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August 26, 2009

Kennedy's Catholic Faith

The Boston Channel offers details on Sen. Ted Kennedy's last hours and his Catholic faith.

"It was a total surprise to me to see another world he was involved in -- the spiritual world," said Rev. Patrick Tarrant of Our Lady of Victory Church.

Tarrant, who was called to Kennedy's bedside late Tuesday as the senator was dying, said it was clear that Kennedy was ready for the journey that awaited him. He described the senator as "a man of quiet prayer" in his last hours.

"The truth is, he had expressed to his family that he did want to go. He did want to go to heaven. He did want to die and he did want to go. He was ready to go. There was a certain amount peace -- a lot of peace, actually -- in the family get-together last night. I couldn't help but think that the world doesn't know that part of the senator at all," Tarrant said in a lilting Irish brogue.

Tarrant told the news channel that the priest saw a more personal side that was deeply devout and the "secret" of Kennedy's power.

"I think the whole world knows certain parts very well, but I think there's another part of his life that very few people know, and that's his deep faith. His very deep faith in God and his love for his family," Tarrant said.

The Boston Globe has more details on the funeral arragements:

Senator Edward M. Kennedy will lie in repose at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum before his funeral at a historic Boston church where he prayed daily while his daughter successfully battled her own cancer. Kennedy will then be buried at Arlington National Cemetery next to his brothers.

Kennedy's funeral is being planned for the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in the Mission Hill section of Boston. Commonly known as the Mission Church, the 1,300-seat basilica on Tremont Street was built in the 1870s. Kennedy prayed there in 2003 while his daughter, Kara, overcame lung cancer.

Comments

In a life that is littered with ironies, here's the biggest one of all: His three older brothers - Joe, Jack and Bobby - are eternally frozen in our imagination as the personifications of youth and vigor (or "vigah"). How poignant that our final image of the baby of that family will be as an old man, frail and mortally ill.

His was the most impressive evolution in American political history. Let's be honest; in 1962 the guy was a lightweight. He ran for the Democratic nomination against another young man, Edward McCormick, whose uncle was the speaker of the House of Representatives. During a debate McCormick told him that were it not for his name, his candidacy would be viewed as a joke. It was a point well made. It is obvious when looking at film of that campaign that our boy Ted is in way over his head.

Who would have dared dream all those years ago that this punk kid would one day evolve into the greatest senator ever to walk those halls?

An incredible realization just came to me: Teddy represented the state of Massachusetts for forty-six years, eight months and nineteen days. That is nearly three months longer than all the years his older brother Jack lived on earth. Forgive the cliche that is so overused it has become trite through repetition, but this really is the end of an era.

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

As a member of the Roman Catholic faith, I have been nauseated by my Church's prostitution with people like the Kennedys. It, i.e., the Boston Archdiocese, has overlooked Catholic doctrine and basic tenets of the Church in its preference for the wealth and power of the Kennedy family and its ilk. Senator Kennedy might have been a great Senator, but he has been a lousy Catholic. His strident efforts to legalize abortion itself should have been reason for excommunication, but the Boston Archdiocese even granted him an annulment after 22 years of marriage -after he drove his wife Joan to become an alcoholic. So it is only fitting that he be given a complete Catholic funeral Mass in Boston - bastion of the anti-Catholic faith!

Sue, I totally agree. I'm a Catholic who can't stand the idea that these rich politicians can walk around acting as if they're Catholic. People like Kennedy are the anti-thesis of what a Catholic should be. Though actions do not save us, faith does, they're a good indication of where one's values are. Between killing that woman while in a drunken stupor and advocating abortion-on-demand, he has shown himself to be a key factor and proponent for the Culture of Death.

We should mourn his life because of the destruction and mayhem he caused, regardless of what political victories he may have one. He certainly didn't win any for the Kingdom!

I will also side with Christian Lawyer. Christians in this country seem to demonize anyone associated with the Left. Despite what personal problems he may have had, most of his public work was monumental. When Ted pushed for health care, don't you think he was trying to follow Jesus commandment to take care of the sick? Do you think it wasn't biblical that he helped increase the minimum wage, helping the poor who had no other line of work? Whether or not his Catholic faith was the motive for these causes, his work was reflective of what Christ wanted us to do on this earth.

