26 August 2009

Edward Kennedy Gets a Mass?

I'm not at all well informed here - but Ted Kennedy gets a funeral Mass? Wasn't he under the minor ban for his very public support of abortion? Didn't the Roman bishops take a pretty firm stand on that back in 2004 when Kerry was running and state that legislators who voted for abortion were banned from receiving Communion? Perhaps he made a sickbed repentance on that - and God be praised if he did.

I ask the question not to look for some excuse to criticize Rome - for surely their Christian discipline in matters of personal morality far outshines our own disjointed efforts. But there's a real question of pastoral care here.

What do you do when someone under the minor ban dies? Perhaps it's not even public that he or she has been barred from the Table by the pastor. What if that person dies while under such a ban? Anybody with experience on this want to speak?



William Weedon said...

According to SA III, IX there is only the minor ban...

Chad Myers said...

The practice of Catholicism in America is in a sorry state of affairs, I'm afraid. Unorthodoxy, liberalism, 'progressive ideals', and lax if not outright flouting of Catholic teaching, morals, and theological obligations are the norm (well, the majority). Considering 53% of "Catholics" voted for the most pro-death/abortion Presidential candidate ever, it should be obvious that the US Bishops have a long road to bring orthodoxy. The 60's were very bad for Catholicism as many people adopted a "cafeteria" "follow my own conscience" way of approaching their Catholic faith.

I imagine it wasn't just limited to Catholicism. It seems many Protestant churches are in disarray also (not a slam, just saying that I think Christianity in America as a whole is in bad shape).

Fortunately we Catholics have a good Pope who is bringing many back to Orthodoxy and many of the new post-60's-era Priests are really solid with orthodox views and homilies, etc.

Anyhow, us orthodox Catholics are outraged by Ted Kennedy's career and the complicity of the local Bishops and Priests in his horrific and unprecedented persecution of the unborn.

Nevertheless, he had not been excommunicated (Lord knows why -- many US Bishops, including those in the East are weak on orthodoxy and enforcement). And therefore he may receive certain sacraments (Last Rites) and certain entitlements of confirmed Catholics (namely a Catholic funeral and burial if he so chooses).

His actions and the reactions of many liberal "Catholics" have caused scandal and have confused non-Catholics and brought shame upon the Church.

As far as his soul, it's entirely possible he had a full deathbed conversion and was properly disposed to receive absolution (contrite heart, full remorse, and committed to avoid future sin). I will pray for his soul as we should never wish the torment of eternal separation from God and the pains of Hell, no matter how heinous their crimes. God may judge so, but we should never wish it as it is the most unthinkable form of hate imaginable.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Chad:

Well said.

Come Lord Jesus!

Pr. H. R. said...

Thanks, Chad - very informative: and like I said, our steadfastness on upholding Christian morality in the lives of our parishioners is no better. Room for repentance all around.

Weedon - care to complete that ellipsis with some insight for our practice?