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The Deacon's Bench

Anyone wondering what was in that letter that Ted Kennedy sent to the pope got a glimpse this afternoon, when Washington’s retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick read an excerpt at the graveside:

McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, read from a letter from Kennedy to Pope Benedict XVI, hand-delivered earlier this year by Obama.

“I know that I have been an imperfect human being but with the help of my faith I have tried to right my path,” the dying senator wrote. He wrote the pontiff “with deep humility to ask that you pray for me as my own health declines.”

The Vatican responded with a letter that said “his Holiness prays that in the days ahead you may be sustained in faith and hope.”

The full text of McCarrick’s remarks can be found here.

UPDATE: A full text of the Kennedy letter, and the Pope’s reply, can be found here. I have to say, having now read Kennedy’s letter in full, I’m not impressed. I’d like to give the man the benefit of the doubt, but honestly: it sounds too much like a campaign flyer.

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