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Wednesday, September 02, 2009



Cardinal Sean has posted on the funeral. The blog takes comments. I would encourage folks to go over there and offer comments. They might get heard. I think the Cardinal does not understand the impact of this funeral:

Mrs O

Where was his Bishop? Priest?
This is one reason why I did not look for repentance publicly from him. I pray he did repent. But he would not have to repent publicly if those in his diocese were allowing him to continue to do this. Those in his diocese were not doing their job and a lot of this scandal is on their head.

Mark Brumley

I really don't buy the thesis that Senator Kennedy didn't know what the Church teaches. Whether he was convinced in his heart and soul of its truth and took the stances he did anyway, I don't know. That's a matter for divine judgment. But it is unreasonable to suppose, given all the high profile statements by the U.S. bishops and including the archbishops of Boston over the decades, regarding the right to life for unborn children, that Mr. Kennedy really just did not know what the Church taught or that, according to that teaching, he should repent of his stances on the issues. We would have to suppose the counterfactual situation that the man was an ignoramus and couldn't understand plain English.

No, argue if you want that he was convinced in his heart of hearts that what the Church taught on the subject was not true and therefore that he did not deliberately act contrary to what he regarded as truth. We can't disprove that claim, however skeptical we might be about it. But to suggest that "the diocese" didn't tell him his stance on abortion rights was wrong and therefore he was "allowed" to continue and therefore he shouldn't have had publicly to repent is incredible. He plainly knew the Church's position before Roe. He certainly knew that the Church opposed Roe. He is an educated man and whether or not special efforts were made to convince him to repent he had the responsibility consistent with his abilities and office to form his conscience according to Church teaching. The responsibility for his positions rests mainly with him, not with the Archdiocese of Boston.

Mrs O

With respect, I guess I don't see how his Bishop and priest were not responsible. If my children were doing something objectively wrong, it would be up to me to correct them. And that means whatever steps it took to either correct the behavior or keep them from harming others. That would mean telling them they had to refrain from receiving communion.
He, Kennedy is/was responsible for his actions but the Bishop and priest are more accountable because they failed to stop causing more harm.
So, I guess I disagree. I feel sure Kennedy was told something, we knew he had it right at one time. But I fail to see if he wasn't disciplined beforehand, why we would expect him to show any remorse now. It would have been a wonderful sight, but I surely didn't expect it.
It is all terribly wrong. It is all terribly sad.
But Bishops CAN help manifest sinners come around and that is what the canon law is for, or so I see it. But you would have to consider him a manifest sinner FIRST to do that. It is evident that wasn't the case. So for me, most of this is squarely on the ArchBishop/Bishop/priests head.

Mark Brumley

I don't see how his Bishop and priest were not responsible.
Who said they bore no responsibility?

Mrs O

"The responsibility for his positions rests mainly with him, not with the Archdiocese of Boston."

The above is what I was referring to.

I have not read anywhere that those in his diocese consider(ed) him a manifest sinner not even on the Cardinal's blog entry.

It was terribly wrong that it even progressed to the point it did.

And making that judgment lies with those in his diocese - thus - responsibility too.

Mark Brumley

Responsibility for the actions Mr. Kennedy took in supporting abortion, even partial birth abortion, embryonic experimentation, and same-sex marriage rests principally--or as I said above, mainly--with Mr. Kennedy. To say that responsibility rests mainly with Senator Kennedy is not to say that others bore no responsibility. It simply is not an either/or situation.

Kennedy's actions were manifestly sinful, whether or not the Archbishop of Boston ever said they were. Mr. Kennedy bears primary responsibility for Mr. Kennedy's having acted as he did. He was an educated man with ample opportunity to know that his views were not those of his bishop and the rest of the bishops of the Catholic Church--who repeatedly indicated (1) what Catholic teaching was in the areas in question and (2) that the teaching dealt with serious matter and (3) that Catholic politicians were obliged to act according to that teaching.

Should the archbishops of Boston have directly confronted Sen. Kennedy? Certainly. Do we know that they didn't? I don't. Should they have, necessarily foundations having been laid, withheld Holy Communion from an unrepentant Senator Kennedy (assuming he would have remained unrepentant)? In my opinion, yes.

But that doesn't mean that Kennedy himself had less resonsibility than they had for his repentance.

Mrs O

Thanks for clarifying that.

Yes,what he did was very sinful. But doesn't his public repentance (or in this case, lack thereof) have to do with his Bishop and what the Bishop expected of him?
I don't expect some other high profile politicians to show any public repentance either. I think they should, but it doesn't seem that lines are being clearly drawn.

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