I do not know if Sen. Kennedy experienced personal salvation through forgiveness in Christ. I hope that he did. However, what I do know is that throughout much of Kennedy's life he publicly and actively advocated for the destruction of human life through abortion. This was, in part, the fruit of his life.

I am dissapointed that, again, CT apears eager not to ruffle the feathers of polite company by not citing such facts.

Isns't it a good thing that God doesn't ask our opinion when He determines who does or does not make it into heaven.

RIP Ted Kennedy.
A man full of contradictions: a patrician who fought for the poor. A Catholic who schmoozed with Church elites but ignored important dogma. A liberal ideologue who perpetually compromised across the aisle to pass legislation. And above all, a man plagued by personal demons who totally believed in himself and the rightness of his cause.
Let us not merely argue about his faith but review our own, and live in and for the Christ who can sort our our lives so full of contradictions.

We can't judge a person's soul. So we can't say, for sure, that Kennedy was a fake Christian. But we sure as heck would be naive and gullible to think that he was a real Christian since he was over the top gung ho in favor of abortion and sexual immorality. At least you'd think he could have been an economic liberal and keep quiet on social issues. But no chance!

I would agree that it is impossible to know if Ted Kennedy is with God or not. However, I do not think it is wrong to point out, amidst all the adulation, that this was a man who demonstrated very little integrity in his life. I do not know how his last ten years were. I will note that, he was supposedly the leader in a large Catholic family. Yet when his nephew was charged with rape in 91, it was found that he had been out drinking with his Uncle Ted on Good Friday and that they had sent out for some women to bring back to the house. That was a little much even for liberal Massachusetts. I am imperfect and so is everyone else. But, if people are going to rave about what a great person he was, it is also important to talk about the huge flaws he had. Personally, I think he had a huge responsibility to his nieces and nephews and I do not think he fulfilled that responsibility. Yes, he had many losses. He also had many blessings from God. Only God can ultimately judge his life. Personally, I am not impressed. He seems to have been all about power and not about faith.

I hope Ted made it to Heaven. I do wonder if his priest or bishop where he attended Mass ever spoke on abortion and that is it impossible to claim you are a Catholic and be pro choice. Baby murder just to get rid of the baby, is simply horrible. I would have respected him more if he quit the church and joined a church that allowed his pro choice view.

I bet if he was a great man in everyway as the Press makes him out to be but was pro choice on slavery, I doubt he could get away with that.

All pro choice Catholics should leave and join a libera church.

The Bible is clear that only if Ted Kennedy had a relationship with Jesus Christ will he now be in heaven. Instead of sitting back and judging him and making pronouncements about whether he was saved or not. Ought we not take this opportunity to examine our own hearts and lives and make sure that we are in relationship with Christ?

The Bible is clear that only if Ted Kennedy had a relationship with Jesus Christ will he now be in heaven. Instead of sitting back and judging him and making pronouncements about whether he was saved or not. Ought we not take this opportunity to examine our own hearts and lives and make sure that we are in relationship with Christ?

Woe to us who consider ourselves to be "Christian," if we sit around and judge other people. It is only God who reads our hearts...God does not need us to pass judgment on others. Acts of judging and gossiping about others do not make us better. Jesus taught us to take the "beam" out of our own eye first, instead of judging our neighbor who may have a particle of sand in his or her eye. Jesus called such judgemental persons "Hypocrites!"

Let us be honest before Jesus. We are all sinners. Let us humble ourselves before Jesus and trust in His Divine Mercy. We are unfit to critize... we cannot know what is in out neighbors' hearts and minds.
Ted Kennedy worked hard for many years doing much good for countless people.
So now may Ted Kennedy rest in Peace with the Lord.

Consider Matthew 7:22, 23

Those who say that we should never judge others based on Mathew 7:1 need to contend with this passage and Matthew 7:13-20. Ted Kennedy did some good things. He also did some very rotten things. He also encouraged abortion and homosexuals participating in evil deeds (refer to Romans 1:24-28).

Ted Kennedy is going to need all his oratorical skills to convince God to let him into heaven based on these scriptures. We need to judge with the scripture and follow the scripture ourselves. It is not our way to neglect any scriptures when bringing a life into consider ation. Those who say he is definitely going to heaven are also judge where they should not. Soem of those who say that Ted is going to heaven said Jerry Falwell is going to hell. Jerry Falwell who actually attempted to get people to follow a moral life.

