Question

Will the Obama Kennedy Eulogy be Notre Dame II?

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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37 Responses to Question

  1. Dauphin says:

    Not if we ignore it.

    There are other battles to be fought. Let the Spirit of Vatican II religion have its funeral, and let’s just continue doing our Catholic thing in the meantime.

  2. Dauphin: It ain’t that easy, friend.

  3. worm says:

    This one doesn’t bother me nearly as much (if at all). First, it would seem that archdiocesan policy allows for a eulogy (see #18 at http://www.bostoncatholic.org/Offices-And-Services/Office-Detail.aspx?id=12556&pid=464 and thanks to Concord Pastor). Second, it’s really supposed to be about honoring the decesed, not the speaker. Third, it is not a Catholic institution doing the chosing, but the family of the deceased. I don’t think it is fair to compare it to what happened at Notre Dame. In my opinion, that would be minimizing what happened at Notre Dame.

  4. Matthew in Vancouver says:

    I think it has to definitely has the potential to be Notre Dame II. I think it’s possible that scandal has already occurred. I’ve seen a lot of “But if he supported abortion how can he have a Catholic funeral?” There’s a lot of confusion out there. As if there isn’t enough confusion out there already, it could very well drive home the fallacy that “one can be Catholic and pro-abortion.” Obama’s remarks have the potential to be harmless. They also have potential fan the flames. Or throw gasoline on them. Maybe I’m being a worry wart? We’ll have to wait and see.

  5. Childermass says:

    Well, as big as it is, it won’t be nearly as big a show as his brother’s funeral in 1963—an extravagant TLM Requiem celebrated by Cardinal Cushing at Boston’s cathedral before it was wreckovated.

    However, it is certainly big enough to send the wrong message. *Most of the many Catholic politicians who will receive Holy Communion at that Mass are pro-abortion!*

    Sacrilege? Uh-huh.

    I saw *Fr. Benedict Groeschel* give a talk at that basilica a couple of years ago. It was a wonderful occasion. Fr. Groeschel received thunderous applause when he offered sharp criticisms of the Jesuits and of Boston College. He accused them of selling out the Catholic faith.

    Well they certainly did, and the Kennedys were their useful idiots. Now the survivors are left to pick up the pieces of the shattered American Church.

  6. Traductora says:

    The press is certainly going to make it look like ND II, and I’m sure His Holiness Obama will be up there literally pontificating. One thing that seems to disturb the press, btw, is the fact that so far the Pope (the real one) has made no statement of Kennedy’s death.

    Exactly why the Pope should make a statement on the death of a local politician is a mystery to me. But it does give you an idea of the distorted view these people have of their own importance.

  7. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Why wouldn’t the funeral be a reflection of Ted’s life? Scandal then, scandal now. Should this surprise us?

    Obama will likely give a respectful eulogy. However, he’s not Catholic and does not understand the part about praying for the dead. The eulogy will be all about how wonderful Ted is. [gaak] Nice to put a respectful spin on the life of the deceased, but …well, this is why eulogies just don’t belong at a Mass that is really supposed to be about begging God for mercy.

  8. worm says:

    Agree wholeheartedly with Childermass. That is what has potential for great harm. Much more so than the president giving the eulogy.

  9. Bryan says:

    Well..considering the city it’s in, the apparent proclivities of the attendees that will be there, as well as the sad state of the Church in that state, I say let them have their time in the fast fading daylight of their tired passing day.

    In some ways, it’s good to find out just how far the disease in the body has spread so when the surgical option is exercised, you know how far and how deep to cut.

    Scandalous? Most certainly. HH B. Hussein Obama preaching from a Catholic pulpit? Nothing should surprise anyone who’s been awake for the last year or so. Just part of the co-opting of the willing in concert with his propaganda arm (the majority of the MSM).

    I’ll be busy doing things other than participating in the deification/canonizaton of Yet Another Kennedy. Like praying for his soul out of charity, though my will is really rebelling against it. Maybe that’s a good personal pennance.

  10. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    Maybe I’m dense, but I thought they already HAD his Funeral Mass at the Family Chapel on the Hyannis port compound. That this is a PUBLIC MEMORIAL SERVICE?

    Either way in my mixed family (Franco-German Catholic married Irish-Slovak Catholic) something like that WAS AT THE FUNERAL HOME BEFORE being taken to Church.

    Even my Dad’s funeral, where his brother did the Eulogy BEFORE we all went to the Church. Mass was for praying for his soul and all souls in Purgatory, not a celebration of a human life. That was the Wake the night before and the gathering after.

