Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


Those Who Believe Kennedy Was a Bad Catholic

posted by swaldman

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.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(19)
post a comment
pagansister

posted August 29, 2009 at 9:32 pm


Obviously the good Father Tom had no say on whether Ted Kennedy had a Catholic funeral or not. Ted Kennedy certainly was his own man…and being that, he didn’t agree with all the RCC preaches…he was a thinking man, not a robot. The RCC doesn’t like it’s members to disagree with their teachings. Was he perfect? No one is. However from what I heard today, his caring for the folks that elected him, as well as this country, helped make up for the problems he created himself. I expect he’ll be remembered a lot longer by more folks than Father Tom ever will. IMO he wasn’t a Bad Catholic, he was a “thinking” Catholic. And besides isn’t forgivness one of those things the RC thinks is important? His faith sustained him through much tragedy…and the RCC (in spite of Father Tom) sent him on his way.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted August 29, 2009 at 11:57 pm


I thank Father Tom Eutaneuar for his very brave and to the point observation. I wish that more of our hierarchy had the same insight and courage.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted August 30, 2009 at 7:42 am


I THINK that Fr Euteneur’s statement was excellent!



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted August 30, 2009 at 8:05 am


Fr Euteneuer’s comments are unbefitting of any Christian, much less a priest. He doesn’t even bother to offer any factual support for his character assassination of someone who can no longer defend himself. Senator Kennedy’s views on abortion were no different from the majority of Catholics: he supported the use of constructive and supportive means to decrease abortions, rather than the blunt instrument of criminal law. Fr Euteneuer, like many conservative Catholics, has made himself a willing standard bearer for an approach to abortion that is startingly weak–a feel-good political strategy advanced by Republican leaders to win elections–but one that in practical terms could never do anything to actually end abortion.



report abuse
 

Patrick Whelan

posted August 30, 2009 at 8:12 am


“startlingly weak” was what I meant to say–for a retort to the Euteneuer argument, see: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.kennedy30aug30,0,618848.story



report abuse
 

Henrietta22

posted August 30, 2009 at 2:59 pm


These Priest’s comments on one of the most important Statesmen in Americas history is sad. It is so unlike Christ’s message to all who believe in him, it is shocking to read. Words and thoughts like his contribute to hate, terrorism, and then murder, as it did in Dr. Tillers death.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted August 30, 2009 at 5:30 pm


No. Fr Euteneuer:. You are far, far, wrong. He lived the teachings of Christ and found redemption in fighting for those “least among us.” How dry your fidelity to the Catholic religion, instead of the teachings of Christ.
Christ was all about redemption. And the greates gift He gave us was our ability to choose and not depend on some patriarchal mandate that women cannot think and act for themselves.
Meals on Wheels, legislation that made it possible for people with disabilities to be treated equally and fairly in society, health care for the most vulnerable among us – our children, mental health parity for those who suffer in silence with mental illness. How absolutely delighted I am perfectly sure God is with this human being who was flawed like all of us, but who in spite of his wealth fought so hard for the poor, the ill, the “least among us.”
Your comments are judgemental and overly pious. I would ask that you look within the mirror in terms of the Catholic Church own behavior and leniency with its own who destroyed so many lives.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted August 30, 2009 at 11:44 pm


To the previous poster: I believe that the weak catholic church you took a swipe at at the end of your post is precisely the part of the church that has tried to accommodate America’s great relativist experiment of abortion, i.e. the killing of innocent lives, a mortal sin. To receive redemption from Christ, a sinner has to be truly remorseful.



report abuse
 

Gerard Nadal

posted August 31, 2009 at 1:55 am


Fr. Euteneuer got it right. I’ll add to what he said to offer some clarification. At the Funeral Mass, the Church brings out all of the symbols from Baptism to mark the end of the Covenant begun in Baptism: The casket is blessed with the waters of Baptism and covered with a white pall, recalling the white garment of purity on Baptism day, then wheeled up to he lighted Paschal Candle, symbolizing the light of the risen Christ in one’s life.
Certainly none of us lives that Covenant to perfection. We try and fall short, availing ourselves of the Mercy of God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In order to obtain the mercy of God in the sacrament, we must make a firm purpose of amendment and do appropriate penance, attempting to mitigate as much of the damage done by our sins as we can. For those who tried with a good and honest effort (which is enough for God), the Church celebrates their ending of the pilgrimage far from our heavenly home with the Funeral Mass-complete with all of the symbols of the Covenant.
Those who lead notorious public lives, who show great disdain for the truths of the faith, the authority of the Magisterium, and do great harm to society, have been refused a funeral Mass, so as not to make a mockery of the Mass or the Sacrament of Baptism and the Covenant it enjoins on those who receive it. When mafia boss Paul Castellano and his bodyguard Tommy Billotti were gunned down in New York in the 1980′s, Cardinal O’Connor refused to allow them a funeral Mass. There was a profile in courage.
Though Ted Kennedy may well have repented at the end, he left no evidence of a renunciation of the crime of abortion, or evidence of his remorse for having defended that barbaric institution with all of his might. That he gave his all for the slaughter of tens of millions of babies, and with equal strenuousness thumbed his nose at the Church, who desperately sought the safekeeping of those lives is more than reason enough to deny a Catholic funeral and burial.
Our Bishops are not preserved from error in these matters. In extending such noble adieu to this man whose life after 1973 was spent in the protection of abortion, the Bishops undercut their own moral authority and simultaneously send a mixed and confusing message to the laity.
Fr. Euteneuer is a Churchman in the likeness of Cardinal O’Connor, a passionate defender of innocent human life. We all pray that Ted Kennedy is today in Paradise. Fr. Euteneuer and Priests such as him continue to spend their lives cleaning up Teddy’s mess. They’ll need long life, great health and a host of help to do so.



