Skip to comments.Ted Kennedy, Healthcare & Purgatory (the Anchoress)
Posted on 08/26/2009 8:36:10 AM PDT by STARWISE
My baby-hood crush on John Kennedy, and my little-girl admiration for Robert Kennedy had kept Ted Kennedy on my periphery. I use this photo because it is the flashing image I always get when I think of Ted, because it was my first real notice of him.
I remember being 11 years old and watching Kennedy make a statement on television after the death of Mary Jo Kopechne.
What seems vivid in my memory is something I am no longer sure of: was he wearing a neckbrace during that speech? Perhaps that was another time, or my memory is fouled up from all these years of news-watching.
I do recall his voice quivering as he suggested that his family seemed to be under some terrible curse. With the 1968 murder of RFK still fresh in our Catholic memories, and JFKs death still a long-opened wound, my parents were moved by Kennedys tremors. I was moved.
My mother who, I must admit, had a bit of a morbid streak about her, counted off the Kennedy tragedies, Joe, killed in the war; Kathleen killed in an airplane; Rosemary institutionalized after a botched lobotomy .JFK assassinated Bobby assassinated what family can endure this? His mother is a woman of sorrows.
Well, true that. The loss of one child is something a parent never gets over. Rose Kennedy lost 4 in their prime. And being married to Joe Kennedy could not have been a bed of roses, either.
Someone emailed me a moment ago wondering how long it would take for Kennedys death to be politicized specifically by the left, specifically in order to push through the rapidly souring Obamacare, and wouldnt that be a dreadful and classless thing?
The answers, at least on Twitter, are immediately, and yes, dreadful and classless, but nothing less than Kennedy himself would have expected and participated in; it is what politics has devolved to, after all.
Even as he lay dying, the Liberal Lion was trying to finagle a means of protecting his Senate seat for his party. Or, someone was. And already on Twitter, the Obamacare proponents are insisting that Kennedys death will give Obama the push he needs, to pass his plan.
Well maybe. But Kennedys death -outside of the coastal enclaves- will not have the drama and sentimental heft some might expect.
Given a grim diagnosis in May of 2008, Kennedy managed, with the help of some of the best care available, to see another Christmas, another spring and even another summer. Its entirely possible that what Kennedys death will really do is bring into stark relief the fact that under Obamacare, this overweight 77 year-old man with liking for the drink would probably have faced treatment rationing and an offer for physician aid-in-dying.
Kennedys death will emphasize yet again that our elected public servants enjoy one of the best health insurance plans in the world, while they are trying to force something much less comprehensive (and life-affirming) onto their constituents.
I expect, though, that beyond health care, and beyond the inevitable hagiography and histrionics in the press (and the competition between the Clintons and the Obamas as to who can best-use this moment) Ted Kennedys death will do what every Kennedy death does: shine a spotlight on Catholicism, its rituals and rites and rubrics.
There will be lots of people -both Catholic and non-Catholic- who will declare themselves shocked and scandalized that Kennedy would be given a Mass of Christian Burial. Some will declare that he should have been thrown out of the church a long time ago; others will insist that his Funeral Mass brings shame to us.
Some will focus on his personal sins -the assumed repentance or lack of same (of which they will likely have no real knowledge, just hunches) and some will presume to know the state of his soul, but those will be the inveterates, working from long-habit.
Most Christians will, I think, understand that the favors of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies not over and done and will simply pray in hopes that Kennedy had made a contrite and humble confession of his failings and sins.
Others, of course, will suggest that Kennedys pro-abortion positions, in and of themselves, should damn him forever in the eyes of God.
Thankfully, God knows more, and sees more, than the rest of us, because eventually well all need to count on His mercy, as we face his justice. For all that we know of Kennedy, there is much we do not know. A family member who works with the very poor once told me that when he was in a real fix and unable to find help for, for instance, a sick child in need of surgery, a phone call to Kennedys office would set the Irish Mafia of professional people -doctors, lawyers, pilots and such- into brisk motion.
