Ed Peters weighs in on whether Ted Kennedy should have a Catholic funeral from a canonist’s point of view. I was curious about this and he certainly shows that canonically the Senator is eligible for a Catholic funeral. He ends with this:
Now, about President Obama giving a eulogy thereat, don’t even get me started.
Surely the President will give a moving eulogy on why we need to pray for the late Mr. Kennedy’s eternal soul. Either that or call him forth “Rise Ted Kennedy.”
Fr. Trigilio posts:
Sadly, as a priest, I have seen too many funerals become canonization events where the person is literally declared present in heaven because he or she was a ‘good’ person or because ‘we all end up in the same place, don’t we?’ Nothing could be farther from the truth. Being ‘good’ or just being a ‘nice’ guy will NOT get you into heaven. One must be HOLY to enter the Holy of Holies. Holiness comes from grace which comes from God. Look at the obituaries in your local paper today. Most if not all tell you esoteric things about the deceased like: they belonged to the Rotary Club, or the Elks, the Moose, Loyal Order of Waterbuffalos, etc. He or she liked fishing, shopping, travel, sewing, playing cards, ice cream cones, etc. They tell os of mundate and trite things the person did. The most important aspect, however, is not their extracurricular activities, their employment or their social life. Bottom line is their FAITH. Did they BELIEVE in God? Did they faithfully WORSHIP him every day and every Sunday? Did they OBEY his moral laws and Ten Commandments? Yes, I agree that those who served our nation and defended her in times of war and peace via our military ought to be recognized. That is a commendable act of patriotism. But we also need to hear about those brave souls who bore the cross of Christ in their own bodies and did so with dignity and deep faith. We need to hear about the sacrifices made for marriage and the family. We need to hear about those who struggled and persevered to live a devout life close to their God. I would rather read that than see a bunch of hooey telling me the hobbies of a dead person.
The doctrine of Purgatory is GREAT. It allows us to be purified when we are not fully detached from all stain of sin. The temporal punishment due to sin for an entire lifetime may be great or it may be small. While most of us are not Mother Teresas ready for the Pearly Gates the day we die, hopefully we are not Lucifers either, ready for the pain and torments of hell either. Purgatory is where most of hope to end up with the sure and certain hope we will eventually get to Paradise. Whatever sins we may have committed in life can still be remitted while there is still air in our lungs and blood being pumped from our heart. Pray for the dead and pray for the conversion of sinners. The battle to end abortion and euthanasia is far from over.
Good comment about purgatory. Father is absolutely right. People talk as if the mere fact of dying means a person goes automatically to heaven without getting cleaned up!
My mother, who at 85 attends many funerals, has given me this charge: “When I die, you are to stand up at my funeral, and say, ‘My mother was a sinner. Please pray for her.’ Otherwise, I will be stuck in Purgatory for far too long.” No one, and she repeats NO ONE, is to give any sort of eulogy, at the Mass (Heaven forbid!) or at the visitation.
The point here IS NOT CHARITY or purgatory, but the CHURCH saying: we deny Mafia Dons public funerals, BUT this is a Boston royal, whose PUBLIC SCANDAL as abortion pusher we overlook?
The thought that Obama might eulogize Kennedy infuriates me. The appropriateness of any eulogy at a funeral notwithstanding, this will be even worse than the Notre Dame debacle.
It’s awful for a Catholic institution to present Obama with an award, but to give him a political platform* at liturgy?
*Make no mistake, a political platform it will be. Look for Kennedy being tied to the health care bill before he’s in the ground.
I scheduled a voluntary root canal w/o anesthesia so I won’t be near a TV when the outrageous, public scandal is committed.
The scandal will not be celebration of the Mass. The scandal will be the recitations of execrable lies about the liberal jerk.
Someone tell me that ‘they’ didn’t give Holy Communion to the Won.
T. Shaw, you’ve reminded me. I believe I will do the same, but with novacaine during the countless tributes.
But I think it is wrong to feel angst that a mass will be held. I begrudge no one who is Catholic (even if they practice it with *** like major league baseball players with steroids) a mass for the respose of the departed soul.
Mass is for the family and for the dead, not the show or the camera or the political platform that it may in this circumstance yield. The Eucharist reveals, it changes, it transforms all of us every time we avail ourselves of its presence.
One hopes, and given the fact that leaders will be present at a sacrament, that the Holy Spirit will use this moment to transform people’s hearts towards God. God knows even better than Rham Emanuel how to use a good crisis.
Pray for Ted Kennedy’s soul and all those who reside in purgatory, and that all of us may be so blessed as to make it to the place where we can be made ready to see God face to face.
I totally agree that instant canonizations are wrong, but perhaps so are instant condemnations to Hell. Let us pray for the poor man, for he was poor, despite his riches and prestige, if his soul was in dire straights.
And I agree with Father that Purgatory is GREAT. But I consider it a reality, not just a doctrine (I may be splitting hair here)
This is why our bishops have episcopal authority but no real moral authority. Moral authority is only truely evident when exhibited under stress and when it speaks a harsh truth to power.