report abuse
 

Michael

posted August 31, 2009 at 1:58 am


A person I’m glad was a fellow Catholic: Ted Kennedy
A person I’m embarrassed is a fellow Catholic: Father Tom Euteneuer
A person I wish was a fellow Catholic: President Barack Obama
Shame on Father Euteneuer!



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted August 31, 2009 at 10:38 am


The irony I see is that I know of more “good” Catholics/Christians who claim to be pro-life and have had their secret abortions that I do “bad” Catholics who support the right to chose, but have chosen not to do so themsleves.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted August 31, 2009 at 11:08 pm


As a pro-choice Protestant, I supported Senator Kennedy on so many other issues like the Death Penalty, health care, his anti war policies, help for the disadvantaged & civil rights. I would hate to see Catholic politicians restricted to just Catholic teachings as they offer Protestants so much for the future of this country on the other issues. But if they have to be pro-life it would be difficult to maintain that support.



report abuse
 

Gerard Nadal

posted August 31, 2009 at 11:49 pm


Your Name
August 31, 2009 11:08 PM
” I would hate to see Catholic politicians restricted to just Catholic teachings as they offer Protestants so much for the future of this country on the other issues. But if they have to be pro-life it would be difficult to maintain that support.”
You just put your finger on why Gore, Jesse Jackson, Kennedy et al. all flipped from ardently pro-life to pro choice. Some call it pragmatism. Some call it survival. Some call it ‘growing in office’.
I’m sure 50 million dead babies since Roe v. Wade might eschew the euphemisms and call it according to their personal experience: Murder.
Our church expects her politicians to abide by the same Ten Commandments as the rest of humanity. Pretty uncomplicated, really.
God Bless



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted September 1, 2009 at 7:41 am


“To the previous poster: I believe that the weak catholic church you took a swipe at at the end of your post is precisely the part of the church that has tried to accommodate America’s great relativist experiment of abortion, i.e. the killing of innocent lives, a mortal sin. To receive redemption from Christ, a sinner has to be truly remorseful.”
Not a swipe dear friend. The truth. We must always be able to look in the mirror instead of picking up a magnifying glass. The Catholic church has a lot to answer for as well as a lot to be proud of. Like we lay humans they have erred and erred again. That does not mean we discount the good that they do.
Some of the comments on here I think must of come from the same kind of minds who were the first to pick up the stones and throw at a defenceless woman. When are we going to live the spiritual example of Christ instead of adhering to the dry rituals of an institution? I understand the comfort of rituals. I don’t understand the unforgiving mindset of those who cling to the rituals instead of the spirit of Christ’s teachings.
If we so care for the little children who are already here on earth, we need to ask ourselves why is it that those who suffer most live in the poorest countries who adhere so steadfastly to their ritual instead of caring for the poor and ill among them. Some of the worst suffering of children occur in countries that are predominantly Catholic.
I grew up Catholic and my mother was a staunch Catholic. That does not mean I must park my brains in the parking lot on a Sunday morning and not use my own reasoning and questioning of an institution that were Nazi and racist collaborators.
Redemption is there for all of us. Ted Kennedy showed us that.



report abuse
 

Donna

posted September 1, 2009 at 9:10 am


One thing that I remember clearly from my Catholic upbringing is the notion of free will. Abortion may be a mortal sin but I need to actually have one before I can be guilty of the sin. Allowing women of many faiths to follow their own consciences is pro-choice. That leaves it up to me as a Catholic to follow my conscience and knowly commit a mortal sin.
I am more interested in Kennedy’s marriage annulment as a position of Catholic doctrine. Millions of divorced Atholicsare scorned by the same church that granted his annulment. Talk about a lack of faith.