I think an examination of the life of every great person (and I mean great in terms of power and influence) will expose deep flaws and surprising episodes of generosity.
As I wrote here, the quiet altruism of a public man is always overshadowed by the noise of his sins, and, Is it arrogance and entitlement that keeps a public man of public failings turning, and turning again, to the Mass, the sacraments, and the tribe, or is it a kind of humility, a declaration of need that supersedes riches and power and all the consolations of the world?
So, upon hearing of his passing, I say ah, hes gone, then, make a Sign of the Cross, and think of what C.S. Lewis wrote of Purgatory:
Our souls demand Purgatory, dont they? Would it not break the heart if God said to us, It is true, my son, that your breath smells and your rags drip with mud and slime, but we are charitable here and no one will upbraid you with these things, nor draw away from you. Enter into the joy? Should we not reply, With submission, sir, and if there is no objection, Id rather be cleaned first. It may hurt, you know Even so, sir.
I assume that the process of purification will normally involve suffering. Partly from tradition; partly because most real good that has been done me in this life has involved it. But I dont think the suffering is the purpose of the purgation. I can well believe that people neither much worse nor much better than I will suffer less than I or more. . . . The treatment given will be the one required, whether it hurts little or much.
My favorite image on this matter comes from the dentists chair. I hope that when the tooth of life is drawn and I am coming round, a voice will say, Rinse your mouth out with this. This will be Purgatory. The rinsing may take longer than I can now imagine. The taste of this may be more fiery and astringent than my present sensibility could endure. But . . . it will [not] be disgusting and unhallowed.
What can one do when one is likely unfit for heaven, but possesses just enough charity and love to stave off hell? Let us suffer the purgation, then. I am certain that someday I, in all my sins, will end up there, too.
I feel badly for Caroline Kennedy, for whom Ted was a beloved father figure, and for his kids. Beyond that? One senses this was in some ways a tormented man -but then we are all, in some ways tormented. May he rest in peace.
Funny, it sort of feels like an end to 1969. Finally.
Afterthought: It is rather remarkable that Kennedy died just as Obama hit the Vineyard; a spectacular opportunity for Obama to, as president, re-dazzle some of the country as their attention is taken off his failing policies.
I mentioned earlier that the Clintons and Obamas would be vying for beneficial airtime. Obama, being president (and the press darling) will benefit most as he leads the nation through its mourning is I guess how theyll phrase it.
The Ted Kennedy Health Care Bill of 2009 in memory of Mary Jo Kopechne: Since 1969, 50 Years of Monstrosity
Ted Kennedy was a singular figure in American history. Very few if any, over such a long period, have done more to harm America. But Obama is committed to trying.
Socialism hasnt worked in 6,000 years of recorded history because it didnt have me to run it. - Ted KennedyAnd despite all his efforts to the contrary, it never worked in America either. Even with him as the Jackal of the Senate trying his best to implement it. May God have mercy on his soul...but we are better as a nation with him permanenetly out of that position of power and influence.
The best epitath for this leftist, socialists, corrupt old man would be for a conservative or at the least a moderate, to be elected to fill his seat by the people of Mass.
Now we have Barrack Hussein Obama and his ilk, who will surely try to use the death of Kennedy to push through the biggest socialization effort in American history - ObamaCare.
We cannot let it happen. Stand firm, speak out, lean into their storm of word and ideologies...and push them back.
...and on the lighter side, take your mind off the Obamanation for a few minutes and enjoy some beautiful Western US scenery slideshows.
TED KENNEDY'S "OTHER" LEGACY - LEFTIST, SOCIALIST ANTI-AMERICAN TO THE CORE
Kennedy smears President Bush and our troops on the US Senate floor:
He described the Iraq war as a fraud made up in Texas as part of political strategy accused the President of the US of telling lie, after lie, after lie, in order to go to war in Iraq.