  11. patrick_f says:

    yes. Our president is an opportunist in every sense of the word. You can bet there will also be an attempt to guilt people into health care and whatever other agenda is on the mind of the president that day.

    Someone needs to tell him he won btw, then maybe he will stop campaigning.

  12. TJM says:

    I’m surprised Kennedy is being accorded a Catholic funueral given his heinous record on abortion. Tom

  13. irishgirl says:

    I’m afraid it might become ND II…that’s why I don’t like eulogies at funeral Masses.

    I can’t stand this ‘instant canonization’. I don’t care if it’s for a member of the Kennedy family or an average ‘schmo on the street’. Save the eulogizing for the wake or the family gathering after the burial.

    I will pray for his soul’s repose, though. Perhaps he ‘saw the light’ before he died and repented of his support for abortion. One can only hope….

  14. Lori Ehrman says:

    I was thinking what could be worse? What about Obama and family converting to become Catholics just like the Kennedys. Then he could receive Our Lord in Holy Communion just like Teddy.

  15. Frank H says:

    My little nightmare is that Obama will present himself to receive Holy Communion at the Kennedy funeral Mass.

  16. Roland de Chanson says:

    Childermass: Fr. Groeschel received thunderous applause when he offered sharp criticisms of the Jesuits and of Boston College. He accused them of selling out the Catholic faith.

    You have touched the thing with a needle. The putrefaction of perfidy reeked on that campus even before the Council closed. A fissure from which issued Paul’s smoke of satan.

    But what is scandal? Boston College is now the owner of the former residence of the archbishop of Boston, having bought it from O’Malley to pay off the victims of the sex crimes and their lawyers. And the facilitator of that scandal is now scandalously enthroned as archpresbyter of the papal basilica of St. Mary Major!

    What is scandal? Perhaps a letter to the pope hand-delivered by the courier-president of the United States, demanding a funeral at that Roman basilica presided over by Bernard Law of infamous memory. Who can know? But in these days, who could be shocked by any scandal at all?

    I would cite the words of Our Lord to St. Francis about rebuilding His Church, but the besandaled Franciscan Cardinal Archbishop of Boston, in contravention of the expressed will of the Holy Father, permits only one True Mass on Sunday. And that in a remote parish on the outskirts of the archdiocese. What is scandal?

  17. Bill in Texas says:

    If it happens, it will certainly be in the same class of shame as Notre Dame I.

    Lately, all that I can think about is what Our Lord said to Sister Lucia: “The sacrifice required of every person is the fulfillment of his duties in life and the observance of My law. This is the penance that I now seek and require.”

    Prayer and penance won’t start at the top, it certainly won’t start in Washington, D.C. It has to start with us.

  18. priest up north says:

    In agreement with patrick_f, the president is indeed an opportunist in my mind. In addition, the Saul Allinsky approach to making groups of people out to be wackos (such as the recent use of the term “birthers”) makes me believe that he will continue to drive a wedge between Catholics, making himself and his claim to find common ground to be that of what he might consider real Catholics (the Ted Kennedy types) versus those who are truly faithful (which he surely would consider closed minded)…

    I echo Bill in Texas on his observation of prayer and penance…

  19. mibethda says:

    Childermas: Neither of Edward Kennedy’s brother’s funeral Masses was offered in the Cathedral in Boston. That of JFK – which was officiated over by Cardinal Cushing – was at St. Matthew Cathedral in Washington, and, as I recall, that of RFK was at St. Patrick in New York.

  20. TJM says:

    When JFK and RFK died, the Democratic Party hadn’t yet gone over to the dark side. I’m hoping Senator Kennedy had a death bed conversion and abjured
    his support for abortion. If that were announced at the funeral Obama, Pelosi, etc would go bonkers. Tom

  21. Bryan says:

    mibethda: Correct on location for both JFK and RFK funeral masses.

    (FWIW, I was one of the multitude on the side of the Pennsy mainline on that day in June 1968, waiting for the train to come by. 12 years old. And I still remember the scene vividly…)

  22. Childermass says:

    Mibethda,

    Ah, you are right. What I was thinking of what a memorial *Requiem* Mass for JFK celebrated by Cardinal Cushing at Boston’s cathedral.