report abuse
 

churchmouse

posted September 2, 2009 at 1:08 pm


God Bless you Nadal for your post.
You mentioned just a few of the men whose views flipped on abortion when they started running for political office. They would eat their own young for votes and that was one way to get elected. They did what they had to do, at the expense of the innocent unborn and they compromised their faith while doing it. You don’t need to be a member of any congration to see what God says about the unborn child, children and the sanctity of life. But for men like you mentioned it does not matter, because being elected and flying around in private jets and living the high life means more to them than Gods Truth.
“Redemption is there for all of us. Ted Kennedy showed us that.”
Ted Kennedy only showed the blind who idolized him that a person of wealth and stature can get away with murder. He was not an example of anything but was a big mouth on Capitol Hill who relied on his name and his brother who was our President to get votes. He did show us that if your wealthy our laws do not pertain to them. He left the scene of an accident where a young girl lost her life. He did not report it for hours.
His radical views on abortion were ungodly. He will have to answer to God for his actions. The joke of his annulment of marriage to Joan…….the list goes on.
How can someone absolutly erase a marriage that produced children? hey hes a Kennedy…….haha



report abuse
 

John

posted September 18, 2009 at 3:55 pm


Gerard Nadal & Churchmouse? Self-righteous indignation? Where was your compassion in that hate-filled vitriol. That sounded more political than spiritual.
Please keep the “peace and compassion” of this wonderful site alive.



report abuse
 

Austin Nedved

posted September 28, 2009 at 2:40 am


We don’t feel that the entirety of being a good Catholic is your position on Roe. It is an essential part of it though – you can’t support Roe and call yourself Catholic at the same time, any more than you can support maternal infanticide and call yourself Catholic. There are certainly other important issues, and there is far more to being Catholic than opposing abortion. But if you do support it, you can’t call yourself a member of the Church.



report abuse
 

Hugh Vincelette

posted October 15, 2009 at 9:21 pm


Millions of conservative Christian Americans oppose abortion & tend to view it as a form of murder. Millions of ‘other’ Americans do not view abortion this way.In a diverse and secular republic operating with democratic principles ; the only solution available is stunningly obvious.People who disagree with abortion should never have one. People who see the issue as a woman’s reproductive rights may do so. Adhering without question to a set list of doctrines/dogmae/beliefs is unhealthy in a hundred ways. I grew up Catholic and was an altar boy for many years , during the era of ‘Dominus vobiscum’; ( the old Latin Mass.) I remember many eons ago ; a fellow senior acolyte , after we’d served a Mass with a widely known and respected , clergyman whom I will not ever name : asking him if he really believed in papal infallibility . (Much of the mans work was in the Holy See,& he had frequent access to the pontiff of the day.) He grinned from ear to ear , and retorted “No , and neither does he.” Those were the ‘great’old days , before the church bacame an attack dog.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More Blogs To Enjoy!
Thank you for visiting this page. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Top Religious News Most Recent Inspiration Post Happy Reading!

posted 6:00:22pm Apr. 20, 2012 | read full post »

Good Bye
Today is my last day at Beliefnet (which I co-founded in 1999). The swirling emotions: sadness, relief, love, humility, pride, anxiety. But mostly deep, deep gratitude. How many people get to come up with an idea and have rich people invest money to make it a reality? How many people get to create

posted 8:37:24am Nov. 20, 2009 | read full post »

"Steven Waldman Named To Lead Commission Effort on Future of Media In a Changing Technological Landscape" (FCC Press Release)
STEVEN WALDMAN NAMED TO LEAD COMMISSION EFFORT ON FUTURE OF MEDIA IN A CHANGING TECHNOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE FCC chairman Julius Genachowski announced today the appointment of Steven Waldman, a highly respected internet entrepreneur and journalist, to lead an agency-wide initiative to assess the state o

posted 11:46:42am Oct. 29, 2009 | read full post »

My Big News
Dear Readers, This is the most difficult (and surreal) post I've had to write. I'm leaving Beliefnet, the company I co-founded in 1999. In mid November, I'll be stepping down as President and Editor in Chief to lead a project on the future of the media for the Federal Communications Commission, the

posted 1:10:11pm Oct. 28, 2009 | read full post »

"Beliefnet Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Steps Down to Lead FCC Future of the Media Initiative" (Beliefnet Press Release)
October 28, 2009 BELIEFNET CO-FOUNDER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF STEPS DOWN TO LEAD FCC FUTURE OF THE MEDIA INITIATIVE New York, NY - October 28, 2009 - Beliefnet, the leading online community for inspiration and faith, announced today that Steven Waldman, co-founder, president and editor-in-chief, will re

posted 1:05:43pm Oct. 28, 2009 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.