Kennedy smears Judge Alito...Mrs. Alito in tears:
In suggesting that Samuel Alito had belonged to a racist conservative group, Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy relied heavily on an essay published by the organization that sounded like a bigoted rant. The essay, titled In Defense of Elitism.....But the magazines editor at the time says the article was pure satire, a send-up of what liberals think conservatives think. He added quote, I think left-wing groups have been feeding Senator Kennedy snippets and he has been mindlessly reciting them,
Sen. Edward Kennedy Smears the Nation
On March 19, 2004, President Bush asked: Who would prefer that Saddams torture chambers still be open? Shamefully, we now learn that Saddams torture chambers reopened under new management U.S. management. - A speech on the Senate floor, May 10, 2004.
Kennedys smear of Judge Bork on the US Senator floor:
Robert Borks America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is and is often the only protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy....
Kennedy betrays his Senate position, President Reagan and America
May 14, 1983 document from the KGB archives reveals that Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) reached out to the General Secretary of the Soviet Unions Communist Party, Yuri Andropov, to propose a kind of public relations strategy to counter President Reagans defense policy initiatives toward the Soviet Union, policies that Kennedy felt were too aggressive.
Kennedy was either a prime instigator or author of every expansion of an increase in immigration, up to and including the latest attempt to grant amnesty to illegal aliens.
The death of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick:
On July 19, 1969, Kennedy attended a party on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts .. At about 11:00 PM, he borrowed his chauffeur's keys to his Oldsmobile limousine, and offered to give a ride home to Mary Jo Kopechne, a campaign worker. Leaving the island via an unlit bridge with no guard rail, Kennedy steered the car off the bridge, and flipped into Poucha Pond.
He escaped te car andswam to shore and walked back to the party, passing several houses and a fire station. Two friends then returned with him to the scene of the accident. According to their later testimony, they told him what he already knew - that he was required by law to immediately report the accident to the authorities. Instead Kennedy made his way to his hotel, called his lawyer, and went to sleep. Kennedy called the police the next morning and by then the wreck had already been discovered. Before dying, Kopechne had scratched at the upholstered floor above her head in the upside-down car.
The Kennedy family began "calling in favors", ensuring that any inquiry would be contained. Her corpse was whisked out-of-state to her family, before an autopsy could be conducted. Further details are uncertain, but after the accident Kennedy says he repeatedly dove under the water trying to rescue Kopechne and he didn't call police because he was in a state of shock. It is widely assumed Kennedy was drunk, and he held off calling police in hopes that his family could fix the problem overnight.
The inquest into Kopechnes death took place in Edgartown in January 1970. At the request of Kennedys lawyers, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ordered that it be conducted in secret. The 763-page transcript of the inquest was released four months later. Judge James A. Boyle presided at the inquest. Among Judge Boyles conclusions in his inquest report was the following: There is probable cause to believe that Edward M. Kennedy operated his motor vehicle negligently and that such operation appears to have contributed to the death of Mary Jo Kopechne.
Under Massachusetts law Boyle, having found probable cause that Kennedy had committed a crime, could have issued a warrant for his arrest, but he did not do so. District Attorney Dinis chose not to pursue Kennedy for manslaughter, despite Judge Boyles conclusions.
Kennedy pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, and was given a SUSPENDED SENTENCE OF TWO MONTHS. Kopechne's family received a small payout from the Kennedy's insurance policy, and never sued. There was later an effort to have her body exhumed and autopsied, but her family successfully fought against this in court, and Kennedy's family paid their attorney's bills.
In 1964, he was seriously injured in a plane crash, and hospitalized for several months. Test results done by the hospital at the time he was admitted had shown he was legally intoxicated. The results of those tests remained a "state secret" until in the 1980's when the report was unsealed. Didn't hear about that from the unbiased media, did we?
While attending law school at the University of Virginia , he was cited for reckless driving four times, including once when he was clocked driving 90 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood with his headlights off after dark. Yet his Virginia driver's license was never revoked. Coincidentally, he passed the bar exam in 1959.
