Skip to comments.Catholicism Was Comfort, Conflict For Kennedy
Posted on 08/28/2009 11:28:24 AM PDT by Steelfish
Catholicism was comfort, conflict for Kennedy
His stance on abortion and divorce from wife Joan defied church teachings
BOSTON - Sen. Edward Kennedy was raised from birth to cherish his Catholicism, and it became both a source of comfort and conflict throughout his life.
The son of the country's most famous Catholic family defied church teachings when he divorced his first wife, then was granted an annulment only after he admitted he wasn't being honest when he promised her he'd be faithful. His most significant and public break with the church came with his support for abortion rights.
Yet Kennedy also advocated for signature Catholic causes, such as help for the poor, health care and immigration reform, and opposition to the Iraq war. His faith remained a regular part of his life until it ended this week with a priest at his bedside.
The apparently conflicting portrait of a man loyal to the church despite widening disagreement on key issues "almost perfectly represents" the views of most American Catholics, said Boston College professor Alan Wolfe.
"He's an effect of a process that's been going on for a very long time that started long before Teddy Kennedy was born and will continue long after Teddy Kennedy is dead," Wolfe said.
Kennedy's mother, Rose Kennedy, set the roots of his faith, emphasizing Christ's teaching in the Gospels that "to whom much is given, much will be required." When her kids were teens, she made sure they went to a weekend religious camp every year, even if they'd rather be sailing, said Adam Clymer, who worked with Kennedy on his biography. She took them to church during the week, so they knew church wasn't just for Sundays.
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In his eulogy during her 1995 funeral, Kennedy called his mother's faith "the greatest gift she gave us."
A commitment to Catholicism was not always evident in Kennedy's personal life, which was marred by problems with alcohol and philandering. In 1983, he was forbidden from receiving communion after his divorce which the church forbids from his first wife, Joan.
The public learned more than a decade later that he'd been granted an annulment after he was seen accepting Communion at his mother's funeral. Joan later said that Kennedy requested the annulment, which she did not oppose, on grounds that his marriage vow to be faithful had not been honestly made, Clymer said.
Kennedy never discussed his annulment and also rarely spoke publicly of his Catholicism.
"I think faith oftentimes is deeply felt in the marrow of your bones, it's a matter of the heart," said Kennedy's friend, the Rev. Gerry Creedon, a Washington-area priest. "He had trouble articulating his inner feelings, his deepest conviction and matters of emotion, the heart."
One of Kennedy's longest discussions of his faith came in 1983 in an unlikely place political foe Jerry Falwell's Liberty University:
"I am an American and a Catholic; I love my country and treasure my faith," Kennedy said. "But I do not assume that my conception of patriotism or policy is invariably correct, or that my convictions about religion should command any greater respect than any other faith in this pluralistic society. I believe there surely is such a thing as truth, but who among us can claim a monopoly on it?"
"I believe there surely is such a thing as truth, but who among us can claim a monopoly on it?"
Does this mean that Kennedy did not believe the Nicene Creed? _______________________________________________________________________ +Nicene Creed+
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father. Through Him all things were made. For us men and our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary , and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures: He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son, He is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. _______________________________________________________________________
I hope I’m wrong, but most likely Sen. Kennedy had disdain for his Catholic faith.
A Catholic politician who encourages abortion? Divorce (secondary to abortion) and unbridled arrogance? Left a girl for dead in a car? Embraced the power of the state to the detriment of ordinary Americans? These aren’t Catholic positions.
A life of excessive privilege is the best way to describe Ted Kennedy.
I hope I’m wrong and he’s resting in peace. Or embraced by St. Peter.
Because he didn’t believe any of the Church’s teachings?
The simple truth is this: You cannot be both a good Catholic and a good Democrat. That is the problem.
It didn't take.
It was never more than a vote-retainer for Kennedy. Gave him a tamed Mass. output, which he maintained by forever pollishing the wax job JFK, his dad, and RFK left him. Without the compliant “brainwashed” media?
He’d be nothing.
Where’s the projectile vomit warning?
But I do know this: it's hard to find something as destructive to moral society than an apostate Catholic in a position of power and authority.
Consider one person's take on Kennedy's legacy.
In my opinion, the Church dropped the ball on apostate politicians and America has suffered tremendously as a result.
Most of the Vietnamese refugess I've met were Catholic....
It's a line they've drawn in the sand.
God does not hear the prayers of Democrats.
I don’t rightly know myself. The Pope often makes public comments on the passing of a public official. When Barack Obama visited the Pope a few months ago, he discretely took a letter from Ted Kennedy and delivered it to the Pope.
Catholics often ask for intercessionary prayers from either a priest, bishop or Pope. The Bible did say that what Peter holds locked on Earth will remain locked in Heaven. That’s why St. Peter is always shown in artwork and stained glass as holding keys - the Keys to the Kingdom. Protestants, of course, take a different view but it’s what Kennedy may have pleaded for in that letter that is of historical value.
Who knows? Maybe some day in the 26th century, Ted Kennedy’s letter will be on review at some Vatican library.
A statement like that is hardly worthy of a village idiot.
Catholics are actually becoming less liberal, it was far worse in generations before.
Well, closing the barn door after the horse is out is probably better than not closing it at all.
no one is ever refused Communion because they are divorced, as the Church does not recognize civil divorce and considers the person to still be married
the obstinant and public sin that makes one ineligible to recive Communion is marrying the second person without first receiving a declaration from the Church (annulment) that the first marriage was never a sacramental marriage because there was some impediment (such falsely vowing to be faithful when you know you don’t plan to be faithful)
This country will never recover but we can slow the damage and reverse a little of it if we can pull the Catholics out of the democrat column.
Imagine how different the political landscape would be if republicans could start counting on the majority of the Catholic vote, it would be the end of liberalism as we know it.
BARF!! What a load of horse KaKa.