Ted Kennedy’s Funeral Mass Scandal

Bishop Gracida: Sensus Fidelium

Bishop Rene Gracida

Over on his blog, Abyssus Abyssum InvocatBishop Rene Gracida, retired bishop of Corpus Christi, explains why he thinks it is the duty of the laity to speak out against the Kennedy Funeral:

“OVER ON THE “PRIESTS’ SECRETARY BLOG,

http://4thepriests.wordpress.com/2009/09/09/first-bishop-to-express-concerns-with-kennedy-funeral/

some of what I had written about the scandal of the Ted Kennedy funeral was reproduced and posted on that Blog.
One person, Drew Black, sent in a comment to that Blog:

“Drew Black

Thank-you, Excellency for the courage to speak out, to put the truth into print. May I ask why it is the laity’s duty to formally criticize the Cardinal of  Boston?     It would seem that the most efficacious means of correction would come from the top. Authority in the church lies with its leaders. You must stand up publicly to one another. Please. We pray for you in this year of the priest.?Mary help you.

Thinking that others might be asking themselves the similar question “why did Bishop Gracida consider it the laity’s duty to formally criticize the Cardinal of Boston?” I decided to send an answer to Drew Black on that same Blog.  Here was my answer:

September 9, 2009 at 2:16 pm

abyssum

Drew Black,

You ask “why is it the laity’s duty to formally criticize the Cardinal of Boston?”?In response I would refer you to the Historical Tracts written by the Servant of God, John Henry Cardinal Newman, in which he describes the situation in the Fourth Century when, he says, practically all of the Church’s bishops were tainted either with Arianism or Semi-Arianism, all except for the Pope and Saint Athanasius. The “sensus fidelium” of the laity saved the Church because they would not follow the lead of their bishops. The Pope and Saint Athanasius, relying on that “sensus fidelium” were able to carry the day at the Council of Nicea. Sometimes, history does repeat itself.

My point in referring to what Cardinal Newman wrote was that there are times in the life of the Church when the laity needs to make known to the Church’s hierarchy exactly what the sensus fidelium is with regard to whatever burning issue is affecting the unity of the Church at that moment.”

Bravo Bishop!  It is all too easy for we laity to sit back and leave protecting the teaching of the Church to the clergy.  Rubbish!  The teachings of Christ apply to the laity and the clergy both, and the laity cannot shirk the duty to point out when events are taking place within the Church that are in flat contradiction to that teaching.  The Church, the Bride of Christ, is no less precious to the laity, and when the clergy neglect their duty, that is no excuse for faithful members of the laity to forget theirs.

Bishop Gracida on the Kennedy Funeral

Bishop Rene Gracida

Hattip to the ever vigilant Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia, who I really should put on retainer for the number of blogging ideas I steal, that is borrow, from him each month.

Bishop Rene Gracida is the retired bishop of Corpus Christi.  He has a blog called Abyssus Abyssum Invocat.   During World War II he was a tail gunner with the 303rd Hell’s Angels B-17 bomb group.  Why does that come as absolutely no surprise to me?  When it comes to speaking out in regard to the Kennedy funeral, I suppose it requires little courage for a Bishop who faced the skies of WW2 Europe.  The Bishop minces no words:

“WHERE DO I BEGIN

There was so much wrong with the funeral liturgy celebrated in Boston last Saturday for Senator Edward Moore Kennedy that I hardly know where to begin.  Aside from the impropriety of such a grandiose celebration for one of the country’s most notorious dissident Catholics, the ‘celebration’ was filled with liturgical errors and transgressions against the General Instruction of the Roman Missal which governs every celebration of the Church’s liturgy.  I am afraid that if I, a bishop, were to go into the details of the scandal it would only add to the scandal and so I will let the laity speak to it.”

The Bishop then places on his blog critical articles about the funeral from many sources.  Go here to read the articles at his blog and then place the Bishop’s blog under your “Favorites” list.  It is definitely a blog to check in at on a regular basis.

Analyzing Bishop Morlinos Chastizement of Catholics Critical of the Funeral Mass for Ted Kennedy

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[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 1:08pm CDT on AD 9-10-2009]

Michael Voris, S.T.B., breaks down Bishop Morlino’s chastizement of those Catholics that were scandalized by Ted Kennedy’s funeral Mass.

LifeSiteNews.com has the following commentary by Patrick B. Craine and John-Henry Westen concerning the very same issue of Bishop Morlino chastizing Catholics critical of the pomp and ceremony bestowed upon the abortion advocate Ted Kennedy during the funeral Mass.

Bishop of Madison, Robert C. Morlino, expressed his support for the Kennedy funeral in a column last Thursday, basing his approval on the claim that the funeral was celebrated “in a subdued fashion,” and that this “low key” approach was appropriate due to the Senator’s support for abortion and other issues.

. . .

“All of this is leading me up to the expression of my contentment with how our Church, in a subdued fashion, celebrated the Rites of Christian Burial for Senator Kennedy,” he said. “The proclamation of God’s Mercy was powerful, the prayer for forgiveness of his past sins was clearly offered, and all of this in a subdued way because of his long-standing and public holding of pro-abortion and other stances which have been a scandal in the literal sense.”

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Cardinal O'Malley: Apologia Pro Sua Teddy

Cardinal O'Malley

Cardinal O’Malley of Boston defends his participation at the funeral Mass for Ted Kennedy here.  Erin Manning at her blog and sometimes tea, gives his remarks a fisking to be remembered here.  The master of the fisk, Father Z, also puts the Cardinal’s remarks through his patented fisk machine here.

The simple truth of the matter of course is that Ted Kennedy, in so many ways, was a disgrace to the Catholic Church in this country.  As a Catholic who received the Last Rites, it was right to give him a funeral Mass.  It was wrong to allow that Mass to be transformed into a “Tribute for Teddy” and a Democrat Party infomercial.  Archbishop O’Malley sat there and allowed this to take place and now he has the audacity to defend his nonfeasance.  One would have thought that silence would have been a wiser course rather than attempting to defend the indefensible.

The Kennedy Funeral

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Canon Lawyer Ed Peters has some thoughts here on the Ted Kennedy funeral.  Distressingly the funeral had on full display the tendency of modern Catholic funerals to have eulogies that “canonize” the deceased.  I prefer the traditional Catholic practice of banning eulogies and merely requesting prayers for the soul of the deceased.  There are other venues to praise the deceased.  The funeral Mass is not for praise, but rather for the sacrifice of the Mass and for prayers.  A good post on the subject is here.

Day 2: Reaction To The Passing Away Of Ted Kennedy Around The Catholic World

Ted Kennedy young

Day II of what Catholics are saying on the passing away of Edward Moore Kennedy around the web (will be continuously updated until tonight at 7:00 pm CST):

A Catholic Funeral for Ted Kennedy by Dr. Edward Peters of Canon Law

A Catholic Funeral for Ted? It’s a Lie, a Sham, a Scandal, a Pretense, an Insult to faithful Catholics by Robert Kumpel of St. John’s Valdosta Blog

Dissident Catholic America magazine doesn’t want to talk about Ted Kennedy’s stance on abortion and trashes Patrick Madrid by Father John Zuhlsdorf of What Does The Prayer Really Say?

Who can have a Catholic Funeral & more by Elizabeth Scalia of The Anchoress via First Thoughts

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