He was caught cheating at Harvard when he attended it. He was expelled twice, once for cheating on a test, and once for paying a classmate to cheat for him.
Should be the “press’s darling” and “its mourning”. Otherwise a beautiful and balanced piece.
Health care for
All (including Aliens)
Paul said: To die in Christ is to be with Christ.
Socialism hasnt worked in 6,000 years of recorded history because it didnt have me to run it. - Ted Kennedy
OK. Now that you are gone, can we just move on past trying socialism?
Get ready for another Paul Wellstone-type memorial service.
I am expecting Michael Savage to speak later today about a lying, murdering sack of evil.
Our souls demand Purgatory, dont they? Would it not break the heart if God said to us, It is true, my son, that your breath smells and your rags drip with mud and slime, but we are charitable here and no one will upbraid you with these things, nor draw away from you. Enter into the joy? Should we not reply, With submission, sir, and if there is no objection, Id rather be cleaned first. It may hurt, you know Even so, sir.**
We have no idea if Senator Kennedy had a deathbed re-conversion. We cannot judge.
There is no purgatory.
No second chances.
Repent now or its too late.
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list
What's a "re-conversion"?
Is that like a "reversion" in Islam, where part of their claim is that Islam is the original religion and therefore submitting to that mess is not a conversion, but a return?
All sin is horrible to God -- Kennedy's, yours, mine (especially mine).
I will be happy to squeak into Purgatory. I therefore pray for the repose of Kennedy's soul.
Even when your sins have been forgiven, there is a temporal punishment due in justice. God is merciful, but God is also just.
Read C.S. Lewis's comment on Purgatory posted above, also consider Cardinal Newman's Dream of Gerontius, which you can read here in its entirety.
There is a pleading in His pensive eyes
Will pierce thee to the quick, and trouble thee.
And thou wilt hate and loathe thyself; for, though
Now sinless, thou wilt feel that thou hast sinn'd,
As never thou didst feel; and wilt desire
To slink away, and hide thee from His sight:
And yet wilt have a longing aye to dwell
Within the beauty of His countenance.
And these two pains, so counter and so keen,
The longing for Him, when thou seest Him not;
The shame of self at thought of seeing Him,
Will be thy veriest, sharpest purgatory.
A re-conversion for Senator Kennedy would have been to ask forgiveness for all his previous actions and receive the Sacraments as a result of that Confession/Annointing of the Sick.
Both healing sacraments.
Thanks for the explanation.
Personally I believe in one conversion, although I do believe in confessing our actions that dishonor God to Him.
Thank you for both of your kind responses.
I was raised Roman Catholic and when I was in my early twenties I got saved when I was reading Ephesians chapter 1. I lost a wrestling match with God that day and he persuaded me that salvation is by grace through faith alone in the full sacrifice of Christ for my sins.
However, the idea of purgatory died a slow death with me, and I think it only did so when I read God’s Word cover to cover about seven times.
I’m not bragging about that, because I have not read his Word cover to cover since many years ago, which is quite regretful.
So consider (as Cromwell so memorably said) that you may have been imperfectly catechized or have a misunderstanding regarding your early teachings. Don't know how old you are, but if you were in CCD back in the 60s or 70s, many parishes fell prey to relativism and a desire to 'fit in' by being as 'mainstream' as possible. So a lot of folks were mis-instructed or not instructed at all.
Fwiw, not only is there Scriptural support for Purgatory (e.g., 1st Cor 3:15, 2nd Macc 12:43), but sacred tradition and the earliest writers of the Church confirm it - St. Augustine, Tertullian, Cyprian, Clement of Alexandria. Sacred tradition is present in all churches, Catholics just acknowledge it and conserve it.
