Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Yesterday, our beloved auxiliary bishop, Carl Moeddel, went to his eternal reward. Today, the longtime, famous senior Senator of Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy, went to his. I have no idea how God will judge either; I hope for mercy for my own soul and for theirs as well.

Bishop Moeddel was much loved; he had a common touch and was warm--he liked and enjoyed being with people. I remember him both as a presence in the seminary--he lived there while I was there--and especially because I received the sacrament of holy orders through him, insofar as he ordained me a deacon. He ate meals with us at the seminary and everyone enjoyed talking with him. He was a parish pastor for many years before he became a bishop, a fact I appreciate more, now, than I ever did as a seminarian. Many remember him for using a good amount of chrism when he administered confirmation, for being cheerful and and engaging. I remember him helping me out at Mass, when the thurible gave me trouble, and I recall him saying in a homily one time: "you don't have to come to Sunday Mass--on one condition: that you have nothing for which you are grateful."

There is much talk of Senator Ted Kennedy's legacy. As someone who worked in politics, I delighted in opposing him on nearly everything, and I respected his skill and effectiveness. The causes he trumpeted have had few better advocates. I admit his rhetoric could be so stirring--what a gift he had! I'm so sorry he used it for so many terrible causes.

One of his singular accomplishments--among others--must be the defeat of Judge Robert Bork as a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Perhaps he would have been defeated anyway; but I think Kennedy may well have tipped it. As a result of his success in that matter, there is almost no question this saved Roe v. Wade--which imposed abortion on demand on all 50 states--from being overturned. Kennedy, as much as anyone, ensured the continuation of abortion-on-demand to the present day.

We might recall that at one time, early in his political career, Sen. Kennedy was prolife. He wrote a stirring letter--which you can find on the Internet if you want--condemning legal abortion and vowing to defend both mother and child. One wonders what might have been had Kennedy kept to that path.


Greta said...

My only issue with the bishop was his very public support of the gay lifestyle. He not only was a leader in a very radical gay organization, but he brought his belief into Catholic high schools pushing an agenda that was clearly out of step with actual church teaching. That same gay organization comes out routinely against everything from the vatican on this lifestyle.

As to Ted, you nailed it well. If there is one person that could have made a difference in Roe it was him. Had he thrown is support firmly against Roe I think few would have dared to take strong pro abortion positions like Kerry and Biden. It would also have had an impact on millions of Catholics. So I would imagine judgement for Ted will include millions of babies whose blood his on Ted's hands. Mary Jo will also be waiting.

I did not know him, but know some that did and he was indeed loved by many which speaks well of him.

Greta said...

Ironic that Ted funeral mass and burial came on the feast day of the beheading of John the Baptist. Wonder what John would have said if he was the priest called to give a funeral mass and burial for Ted, the prime supporter and enabler of keeping abortion legal, of fighting to allow gay marriage, and of the life he led. Boy would that have been judgemental...
Jesus said of John, Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist. Many of today's Catholics do not want any criticism of sin calling it too rigid, too judgmental. Get a load of John and he took it to the King who had the power to kill him and did. Compare the sin John called out on the king and Teds life?

The Church was given a great teaching moment and gave us a farce of a funeral and burial with McCarrick strange use of the pope and kennedy words from private correspondence he must have received from the widow.

Father Martin Fox said...

I didn't see the funeral--I was taking part in the funeral for Bishop Moeddel.

However, I've seen some coverage and read some information about the Kennedy funeral.

I'm disappointed, to say the least. I can readily understand how many will be scandalized.