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The Ted Kennedy-Pope Benedict XVI letters revealed at Kennedy burial

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Sen. Ted Kennedy's burial at Arlington National Cemetery generated news--over at PoliticsDaily, David Gibson writes about "the contents of a moving exchange of letters between Kennedy and Pope Benedict XVI" revealed at the burial service.

We knew that President Obama carried a letter from Kennedy to the Pope when the president had an audience at the Vatican. The reply came out for the first time on Saturday.


26 Comments

with Teddy Kennedy’s final flush down into the sewer pipe of history

I feel that the Holy Father's response should have been personal & reflected the compassion of Christ. He could have stated that persons Jesus encountered always experienced unconditional love regardless of their past.

Senator Kennedy spent his 47 years in the service of those who had no other voice.

who is the pope gonna write about his tenure in the hitler youth?

Divorced Catholic married a divorced Catholic, allowed to receive sacrements in the church. I could not marry my wife in the church because I was divorced and my present wife was Catholic. Money will even change the Church.

The "Holy Father" missed a tremendous opportunity to use his position to show, not only to a penitent by the name of Ted Kennedy, but to the whole world, that he, as a representative of Christ, offers the forgiveness, and unconditional love that Jesus showed and taught was his father's love in action.
He should have reassured Senator Kennedy that Christ would be greeting him with open arms. He might have comforted the Senator that King David failed also, but in God's great love, was not only forgiven but restored to great favor.
Had the pope done this, he might also have given an example to the conservative Catholics (who are not the whole Catholic community) of how to open their minds and hearts to others instead of pointing fingers and condemning others.
Instead of exemplifying Divine love, he demonstrated the human failings of the Catholic hierarchy.

Perhaps instead of looking for the Pope to give an example to "conservative" (read: faithful) Catholics, "liberal" (read: heretical) Catholics should get a clue from his example. Christ speaks a lot about separating those who are OBEDIENT (such a dirty work in our society) to the will of the Father from those who are not, even if they are believers. The will of the Father is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church--that is exactly how Christ established it, and that is all the Church hierarchy must answer to.

"Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.' St. Matthew 7:20-23

Sounds a lot like Sen Kennedy's letter, doesn't it? It is not so much that he failed, but that he did not repent of certain failings. I pray that the good senator at the end of his life could see that he defended those he did while coarsely turning his back upon millions of unborn children, Christ's beloved little ones. If he repents of this, Christ will indeed throw wide His arms to welcome him.

It's a simple formula. Be obedient to the will of the Father in all things, and when you have sinned we are called to repent and confess as a necessary part of forgiveness.

what is the matter with you people? the pope cannot speak for God in that God would welcome him with open arms....Kennedy advocated abortion and abortion is murder....should the pope go to the prisons and reassure serial killers or baby rapers, not to worry, god will greet them with open arms as well.....abortion is fundamentally against the church.....just as murdering your fellow man. which If memory serves me...he also has to answer for that woman in his car that he left to drown.

Our pope cannot single out individuals because of their particular status in society. Pope Benedict is a bishop, bishops of the whole church and each and every one of us are dear to him.

Let's not go there about that personal response, because normally in these situations the pope has to speak "We", meaning Christ and him. Stopping there.

Every Roman Catholic has the right to have a letter, e-mail, note sent to the pope. Status and stature in society are not items of concern to the bishop of Rome.

Ted Kennedy, I gotta tell you, I really hoped that one day he would have been the preisdent of the USA.

It is terrible that people continue to focus on the flaws of one man, as if we didn't hve them ourselves. In his letter to the pope, wow, what a beatiful and humble man. I think His Holiness Benedict most assuredly saw that. Does anyone for one moment think that the pope did not look at that letter and think of the 'prodigal son'? Of course he did and more.

Some years from now we will find out more about that letter and Senator Kennedy and the pope.

Viva

WHY!!! WHY!!!! - would this man denounce one of the main tenants of the CATHOLIC Faith. As one of our famous Prime Ministers wrote JOHN DIEFENBACKER--if I supported abortion I may not have been here!!!!!

My views are those expressed by Cathanon.All that is required is remorse and regret for wrongs done - not an issue of humility per se..or as well/

in an article on CNN website, the writer spoke oh kennedy finally going back to the church ON HIS TERMS. Inedded, since when do we dictate terms to God - the God whom we profess WAS, IS and WILL BE.

A non-American Catholic, the Kennedy family mesmerises me - not leat because we share the same faith, but Truth is Truth..