And Purgatory does not conflict with salvation or the concepts of grace or faith -- it is simply a cleansing, the tree lies where it falls. Have you read C.S. Lewis's The Great Divorce? Splendid book with some very illuminating thoughts on heaven, hell, and purgatory -- and Lewis was an Anglican.
Amen to that. We all count on His Mercy. He's in God's hands now.
As a Catholic, Ill pray for the repose of his soul.
I think a lot of people are going to meet Mr Teddy Kennedy in their dreams, just like my father met Frank Sinatra in his dream. During Armed Forces Radio days in early 40s, my Dad controlled the electronics and Frank kept missing his cue. My Dad just turned on the sound, it was Frank who kept messing up, but Frank got madder and madder at my Dad. Frank finally got so angry that he threw his cigarette lighter at my Dad (he missed). Then Frank got his cues right. Well, my Dad forgot all about it, because my Dad just isnt one to hold a grudge against ANYone (sometimes even when I think he should). A few years ago, Dad had a dream and told me the story I just told you about Frank Sinatra and that Frank had appeared in a dream (a very vivid dream) and had apologized to my Dad for the incident. My Dad said that Franks apology was the first time hed thought of the occasion since itd happened. I told my Dad: You dont necessarily believe in a place of Purging, but I do and old Frank will not be able to enter Heaven until hes purged himself of all the unChrist-like actions during his life.
Now, some will play God and damn both Frank and Teddy to Hell. We cant make that call. And I think it is a presumptuous sin for anyone to try to assign someone other than Satan and his fallen angels to the place God created solely for Satan and his angelic host.
New American Standard Bible (©1995) For my Catholic family
Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
King James Bible for my Protestant family members
Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
PS that was Psalm 19:13 I quoted above.
Jan 2, 2009 WSJ article entitled How Support for Abortion Became Kennedy Dogma
Don’t forget the first major bill that Kennedy pushed through as a Senator was the Immigration Act of 1965. It did away with favoring immigrants from Europe to favoring immigrants from other parts of the world. Before that, illegal immigrants had been rounded up and sent back (Eisenhower had a program of rounding up “wetbacks”), but after his bill was pushed through, it became “politically incorrect.” Kennedy’s bill paved the way for our country being overrun by people who have no intention of ever assimilating into our American culture or learning our language. His bill exponentially sped up the destruction of America from within.
On my Catholic education:
8 years Catholic grade school
4 years Catholic high school
weekly CCD classes by quite conservative Novus Ordo RCC priest
parents subscribed to National Catholic Register, the Wanderer, Fidelity and The Remnant, and I read them while growing up
my parents fought the Novus Ordo modernism tooth and nail and are now in the SSPX - I would politiely challenge you to ask them if they considered me to be inadequately catechized
I subscribed to Fidelity and Remnant in undergrad college and never stopped contending against modernism in the Catholic Church
Yes, on 1 Cor 3:15 and Maccabees, I was thoroughly catechized in those passages. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment.” Heb 9:27
I got saved when God convinced me that only Christ’s death is acceptable as full payment for my sin.
that pic is the one after he neglected to do the right thing with Mary Joe Kopechne. that is what is in my mind every time Mr Swimmer Kennedy comes up.
I wish it were possible for everybody to get just the right amount of catechesis, like Goldilocks.
Speaking seriously, I don't believe that it is Catholic teaching that Christ's sacrifice is NOT a "full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world". It doesn't appear that Purgatory has anything to do with that. And I for one will be exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to get cleaned up, whether (as another poster said) it takes a fuzzy cloth or a wire brush . . . or a sandblaster.
I wish I could remember the FReeper who told the story about her grandfather having passed away - he was a very good man and much loved but not particularly religious.
Her mother began having a vivid, repetitive dream in which her father was begging, "Get me out of here!" and she had no idea what it meant. It scared her. But she figured she ought to pray for her grandfather, and she did. Months later she asked her mother if she was still having the dream, and she said she had had another dream in which he basically said, "It's o.k. now."
Sort of thing that makes you go, hmmmmmmm.
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