What I will remember best about Ted Kennedy is the legacy he left women. My sister was divorced after 22 years, same as the Kennedys. Her attorney informed her that she was unable to touch her ex's retirement because he was and is a protected federal employee. "Thank Ted Kennedy," he told her. According to the attorney, Kennedy wrote an extremely unfair retirement law that favored federal employees, then pushed it through Congress so his wife Joan wouldn't get her hands on his retirement.

My sister has thanked Ted many times over the years. I'm sure other wives have as well. I'm Catholic as well, and I've cringed every time my faith is brought up as an aside when someone is associated with a public scandle. It happens with the Amish, as well.

After reading some of the very judgmental comments prior to this one, I wonder if these individuals want their sins listed at the time of their death, as they are dragging up things that Senator Kennedy did 18 and more years ago. I have noticed over the past 18 years that he has not been in the news for many of the inappropriate behaviors of his younger years. Something evidently happened in his life in these last 18 years. I thought the Cross and Blood of Christ offered Redemption. If God offered us redemption, don’t you think that he also offered it to Senator Kennedy and he accepted it? Back in the 70’s I did not think much of him, but as he has evidently made changes in his personal life and his political life, I find that he has been a person who has made a great impact for the positive in many ways in this country. For those of you who have written judgmental statements about him, did you pray that God would influence him in the way God wanted, even if God’s ways were different than your wishes and plans? Do you think that God answers prayer?

Though I detested Kennedy's politics and am happy to have one less Democrat in the Senate, I hope he was merely a weak, misguided sinner and not a hypocrite.

To think otherwise, one would have to suppose he lied to Father Tarrant, or Father Tarrant lied to us about his last days.

"There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us that it ill behooves any of us to complain about the rest of us".

Though I detested Kennedy's politics and am happy to have one less Democrat in the Senate, I hope he was merely a weak, misguided sinner and not a hypocrite.

To think otherwise, one would have to suppose he lied to Father Tarrant, or Father Tarrant lied to us about his last days.

"There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us that it ill behooves any of us to complain about the rest of us".

It is with sadness that we have lost a champion of those in need. It is very true that Senator Ted cared..about people. His failings were confessed to God. He, alone, knew the path he took. There were many losses in his life, and there were triumphs. He was a public figure, and he was born to it. A young woman in need in the 1980s called him. She did not vote. He responded to her plea for
help. He did not know her--no political affiliation. He had his secretary, Emily, pen
a letter to this woman which stated, "Please
call my office. I will see you at a time convenient with my schedule and yours." She would contact him in later years. Another plea for help. She didn't like his lifestyle
but she had to remember that God is a God of
mercy and love--a love some human beings are
unaccustomed to understanding. Once again, he helped her. She voted, but not for him. He was aware. Help was needed. He was there.
He did not turn his face nor back away from
people in need. He understood need due to family situations.
Years later, he confessed his failings, his
faults to a whole nation. How many of us can
say we have or would do that? Right then, and
there--God forgave him. That's love, and "if that isn't love..then heaven's a myth..if that isn't love.." He is at rest, his weary
journey is over.
As, even, the thief said on his cross, looking to Christ--"Remember me when you come into Your Kingdom." And, the Lord turned to him and said, "Today, you will be with me in
Paradise." So, it is with Senator Ted Kennedy.

I LOVE THE KENDEYS BUT IF HE DID NOT CALL OUT TO JESUS AND ASK FORGIVNESS OF HIS SINS,HE IS NOT IN HEAVEN ALL THE OOD WORKS THAT HE DO,SOME OF THE THINGS HE BELIVED IN,BUT THE BIBLE SAYS YOU MUST ACCEPT JESUS AS YOUR PERSONAL SSAVIOR AND BE BORN AGAIN,I DO NOT BELIVE THAT JESUS WOULD BE DRINKING CUSSING AND PARTYING IN HEAVEN,ONE OF THE 10 COMM;SAYS DO ON EARTH AS IN HEVEN,MY PRAYERS GOES OUT TO THE FAMILY,AND I WILL BE PRAYING FOR THEM,COFFESSING YOUR SINS TO A MAN WILL NOT DO ONCE OUNCE OF GOOD ITS ONLY GOD YOU ASK FORGINESS IN THE NAME OF JESUS.PHYLLIS

Senator Kennedy comes from a rich and powerful family and held a position of power in our government for many years. Should we honor him as hero, a godly man, a saint? The foundation for the entire Kennedy family is from ill gotten gains. They all had their problems. Instead of focusing on Ted, I'd rather see more written about the late Eunice Shriver, Ted's sister and the founder of Special Olympics". She accomplished more than Ted Kennedy and all of his years in Congress. The end of an era; I hope so.