Watching George W. Bush at the funeral of Teddy Kennedy on Saturday was, to say the very least, amusing. It's always great fun to witness the members of the vast right wing conspiracy confronted head-on with the theological flaws that are inherent in their philosophy. Watching that event with my pal, Kevin Swanwick, we both were mesmerized and just slightly overjoyed to be reminded yet again that the basic tenets of Liberalism are in perfect harmony with our Christianity - our Catholicism: feed the hungry, shelter the poor and clothe the naked. Oh, how I wish the camera would have cut to Bush's face the moment he was confronted with the most famous line (and justly so) from the Gospel according to Matthew:

"I tell you this: whatever you did to the least of these brothers of mine, you did to me."

Jesus of Nazareth

One can only imagine how uncomfortable that passage from the scriptures must have made him feel. Or how about the Sermon on the Mount?

"Blessed are the peace makers
For they shall be called Sons of God."

I imagine being confronted with the words of Jesus Christ might make old George just a tad uneasy. The prayers that were offered up by the youngest members of the Kennedy clan, in Teddy's own words, were the most touching part of the entire day:

"That human beings be measured not by what they cannot do. That quality health care becomes a fundamental right and not a privilege. That old policies of race and gender die away. That newcomers be accepted, no matter their color or place of birth. That the nation stand united against violence, hate and war. That the work begins anew, and the dream lives on. We pray to the Lord."

Lord hear our prayer.

After the mass had ended, and Kevin and I headed into town to get a cup of coffee, I was almost stunned by the good cheer I felt. Ted Kennedy's funeral was truly a joyous event. Truth be told, it was damned-near therapeutic! The politics of joy as opposed to the politics of fear. There ain't nothin' like it in the world, Baby!

The stark contrasts between the ideals of the Progressive movement and the right wing's backwards and greedy ideology were out in public Saturday for all to compare and contrast at Our Lady of Perpetual Comfort Church in Boston. The differences were so obvious, you could not have missed them had you tried.

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

A general admission of human frailty is not a confession of sin. In fact, it's more like an excuse for sin. Ted never admitted to killing Mary Jo and never offered her mother an apology for his major role in that tragedy. Kennedy was a fierce advocate of abortion rights at the expense of the lives of tens of thousands of unborn infants; where is his confession of that mortal sin? His letter to the Pope was nothing more than the presumption of an egotist who lived beyond man's law and set himself above God's law in an attempt to write his own history. It was facilely self-forgiving and self-indulgent, but the just judge of us all will have the last word, not Teddy or his sycophants.

To who and to what was Ted Kennedy appealing to in his final hours? (man/Pope, the law and works)

Galatians 2:16 "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."

Galatians 5:4 "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."

Romans 14: "because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin."

Being raised a devout Catholic, I've always admired Senator Ted Kennedy. He might not be a perfect human being, but who is anyway? Just like anybody, he has his faults and imperfections. I'm sure our loving/forgiving God, welcomed him into his Kingdom. He helped a lot of people, served our Country with great passion for Peace, etc. just like his brothers Jack and Bobby and the rest of the other Kennedys. We are a better America because of this Family. Not only they have the power/money, but they could have just lived their lives enjoying themselves, but they decided to serve the people of America, so we can live in a better place.
Senator Teddy, you'll be greatly missed by Vicky and the rest of the Kennedy Clan, but I sincerely believe that you will live forever, in our grateful hearts.
Sincerely,
Grace V. Cabrera

Why appeal to the Pope for forgiveness -- he never apologized for being the overseer of protecting the priest pedophiles. Ted Kennedy has nothing to apologize for; any mistakes he made have long since been atoned for by his own good works.

Those of you who are condemning Ted Kennedy should remember "he who is without sin cast the first stone." Must be nice to feel so without sin. And where are you all decrying Bush for the 100's of people he sent to their executions in Texas? The Catholic church also is against the death penalty. And of course, all of you can turn a blind eye to the THOUSANDS of men, women and children killed in a needless war authorized by Bush and Cheney. Ted Kennedy was a man with many human frailties, just like all of us. He spent his live advocating for the poor, the hungry, the sick, etc. As Christ himself said, "whatever you do for the least of my brothers you do for me". What do you do other than condemn others?

If tragedy had been heaped on yhour shoulders as it had been on the yioung Senator Edward Kennedy what would all the so-called "good Catholics" have done? With all that pain adn responsibility for 16 children, Ted Kennedy clung to the Center and took on the Cross and move forward -- finally to meet his Maker -- perhaps with outstretched arms.

The Pope is to be respected. As a Catholic most of us hold him in the highest requard. If you do not get out of the Catholic religion.

RESPECT!!!!!

