.

"Commending you and the members of your family to the loving intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Father cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of wisdom, comfort and strength in the Lord."

12 comments:

Mary said...

Did Kennedy say he wanted his letter to the Pope made public? If he didn't, then it shouldn't have been.

Anonymous said...

Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Kennedy did want it made public. It was a blatent attempt to secure the sympathy vote for the health care plan.
The response was not written by the Pope but one of his minions. Interesting. Kennedy is not important enough for the Pope to give a direct response to.

Anonymous said...

Kennedy was a JOKE!

Anonymous said...

Strange there is no mention of supporting abortion. Was it left out of the letter, or was the letter edited to remove the comments? Strange too that the Pope doesn't clearly offer to pray for his soul. It's not what's here, it's what's not here.

Tomsbartoo said...

The role being played by Archbishop McCarrick is at best disappointing, if not sinister. If this country had a legitimate press (and I refer not only to the secular press, but the Catholic press as well), they would press McCarrick as to whether he actually read both letters in full, or if he was only reading those sections of the letters that were fed to him by the Kennedy people.

If he read the letters in full, was he being honest in his representation that Pope Benedict XVI was actually silent in his response to Kennedy on the abortion issue? Should Catholics now believe this Pope was not concerned enough about the views of this Catholic politician writing for a Papal blessing not to demand that Kennedy publicly recant his position on an error that has led so many other Catholics astray on the issue of abortion? Are Catholics now being led to believe that abortion really isn’t a big deal at all as far as the Church is concerned? Can we conclude anything else by the silence of the Pope on the issue? But if the Pope did condemn Kennedy’s public position supporting abortion, euthanasia, and homosexual marriages to name but a few areas where Kennedy and the Church stood in opposite corners, but McCarrick chose to ignore those passages, could McCarrick’s carefully selected language from the Pope’s response be considered anything less than a serious misrepresentation of the Pope, and by extension, the position of the Catholic Church? Isn’t that heresy?

On the other hand, if McCarrick was simply “going along with the program for the Kennedy’s and the political left”, and agreed to simply read the excerpts he was fed, and then heap praise upon this man who did probably more to promote abortion as any other man in the history of this nation, what in the world does it say about McCarrick? Was he allowing himself to be used by the Kennedy’s simply because they were rich and powerful? Does he really not see the evil of abortion? In any event, and regardless of what the Pope may or may not have said in his response (which all would have to agree was a private response to Kennedy that was made public by the Kennedy family for their own personal reasons), the Pope is now placed in the position of weighing whether or not to go public on the matter just to clear the air and to let the world know the true position of the Church on at least abortion. One might argue that he has no need or even right to speak on the issue publicly, but he may now have to since the implication being left with the world (by the McCarrick/Kennedy cabal) is that the Pope and the Church is not that concerned over abortion—at least as far as the well-connected are concerned.

A few years back Monsignor Lefebvre of France was actually excommunicated by the Catholic Church because he refused to accept certain apostasies of Vatican II (notably, ecumenism and the abandonment of the Tridentine Mass); but today we see that if you’re a wealthy and powerful American politician who promotes policies that have resulted in the murdering of more than 35 million innocent babies, you get an Apostolic blessing. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Although the letter did have a hint of being scripted for the media, I feel as though it came from his soul. I also believe that you can live in faith, and also disagree w/the catholic church. After all, wasn't it man that made the rules? All interpretations...in my mind.
- Kennedy supporter

Anonymous said...

Anon said "After all, wasn't it man that made the rules? All interpretations...in my mind".

So are you suggesting that Kennedy as a "devout" Catholic believed that 10 commandments were invented by people? If you disagree with such a fundamental human right as the right to life, doesn't that put you outside of the Church? And as a politician championing laws in direct contradiction of Church's teachings, what example do you give to the rest of the followers?

Anonymous said...

Dear Teddy,

Thanks but no thanks. We were hoping in the end you'd come clean on MJK but you didnt so f off and rot in hades with MJ.

Your ex-friend, The Pope

ps we wanted MJ as a priest but he declined way back.

Anonymous said...

Kennedy was as nothing to the Holy Father. He missed the most important issue of all: the right to be born and to live until natural death.
You can purchase papal blessing documents in any shop in Rome and have them blessed at a papal Mass.

This was an act of supreme arrogance and pride. Shameful!

Anonymous said...

Good ole Ted. Yea we about how you were being a good guy giving 29yr old single hot blonde babe Mary Jo a ride to her ferry to go to her motel across the bay to Marthas Vineyard after the July 1969 election reunion party and made a wrong turn seen by a cop who saw you speed off toward the bridge. Why was Mary Jos purse and sweater left at the party?

We heard how you said you ran off the bridge but had not been drinking, ha ha, and bravely made attempts to rescue her in your upside 1967 Olds.

We heard how you said you swam 500 yards across the chilly inlet at midnight to your motel and passed out until the next am when you called the cops at 10am ... the car and body had already been found by 2 fishermen. When you came to the cop station why were your clothes dry?

We know you went to her funeral and got off the hook light with the judge ... Your wife Joan was 7 mos pregnant and ended up having her 3rd miscarriage ...

But what about the drivers license you couldnt explain? If you swam across the inlet how was your wallet and license dry and intact?

Late Sen Jesse Helms nickname for Ted always irritated the hell out of him calling him "Chappaquidick boy" in front of everyone in DC for 30 yrs ...

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