I wonder what we would see if we were to hold up your lives to the light?

As for me - I think I will leave the judging to God.

My, my, my. "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." What a bunch of moralistic hypocrites. I suspect that those so full of condemnation and judgment are the same people who didn't want a Catholic for president because he WOULD obey the church. Ironic isn't it. Thanks be to God that Senator Ted Kennedy answers to God and not to you. May you be granted the same mercy. How many times I have seen women living in adultery marching at a "right to life" demonstration. The choice of abortion is up to a woman. She is the one who has to answer to God. I will never forget what seems like a thousand years ago when everyone was "condemning" the woman who went to Sweden to have an abortion because she was taking thalidomide when she became pregnant. A priest said to all of us, "Do not judge others until you have walked a mile in their shoes." God help any of you so full of condemnation when you have to face the Master for your sins. I suspect He might even use YOUR standards. Senator Kennedy didn't have to do anything for anyone in this world. He could have lived a life of leisure, as could others in his family. If it isn't apparent to you all that he made his peace with God by the example he set, then may God have mercy on your soul(s). He spent his life trying to help all of those less fortunate than you and I. What have YOU done lately to do the same thinng??? Probably fought the health plan.

I am deeply disappointed by the attitudes of many Christian Republicans, who seem to be addicted to the narcotics of hate and retribution. I always thought that one important doctrine of the Christian faith was the possibility of mercy and forgiveness. What I am hearing from the radical right is hardly evidence of any experience of personal confession and forgiveness. The readings today in the Kennedy funeral from Matthew and Romans were powerful. I think we are going to be greatly surprised as to whom we find in heaven. Whatever happened to the command that we exemplify Love?

I hope Ted found what he did not find much of here on earth. Peace. Only God can know the heart of a man. We should all leave it for Him to decide the worth of this man, and may that same grace be ours someday.

Because Edwin,

Christian Republicans from my observation has created a god of their own making

their god protects their comfortable lifestyle and from the hordes of abortionists,homosexuals and minorities above all else.

Edwin, you sure are jumping to conclusions about people's politics.
We are not saved by works or clever speeches. Nor can we buy our way into Heaven. Ted may have had great compassion for the poor. But he used women and was unfaithful to his first wife. He cheated in school and bent the rules all his his life and traded on his name to get by. Everyone knows that. And what he did to Judge Bork was unconscionable. No one giving that kind of performance could be called a gentleman. And then he had the gall to say afterwards "Nothing personal."

He left great damage and even death in his wake and never made the kind of restitution that would be required of normal people. That's why we we're speaking of it here today. It's not judgement. It's just observation.

I do pray God have mercy on his soul. But I also wonder if where he is right now, Teddy can see the faces of thousands of babies who were denied life because of men like him who invaded God's territory -- of judgement -- who gets to live and die. I would shudder to stand before the living God to have to explain that.

It is true that we can not judge the hearts of men. In the context of Scripture in Matt. 7 Jesus says "to not judge", but he also says "by their fruits you shall know them" v 20. In this context we were never to be so naive into thinking that we can be obtuse to what we see in someone's life. Believer's are expected to make this "judgement". It has been mentioned in this blog that to "judge a person in heaven" is also making a judgement as much as to say that they are not. Individuals also "judge" themselves by their words and actions in this life. An example of this is someone who is trusting in his good works for salvation.

Do I know absolutely where Ted Kennedy will spend eternity? No! But I am never aware of him making a public proclamation of being born again, which is a requirement Jesus makes clear in John 3. By his "fruits" in this life he judged himself by standing up for abortion, and homosexuality. On the other hand, we all have benefited by some of Ted Kennedy's human compassion, but his political accolades will never merit eternal life. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. In Christ Alone!!

Here we go again...

Another post from someone who God has apparently told that abortion and homosexuality are the sole two issues that determine who is or isn't a Christian

Romans 2:1-5 "Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?