Should of Ted Kennedy had a Catholic Mass??
Promoting Abortion
Catholic Cannon Law of the Church

Those Catholics who publicly announce their denial that abortion is always gravely immoral, or who publicly promote abortion, or who publicly argue in favor of legalized abortion, also commit a mortal sin and also incur a sentence of automatic excommunication.

This sentence of excommunication applies to Catholics who are politicians, as well as to those Catholics who are political commentators, or public speakers, or who write or otherwise publicly communicate their erroneous view that abortion can be morally-acceptable or that abortion should be legal. This sentence of excommunication also certainly applies to those Catholics who claim to be theologians or Biblical scholars, but who believe or teach that abortion is not always gravely immoral.

Those Catholics who promote abortion are automatically excommunicated for two reasons. First, they have fallen into the sin of heresy by believing that abortion is not always gravely immoral (canons 751 and 1364). Second, these Catholics are providing substantial assistance for women to obtain abortions by influencing public policy to make abortions legal, and to keep abortions legal, and to broaden access to abortion. Those who provide such substantial assistance commit a mortal sin and incur a sentence of automatic excommunication (canon 1398).

Voting for Abortion

Any Catholic politician who casts a vote with the intention of legalizing abortion, or of protecting laws allowing abortion, or of widening access to abortion, commits a mortal sin.

When such a vote indicates that the Catholic politician believes that abortion is not always gravely immoral, such a politician incurs a sentence of automatic excommunication, under canons 751 and 1364, because of heresy.

When such a vote is intended to have the effect of making abortion legal, or more easily obtainable, or more widely available, such a politician incurs a sentence of automatic excommunication, under canon 1398, as someone who is attempting to provide substantial or essential means for women to obtain abortions. Catholic politicians who pass laws which legalize, protect, or widen access to abortion, are providing essential assistance to women who want to obtain abortions.

It is not sufficient for Catholic politicians to claim that they are “personally opposed” to abortion. If any Catholic politician favors legalized abortion, despite a claim of personal opposition, such a politician commits a mortal sin by promoting abortion and by voting in favor of abortion.

The same is true for any Catholic who casts any vote with the intention of legalizing abortion, or of protecting laws allowing abortion, or of widening access to abortion. Such a voter commits a mortal sin and incurs a sentence of automatic excommunication for two reasons. First, they are committing the sin of heresy by believing that abortion should be legal and available. Second, they are committing the grievous sin of providing women with substantial or essential assistance in obtaining abortions, by attempting to legalize or broaden access to abortion.

After reading most of the comments so far, it only reinforces my feeling that so many Americans are pukes. That goes especially for you "conservative" Catholics. What would you say about Bush and Cheney and black(piss)water? They killed real babies, not an organism which is only a potential human being. There is not a human soul in a fetus just as there is not one good, original thought in your skulls.

Ted Kennedy, may he rest in peace, stood for and represented everthing that is wrong with Politicians. The power of the corrupt media and democrats is easily explained by their constant attempt to make the kennedy gang royalty.

Please remember were the Kennedy family fortunes came from.... the people with no voice. Sadly, what a joke they are. We are country of nitwits led around by the powerful media nimrods.

Kennedy’s life, funeral, and burial had all the elements of a great Mexican telenovela: narcissism, elitism disguised as humility, sex, drugs, lies, betrayal, child abuse, murder, propaganda, and a final plot twist in reading the letter to the Pope.

In all the ceremonies, the long-suffering wife he drove to alcoholism was referred to only once as “the children’s mother.” Reading the letter to the pope, and the pope's non-response to it, was Kennedy's attempt to pretend that all his sins had really been just a bad dream. The only things missing from all intricately thought-out, self-righteous statements were repentance and contrition for attempting to destroy the very foundation of Church for over 40 years. Shameless till the end.

RoseMarie- Here's a wake-up call: Respect has to be earned. The Catholic Church has much to be ashamed about -- pedophile priests at the top of the list. When the Catholic hierarchy truly starts acting Christlike, then they can be respected. Blind faith in your leaders is a dangerous thing. Open your eyes. Oh, and If you notice, people ARE leaving the Catholic religion in droves.

Barbara,did you even listen to what you said??? blind faith, I believe you dems do the same. blind faith in a goverment is just as bad or worse. Kennedy was a bloated blow-hard who didn't have the decency to speak out of one side of his face. And for him to back a demon like obama says it all. You people better hope you are the chosen ones, when we are all begging for a right to our lives. Follow this admin, to the goologs.

This guy had a lot of stones writing to the Pope, no doubt expecting some grand dispensation.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on August 30, 2009 6:56 AM.

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