Skip to comments.Excerpts of Kennedy letter to pope and response
Posted on 08/30/2009 5:31:48 AM PDT by NYer
Excerpts of the letter from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy that President Barack Obama delivered to Pope Benedict XVI earlier this year and an account of the pope's response, as read by Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington:
"Most Holy Father I asked President Obama to personally hand deliver this letter to you. As a man of deep faith himself, he understands how important my Roman Catholic faith is to me, and I am so deeply grateful to him. I hope this letter finds you in good health. I pray that you have all of God's blessings as you lead our church and inspire our world during these challenging times. I am writing with deep humility to ask that you pray for me as my own health declines.
"I was diagnosed with brain cancer more than a year ago and although I continue treatment, the disease is taking its toll on me. I am 77 years old and preparing for the next passage of life. I have been blessed to be part of a wonderful family and both of my parents, particularly my mother, kept our Catholic faith at the center of our lives. That gift of faith has sustained and nurtured and provides solace to me in the darkest hours. I know that I have been an imperfect human being, but with the help of my faith I have tried to right my path. I want you to know Your Holiness that in my nearly 50 years of elective office I have done my best to champion the rights of the poor and open doors of economic opportunity. I have worked to welcome the immigrant, to fight discrimination and expand access to health care and education. I have opposed the death penalty and fought to end war.
"Those are the issues that have motivated me and have been the focus of my work as a United States senator. I also want you to know that even though I am ill, I am committed to do everything I can to achieve access to health care for everyone in my country. This has been the political cause of my life. I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health field and I will continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone. I have always tried to be a faithful Catholic, Your Holiness, and though I have fallen short through human failings, I have never failed to believe and respect the fundamental teachings of my faith. I continue to pray for God's blessings on you and on our church and would be most thankful for your prayers for me."
An account from the Vatican of the pope's response, according to McCarrick:
"The Holy Father has the letter which you entrusted to President Barack Obama, who kindly presented it to him during their recent meeting. He was saddened to know of your illness, and asked me to assure you of his concern and his spiritual closeness. He is particularly grateful for your promise of prayers for him and for the needs of our universal church.
"His Holiness prays that in the days ahead you may be sustained in faith and hope, and granted the precious grace of joyful surrender to the will of God, our merciful Father. He invokes upon you the consolation and peace promised by the Risen Savior to all who share in His sufferings and trust in His promise of eternal life.
"Commending you and the members of your family to the loving intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Father cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of wisdom, comfort and strength in the Lord."
Once again, we can clearly see that demarcation line between Social Democrat Catholics and Church teachings. From what I understand, the Jesuits were instrumental in helping the Kennedy’s and Cuomos in separating faith from politics.
Didn’t Kennedy turn pro-abortion for political expediency?
Where was his moral grounding?
Medieval HOGWASH and hyprocrisy! B.S.M was what they used to sign, BESO SU MANO, I kiss your hand! If it calls him Holy Father, why doesn´t he line up with his religion and oppose taking human lives in the uterus. A separation between real convictions and real life...lived saying one thing he believed, and with his words, signs of false piety. I´m glad I woke up this am, and the news stories were clear of the evil guy Ted...
And??? What was the point of the letter? It was all about him.
He even lies to the Pope!
What does he say to defend killing literally millions of unborn souls in the mothers womb?
I will say that The Holy Father did contribute a meaningful phrase that ObamaCare is likely to pick up and that is:
the precious grace of joyful surrender to the will of God.
the sin of promoting abortion was not addressed......that’s a big one to leave to chance.
I am shocked by the Church’s complicity in whitewashing Kennedy and attempting to include BO in the process. If, indeed, such letters were written at all, why weren’t they kept private?
Hopefully that wasn’t all he confessed to the priest who administered the Last Rites to him - to clear the slate before death, but with the necessary sincere sorrow and repentence in order to receive forgiveness before meeting God.
This has got to be satire.