Romans 1:29-31 "being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Take a good look at these evils that Paul talked about - If you all are going to talk about the fruits of someone's life then practically every tele-evangelist, priest and pastor demonstre the above evils. Sarah Palin who is the great hope of conservative right wing christians demonstrate some of these evil fruits. Yet she is well supported by the Christian Right wing faction. I'm sure you would be hard pressed to find one person in the legislative branch of the government who do not demonstrate some of these evil fruits. Don't talk about those talk show hosts that so many conservative christians follow. And those people who run the economy??!?!? And Christians who seem to think that God has blessed them with material goods so that they can use it solely for their own lusts!

Do you all think that God is going to hold us any less accountable for committing these and not the apparently two unpardonable sins? Do you think God is going to give us a pass just because we come out against abortion and homosexuality while condoning all those other evils?

Now what about your life? Are you clean of every single one of these?

Let us spend our time sharing the Gospel of Christ and let us leave God to do the judging. For none of us have perfect knowledge

No one knows about the state of Senator Kennedy's soul at the time of death. We can, however, rest in the knowledge that in his life he could have done so much more than he did to rally the cause against abortion. All we heard during the funeral services over the past few days was what a champion he was for the poor, hungry, and downtrodden. What about the unborn? Given his talents for public speaking and rallying those around him, on both sides of the political fence, image what he could have done for the Catholic Church to bring about the end of Roe vs. Wade. Unfortunately, he never did it. This is the real tragedy.

I am again frustrated by CT's insistence in bringing its audience into a conversation about whether a certain person is in heaven - this is not the first time they've done it. Take a look at their coverage of Michael Jackson's death. The most we can say about anyone is I hope so, but I don't know. Anything else is foolish speculation. Please stop it.

To ponder and consider where someone is spending eternity is not foolish speculation. If anything these are times to come to an awareness about our own eternal destiny and increase our burden to reach and pray for the lost. We can say more than "I hope so" aboutloved ones who have passed and we have a confidence where they are. It is called "the blessed hope" for a reason and not the "foolish hope". To gamble and play roulette with our eternal souls is far worse than honest comtemplation about where someone is spending eternity.

So many people are "hoped" into heaven by others who claim to love them and spend their lives "hoping" to go to heaven, when the Scriptures says: 2 Cor. 13:5 "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith". Test yourselves". This is not foolish speculation.

Jesus says in Matt. 7:14 "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life and there are few who find it". To not fully investigate this matter is far more foolish than to discuss the eternal destiny of someone who has recently left this world.

Woe unto us if we do not "judge" ourselves in this way and warn others to not play games with their eternal destiny, but investigate the Truth for themselves!

I know that I will be judged by the same standard that I judge others based on God's Holy Word (and not my opinion) and my judgement of others is that outside of Christ they are lost and need a Saviour and I'm thankful of those who "judged" me in this way before I came to Christ and was born again.

I hope Ted Kennedy is in heaven (if anyone would hope anyone otherwise, they better truly examine themselves), but if this can be used as an opportune time to reach the lost. So be it!

When I die I hope others do discuss where I am and hopefully they will consider eternity and the need in their own life. Please don't stop it.

No! Let us stop!

We are at best speculating and at worse slandering. What purpose does either of the two serve? No purpose from where I stand.

1 Cor 5:12 As Christians, we are supposed to judge only those in the body of Christ. God is the one Who will do the judging of those outside.

And even so ...

Justin - you have said a mouth full! There is alot of truth in all you've said. Daily we pick and choose our sins and even WHO can sin (what is acceptable and what is not...lying -v- abortion). God help us all as HE read these blogs and say to many when the time comes, "get away from me, I never knew you." When I read Ted Kennedy's PAST so boldly published for us to be REMINDED of his "every flaw and indiscretion", it is scarry to realize why it is tough to lead someone closer to Jesus Christ as their Savior through our own lack of reflection in Him. God would NEVER approve of such emails being posted. The entire theme of the bible is one word and that is LOVE! Not love depending on who or what, but simply LOVE! All the happenings within the world today has nothing to do with what the world is doing, but what CHRISTIANS are NOT doing! All the divisions, contentions, prejudices, and so much is coming from the CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY. Not because we literally want to follow what's in the bible, but because we want what is purposed in our own hearts! if it was the case of the bible, we would reinforce following ALL of God's instructions and not just those that fit our opinions or needs. To lie, covet, steal, adultery, gossip, abortion, homosexuality, are all sins in the eyes of God, but not people!
These columns are more like "gossip" columns in the secular community. I pray that is not the intent of CT just to get hits to their blogs. It's very sad and may God have mercy on us all.