    I read about it in the Boston Pilot some time ago. You can see a photo of it here:

    http://www.thebostonpilot.com/article.asp?ID=7486

    Teddy was there. So was the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

  23. TJM says:

    I seem to recall that for JFK’s funeral, although the Requiem Mass was celebrated entirely in Latin, I believe permission had already been given to peform
    part of the ceremonial at graveside in English, which I believe Cardinal Cushing did. Coincidentally, the day of JFK’s funeral, it was published
    in most American newspapers of a Conciliar developed – it was called “Latin Rule Dropped.” This of course was the mainstream media’s simplistic way
    of saying that Sacrosanctum Concilium allowed for a greater use of the vernacular. But that was the spin. Not much has changed. Tom

  24. trad catholic mom says:

    In answer to Father Z’s question, yes I think it will be Notre Dame II to a certain extent. You will have many prominent pro abortion “Catholics” receiving communion. That is a scandal unto itself. Regardless of whatever attempts Obama may make to further his personal agenda. Additionally I don’t think that Obama has any business giving a eulogy for Kennedy, I’m sure their are many people that worked with Kennedy much longer and knew him better than our newbie President.

  25. Traductora says:

    OK. Now I’m really furious. I just heard an interview with a Democratic political strategist who said that he hopes Obama can “use his eulogy to energize Democrats.” I’m sorry. There is NO way this should be taking place in a Catholic church.

    They plan to use it as a political platform. Why is the Archdiocese permitting this?

  26. Childermass says:

    The program:

    *PROGRAM DETAILS:*

    *First Reading:* Curran Raclin, stepson
    *Responsorial:* Kara Kennedy Allen, daughter
    *Second Reading:* Caroline Raclin, stepdaughter
    *Homily:* Rev. Mark Hession
    *Intercessory Prayers:* Kennedy’s four grandchildren, and the youngest grandchild of each of his siblings, will read quotes from his speeches. (The family chose to honor the youngest children because Kennedy was the youngest in his family.)
    *Offertory:* Grandchildren
    Music by Yo-Yo Ma
    *Communion*
    Music by Placido Domingo accompanied by the Tanglewood Festival Chorus
    “Ave Maria” by Susan Graham of the Metropolitan Opera
    *Tribute:* Edward M. Kennedy Jr. and US Representative Patrick J. Kennedy (sons)
    *Eulogy:* President Obama
    *Song:* America the Beautiful

    *ANALYSIS:*

    The family and church officials have essentially chosen to split the roles three ways. Cardinal O’Malley, because of his role as the archbishop of Boston, will technically preside over the funeral, [Sooooo.... he will be there.] but Fathers Monan and Hession, who had closer relationships with Senator Kennedy, will be far more visible to casual viewers of the liturgy. Monan will celebrate the Mass, which will include presiding over the congregation and reciting the prayers of the Mass and being at the center of the altar during the Eucharist. Hession will deliver the homily, and his task will be to take the readings of the day and apply them to the moment. This is a very typical arrangement, not only at large-scale funerals but also liturgies such as the first Mass of a new priest, in which a bishop will step aside to allow a close friend of the person being honored to celebrate the liturgy.

    WHY FATHER MONAN?

    Monan, a Jesuit priest, was the longest serving president in the history of Boston College, serving from 1972 to 1996; he is a respected figure in Boston and was a transformational leader for BC, shepherding the institution through a period of enormous growth in endowment and reputation. Kennedy, although not a BC alumnus, was a longtime friend of the institution: he received an honorary law degree there in 1966 (see photo below), and he served as a university trustee from 1976 to 1991. JFK also received an honorary degree from BC, in 1956, and RFK received an honorary degree there in 1960.

    Boston College issued a brief statement from Monan just now: “I have known Sen. Kennedy for 35 years as a close friend, as a trustee of Boston College and a person who certainly was one of the strongest advocates for the value of higher education. It is an honor to me to celebrate the Mass,” he said. Monan previously celebrated funeral Masses for two other significant American politicians, House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Jr., in 1996, and U.S. Sen. Michael J. “Mike” Mansfield, in 2001.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles_of_faith/2009/08/omalley_to_pres.html

  27. Charivari Rob says:

    Ah, you were quicker off the blocks, Childermass. I was just about to copy and paste the link.

    It’s, umm, interesting.

    “Tribute:”?

    “…honor the [grandchildren]…”?

    “…allow a close friend of the person being honored to celebrate the liturgy.”?

    Well, maybe this was the rough draft before they send it to the printer’s shop. Or maybe that’s just Paulson’s (the Globe religion writer who posted it) characterization.

  28. Supertradmom says:

    I hope the Vatican has some power in all of this. What the program looks like is the official meeting of the American Catholic Church rather than the Roman Catholic Church. Modernism has entered the mainstream. Let us hope and pray that the Cardinal refers strongly to the pro-life issues and supports the anti-abortion stand of the Catholic Church. We need to pray and fast that Truth prevails.

    Who is in schism? Who are the heretics? And, is this not a slap-in-the-face to the millions of us who work for pro-life, sacrificing time and money, even putting careers on the line for the right of the unborn.