But the assertions contained in his letter are left for the living and we must set the record of his actions here on earth straight for those of us who remain on earth.
"Champion the rights of the poor and open doors of economic opportunity"
Granting the poor entitlements rights which Kennedy sought to do time and again is not opening opportunity. In fact, Kennedy excoriated Robert Bork in his infamous speech on the Senate floor by falsely imputing onto Bork a desire to end those entitlements and leaving the poor Unsuccored. Kennedy's career has been one long campaign not for equality of opportunity but for equality of outcome.
"I have worked to welcome the immigrant, "
No, Senator Kennedy, did not work to welcome the immigrant, he deliberately made Western European immigrants unwelcome and deliberately made other immigrants based on racial preference more welcome. More, his welcome did not extend only to immigrants but also to illegal immigrants. Kennedy's legislative history is one of frustrating every attempt to limit illegal immigration.
"to fight discrimination"
Again Senator Kennedy worked to fight discrimination only of a certain kind. Racial discrimination against white Americans was not opposed by the senator. Moreover, discrimination against achievers and political conservatives was actually practiced by Senator Kennedy.
"expand access to health care "
Yes, he worked to expand health care to illegal immigrants. He did act to require achievers to pay for the healthcare of others.
"expand access to... education"
He sought at every turn to limit access to the kind of education he approved of which was run by educational elitists and apparatchiks with the result that America possesses the dreariest statistics of any Western industrialized nation.
"I have opposed the death penalty "
Liberals such as Senator Kennedy have succeeded in so attenuating, in time and likelihood, the punishment from the murder that much deterrent value has been washed out of capital punishment laws. How many innocent people died as a result of Senator Kennedy's activities?
"fought to end war"
How many people died in the aftermath of the Vietnam war as a result of efforts of liberals like Senator Kennedy to abandon the people of southeast Asia to the Communists who proved to be the murderers the right had predicted? The record of Senator Kennedy in this regard is not that of a pacifist in opposition to war but that of an ideologue in opposition to wars waged in America's national interest.
The reckoning for Senator Kennedy's sins has already occurred between him and his maker and it is not for us to presume on that process. But we have a duty to our children to keep the record straight here on earth.
I read that it was Drinan who first used the abominable formulation, "personally opposed, BUT . . . ."
Kennedy's death (and the dog-and-pony show) brought to mind for me a prayer in the old Sarum Missal (English, 14th century) begging for forgiveness for sins we don't know we've committed. When I read it years ago, it struck me as an odd formulation, but -- again, thinking on Kennedy -- it might be more salutary to reflect on those sins in us that might be far more obvious to others than to ourselves . . .
If I wanted to be snarky, I might add that self-righteousness is one that a lot of people might want to consider. (Yes, I am aware that that's the rhetorical device of preterition -- to mention something by saying you won't mention it.) Granted, some people make self-righteousness easier than others, but I don't think that counts as an excuse.
Not for a second!
Kennedy’s letter is pathetic. It’s about as sincere as his Chappaquiddick speech.
As for the “Pope’s” response: The pro-abortion pansy McCarrick is as big a liar as Kennedy ever was. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be a complete fabrication. McCarrick returned from Rome in 2004 with a letter from Ratzinger (about Communion for pro-aborts) that he had been asked to distribute to all the U.S. bishops. He concealed its existence, instead, and lied about what Ratzinger had said.
And it wasn't a personal reply even. It reads like something from an assistant.
Strangely absent from his litany of good works during his almost 50 years in Conngress was Teddy’s unwavering support for abortion rights. Also I note no remorse for any past sins. Perhaps when Teddy met his judgment Mary Jo Kopekne was there to greet him.
You write as though results are important, not just intentions.
You must not be an enlightened liberal!
Bottom line - to apply one wit’s line, Ted Kennedy will stand before God and say, “I’m a good man. I gave other people’s money to the poor.”
I’m guessing God will be unimpressed.
He also is a typical liberal in that he defines good deeds as political stances rather than how he treats other people...