Cardinal Sean O’Malley presided over Ted Kennedy’s funeral. Cardinal McCarrick presided over the burial ceremony, reading the prayers that were offered Kennedy by Pope Benedict XVI. But Kennedy’s death illustrates once again a split in the Catholic church, which is not between those who are pro-choice and pro-life (priests are all anti-abortion). It’s between those who feel that virtually the entirety of being a good Catholic is one’s position on Roe v. Wade and those who don’t.
In the first camp would be Father Tom Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, who said there should not have had a public funeral:
“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. 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.
“He did nothing to advance true justice as the Church sees it or to advance the peace of Christ in this world…. 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.”
For an alternative view, here is the eulogy from Kennedy’s priest, Mark Hessian.