  29. Childermass says:

    Correction to a previous poster’s comment RE: Sean Cardinal O’Malley and the TLM [This OFF TOPIC and so I will delete the rest....]

  30. Peggy R says:

    Let’s pray that the curtain will finally come down after this final act of this farce called “Camelot.”

  31. Mattiesettlement says:

    Can. 1184

    §1. Unless they gave some signs of repentance before death, the following must be deprived of ecclesiastical funerals:

    1/ notorious apostates, heretics, and schismatics;
    2/ those who chose the cremation of their bodies for reasons contrary to Christian faith;
    3/ other manifest sinners who cannot be granted ecclesiastical funerals without public scandal of the faithful.

    §2. If any doubt occurs, the local ordinary is to be consulted, and his judgment must be followed.

    I really hope that T. Kennedy had a bed side conversion.
    Because his support of abortion was public shouldn’t his repentance be made public as well so as to avoid further scandal? Where is our Catholic identiy? When will we take a stand and say enough is enough. I fear that if we do not begin to judge ourselves then our Merciful Lord will be forced to judge us. It certainly looks like this will be Notre Dame II.

    Fr. Wade

  32. Fr. Wade: Can. 1184 ….

    §1. Unless they gave some signs of repentance before death, the following must be deprived of ecclesiastical funerals: … 3/ other manifest sinners who cannot be granted ecclesiastical funerals without public scandal of the faithful.

    Hmmm….

  33. Mrs. O says:

    If he were considered a manifest sinner, wouldn’t something have been done by now, I mean Bishop wise (enforcing the canon law)? Doesn’t it really come down to, they do not consider what these politicians are doing as a serious sin?

    It is nice to see that the eulogy is separate from the homily though.

  34. Traductora says:

    First Reading: Curran Raclin, stepson
    Responsorial: Kara Kennedy Allen, daughter
    Second Reading: Caroline Raclin, stepdaughter
    Homily: Rev. Mark Hession
    Intercessory Prayers: Kennedy’s four grandchildren, and the youngest grandchild of each of his siblings, will read quotes from his speeches. (The family chose to honor the youngest children because Kennedy was the youngest in his family.)
    Offertory: Grandchildren
    Music by Yo-Yo Ma
    Communion
    Music by Placido Domingo accompanied by the Tanglewood Festival Chorus
    “Ave Maria” by Susan Graham of the Metropolitan Opera
    Tribute: Edward M. Kennedy Jr. and US Representative Patrick J. Kennedy (sons)
    Eulogy: President Obama
    Song: America the Beautiful

    Why don’t they just go and have it in an Episcopal church? This is the sort of pretty, secular program with a bit of vaguely religious stuff and praise for the rich dear departed that Episcopalians love. Their king Obama wants to use it as a political platform (I heard a Dem strategist say that the “eulogy was Obama’s chance to energize the Democratic base”), and the Archdiocese of Boston is acting exactly like the Church under Henry VIII. Not only is it bad for the Church in Boston, but it’s bad for the Church throughout the country. If Notre Dame was bad, this is actually much worse, much more partisan, much more cynical, and much more blatantly political. I thought it would be ND 2, but now I think it’s going to be ND to a power of 2…or maybe 10.

  35. Roland de Chanson says:

    Fr. Wade: Can. 1184 §1. Unless they gave some signs of repentance before death, the following must be deprived of ecclesiastical funerals: … 3/ other manifest sinners who cannot be granted ecclesiastical funerals without public scandal of the faithful.

    In response to which, replies Fr. John Zuhlsdorf: Hmmm…

    I am evidently misled. Are you questioning either the licitness or the validity of the Rite of Christian Burial of Senator Kennedy, given that the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston will be the presiding prelate?

    You ought to elaborate upon this matter. I am sure that Cardinal O’Malley has been made aware of the theological perils that beset him.

    What means this “Hmmm….”?

  36. Jane says:

    It will be interesting to see the outcome. I think that it will be Notre Dame II but hope that it won’t be.

  37. Mattiesettlement says:

    Roland,
    I am simply trying to point out that all is not clear at least for me in this matter. Yes Apparently there was a priest called to his bedside which does seem to lend credence to the hope that the deceased repented of his sins. But his stand in support of abortion was so strong and so very public that it would have done a lot to correct this evil with some sort of public acknowledgement that he had been worng, that he had sinned and that he was sorry. Ask yourself this question with regard to Can. 1184. Was scandal given to the Catholic faithful today with the honor that Ted Kennedy received given that he had such a strong public support of abortion? I am not judging him or anyone else in this but I do question our Catholic identity in the public sphere.

    Fr. Wade