Two Letters.

I know that I have been an imperfect human being, but with the help of my faith I have tried to right my path. I want you to know Your Holiness that in my nearly 50 years of elective office, I have done my best to champion the rights of the poor and open doors of economic opportunity. I have worked to welcome the immigrant, to fight discrimination, and expand access to health care and education. I have opposed the death penalty, and fought to end war. Those are the issues that have motivated me and been the focus of my work as a United States Senator.

I also want you to know that even though I am ill, I am committed to do everything I can to achieve access to health care for everyone in my country. This has been the political cause of my life. I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health field, and I’ll continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone.

Excerpt, Letter of Senator Edward Kennedy to Pope Benedict XVI, which President Obama delivered to the Pontiff in July, 2009.

* * *

While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized — the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old. [...]

I share in the confidence of those who feel that America is willing to care for its unwanted as well as wanted children, protecting particularly those who cannot protect themselves. I also share the opinions of those who do not accept abortion as a response to our society’s problems — an inadequate welfare system, unsatisfactory job training programs, and insufficient financial support for all its citizens.

When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception.

Excerpt, Letter of Senator Edward Kennedy to Thomas E. Denelly, August 1971.

7 Responses to Two Letters.

  • ron chandonia says:

    I want you to know Your Holiness that in my nearly 50 years of elective office, I have done my best to champion the rights of the poor and open doors of economic opportunity.

    When I read this earlier today, I thought it must be someone’s idea of a parody. Why would a dying man brag to the POPE about his accomplishments??? What a massive ego! Cardinal McCarrick found this “moving.” The pope’s response, however, was more . . . measured.

  • What struck me was simply the fact that an entire segment of humanity — one which the Senator himself referred to previously as “[America's] unwanted as well as wanted children, protecting particularly those who cannot protect themselves” — was omitted from his current list of those he had fought to save.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    What a complete political hack Kennedy was. He was facing death and decides to use this transparent ploy to drum up support for ObamaCare among Catholics and to use the Pope as a bit player in the effort. Of course not a word in his letter about his massive efforts to defeat the teaching of the Church on abortion. I pray that Kennedy was in a better spiritual state of mind when he made his last confession than when he penned this piece of tripe. His letter to the Pope should have consisted of three words: “Forgive me Father.”.

  • Anthony says:

    … and here I was hoping that he would have quietly asked for forgiveness for what he knew was a complete contradiction of both faith and reason… disappointing to say the least.

  • daledog says:

    Kennedy says that he believes in conscience protection for Catholics in the health field, but what has he done to ensure it?

    Donald-
    If Kennedy was in a better spiritual state of mind when he made his last confession, he would have refuted this letter and written another, better one.

    Let’s face it, faith meant nothing to Kennedy. He used it to claim the moral high-ground when it suited him. He shed it when it meant political damage. The sheople ate it up. Shame on all of them.

  • ohioszo says:

    Well, I wonder if anyone here has been with their Father when he is receiving the last Sacrament, that one would say it is bragging. My Dad related a story, in which he took men to Mass during WWII and that there were more men when fears were higher, of being attacked by the Japanese … when he was near to death. It is something that Ted Kennedy believed showed his deep Catholic Faith, just like Dad. Lighten up folks! It was rather wise that it was read then, and, if it was Ted’s wishes, more the better. Big issue, very current, very Catholic. Perhaps his family can speak more eloquently, but, it is important for all of those who loved him and love the Church. Pope Benedict, it seems, gave a response that wasn’t from having known the Senator personally, that’s all. I don’t think that the Pope would favor anyone. Even saintly folk need proofs.

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