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« Sen. Ted Kennedy's right to a Catholic funeral | Main | Health Care and the Common Good »

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Ed Mechmann

According to the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment, which tracks Congressional votes, Sen. Kennedy had 131 opportunities to vote on issues relating to abortion and other life issues (stem cell research, cloning, etc.). He voted pro-life only 4 times, and only once since 1977. That's the legacy. One hundred and thirty one times (not counting committee votes, of which there must have been many, since he served for years on the Judiciary Committee), he had a choice for life or against it. And he made his choices. 4 for 131. That's the legacy.

Carl E. Olson

Father Raymond J. de Souza has written an excellent, "What if?" column about Kennedy for National Catholic Register.


Senator Kennedy was a good secular humanist. That's about it.


The last phrase in the last sentence, " is already trying to rewrite the record and whitewash the legacy, coating it with a layer of Catholic blessings it simply doesn't deserve.", capitulates the feeling of many American Catholics like me. Amen.

Dan Deeny

Good analysis, Carl. We must pray for Edward Kennedy and for ourselves.


With all due respect to the late Sen. Kennedy, it should be noted that during his career, he rabidly opposed the Catholic Church's positions on moral truths including abortion, same-sex "marriage," and stem cell research. So it's unfortunate and confusing that in his passing, he would be honored by the Cardinal/Archbishop of Boston in this manner. It's disappointing that the Cardinal's own blog does nothing to address this, but instead refers to Ted Kennedy's "legacy" and how this will be carried on - does this include his legacy in supporting abortion, stem cell research and same sex marriage?

For those interested in letting the Cardinal know their views, His Eminence has a blog

Marc Ayers

I am glad that you note the problem with statism. Too often it is taken as a given that "Catholic" things like helping the poor, education, race relations etc. are really things that the Democratic Party does well. Hardly. Just because you pass bills "to help the poor" does not mean that you are really helping them. You may be turning them into perpetual victims; i.e., a perpetual voting block. I would argue vehemently that the policies of Democratic Party (as well as some advanced by the GOP), even if well-intended, have radically exacerbated the problems in these areas since the 60's (or even since the New Deal), primarily because they ignore truth and human nature in favor of a Marxist class-warfare-based worldview which keeps the politicians in power but does little else but harm.

danny og

No one is mentioning that Teddy Kennedy was a persecutor of his fellow Catholics. He became that in 1994 by ramrodding through Congress the FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Act, which made baby-saving a federal crime and punishable by severe penalties.

Ann Couper-Johnston

I am so glad to see this article. We have our own problem with Tony Blair, whose voting record is similarly dubious. I'm not entirely sure how he could reconcile making the declaration required of a convert on coming into the Church and stating his support for gay rights - in effect saying that the Church ought to buck up and get real on the matter.

The Church is more real than he is.

Carl E. Olson

Ann: You might be interested in my post, on this blog, about Tony Blair and his public support of homosexuality.

Helen Reilly

IT is sickening to see Ted Kennedy treated as a saint. As my husband says, is there no distinction between him and Mother Theresa? His huge public Catholic funeral was disgusting. It gave credibility to the idea that he was a great Catholic. Granted, we don't know if he made his peace with God before his death; but he certainly made no effort to publicly renounce his positions on abortion and homosexual issues. Celebrating this man's life is a scandal; he did some good, but he also did a lot of harm. Babies have died because of him and other "Catholic" pro-abortion politicians. Surely unborn babies are among the most helpless, defenseless members of society. He wasn't looking out for them during his career. And how did he make his first marriage go away? Did he ever get an annulment, and if so, on what basis? And if not, then is every divorced, remarried Catholic entitled to a Catholic funeral?


It is sickening to see him treated as a saint. My grandmother, who is more wise than many a theologian, keeps telling me that I have to get used to this sort of thing more and more and trust Jesus to take care of it but darn it, it's hard. TK made sure he helped many poor alright. He just made sure millions of them weren't born into poverty. Truly vile the treatment this man had. They probably think he shot straight past Pope John Paul II to heaven. May God have mercy on his soul, the mercy he didn't offer the millions of babies he supported killing.

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