Frankly, I haven’t thought much about it. She battled blood cancer for over a decade, and it seems to me she bore that cross with a good deal of grace and discretion; many people did not even know she was struggling, and she did not seem to seek out sympathy. That’s an instructive thing to ponder in Lent, at least I think it is. Perhaps the notion that people can disagree on important issues yet still instruct each other in other matters is a lesson in itself.
He and other Catholic politicians made America dizzy with the oddball notion that one could be “personally opposed” to abortion but too broad-minded to “impose my views on others.” That sounded so reasonable and tolerant that it simplified the abortion debate for people who did not care to consider how nonsensical it was. Being “personally opposed” to the death penalty, would Kennedy have tried not to “impose those views” on states, had he the chance? Had he been “personally opposed” to slavery 150 years ago, would he not certainly have tried to “impose” his views on others?
In terms of perception, Kennedy’s public positions did and do make life difficult for priests and bishops, but scandal is not at issue, here. Catholics find myriad ways to bring scandal to the Bride of Christ, every day. [...]
“Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10) Ted Kennedy was an imperfect Catholic who—no one can doubt—loved his faith, even as he lived in conflict with much of it. The state of his crown is unknown at present. [. . .]
But the handling, withholding, or polishing of Ted Kennedy’s crown is entirely the province of the Almighty. Our job is to be compassionate, and clear-eyed about the totality of the man, and then kiss it all up to God, in something approximating peace and charity. . .
Ferraro, like Kennedy, has “now stood before the Truth—not the subjective truth, not the relative truth, but the All-in-All, Alpha-and-Omega, Truth— and knows more at this hour than she did, more, indeed than any of us still stepping through this vale of tears. Maybe she simply hopes that the lot of us will henceforth try to serve what is wholly true—without excuses, and without euphemisms—our humanness left sufficiently intact to end a day’s bickering with a bracing single-malt salute amid brothers-in-Christ, our voices joined in a better song.”
I’ve always felt that when it comes down to life-death issues, whether they be debates on capital punishment or end-of-life care, we should, if we must err, err on the side of life.
And with each other, perhaps, if we will err, we should err on the side of mercy. We’ll all need it, in the end.
And, like Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that.
Patrick Madrid has a story on Catholic Senator Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska who says she will “shut down the government before cutting a penny of abortion funding”.
So, I guess, just file this for when she dies.
Little Miss Attila doesn’t fully agree: I live in California, which feeds, clothes, and cares for Charles Manson. And if it had executed him back when I was a child, I do not think I would be grieving over it.