The only reason for all this discussion is because of the tendency to canonize the man. The media and his fans have gone a bit overboard. Kennedy did do some good things in his work and obviously had compassion for some people. But tt was clear he didn't extend his compassion to everyone: Judge Bork, conservatives, the unborn... His own sister disagreed with him on that last issue. And he didn't treat women very well. The Washington press constantly ran stories about his drunken escapades with women in bars and restaurants. His staff frequently had to cover for him. We may not like hearing this but it is what it is.

Disagreement is not unchristian. Nor is it judgemental. Can't we grow up enough to accept observations of fact?

And so Gigi once we have done as you suggested, what benefit is that to the Body of Christ? How does that help us spread the Good News?

Were you there at any of the incidences? Faux News constantly run stories about events that are obviously untrue. Anything and everything can be skewed to suit one's purpose.

Are you therefore not slandering and gossiping?

Once we've dissected his life and found him wanting... How about we turn our attention to yours. If we were to do so, pray tell what would we find?

Ann

I have God to thank for my change. Only He could have done it. I too was very regimented. So much so that I would not even have anything to do with anyone who called himself a catholic. For I was thought that Catholicism is nothing more than a cult. Perhaps it is, perhaps it isn't: but at the end of the day God is the only one who knows our hearts. Who truly knows if we are sincerely seeking him and serving him.

I salute you in coming to the realization that we Christians only have ourselves to blame for the condition of the world. We have become lukewarm in our devotion to God. It seems that as long as he's our Santa Clause, providing for our financial and physical well being, we give him the mouth worship.

We prostitue ourselves to the very devil as it were as long as he agrees with the items we have identified as sin. We have sacrificed our integrity, our honesty for mere political gain. And we don't even have that. Why are we blinded to the fact that we, the body of Christ is only being used for political expediency?

May God help each of us to realize that but for His grace...! And that others need his love and we do not have the liberty to pick and choose who gets it.

It is amazing that so many who claim killing a person is a sin do not consider that killing one's heart and soul is, because that is exactly what they are doing. They are also denying our Redemption. They presume to know what is in someone else's heart.

All of you who would condemn Senator Kennedy, now hear this - had God judged according to YOUR standards, Moses would not have been called to bring his people out of Egypt and where would David have been? They were both murderers - intentionally killed others with evil in their hearts. How different their lives would have turned out if they had some of these judgmental people to answer to. THANKS BE TO GOD they did not; neither does Senator Kennedy have to answer to any here (. . . and personally I thank God that I will not have this lot be my judge).

The real reason that people who call themselves "Christians" really hate (and they DO hate Senator Kennedy) is pure politics. Now had they been a couple of recent Republican Senators and/or governors, forgiveness would be fast and furious. But you see, they honestly believe that anyone who is a Christian has to be a Republican and it is for THEM to decide what sin is and which sins should be legislated, even though God gave us freedom to choose. They do not!

How many of the "commentators" have ever been out and had a few drinks too many and then drove home? They could have had the same results as Senator Kennedy, but were spared these horrible consequences. (and if not they, what about their children?) Have you ever read the life of St. Augustine? You need to read the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican again and of the Prodigal Son. Do you think they are simply fairy tales?

"As you judge others so will you be judged."
"Beware your sins will find you out."
"To whom much is given, much is required."

Those who understand must realize that the fact that they judge others means that they think they are on the same level and equal to God.

Although my politics are different than theirs my feeling is that the treatment the Kennedy family received from certain church officials was not the kind of example that the Lord would have anyone following. First there was the pope who after having been given a letter delivered by the president did not even bother to write back himself thus sending a message to both men that they not holy enough to be treated with respect. God's answer to that snub was evident when a few weeks later in fulfillment of Bible prophecy about God breaking the arm of the wicked the pope's arm was broken ( Psalm 37:17). Then there was the tasteless griping about Cardinal O'Malley's presiding over the funeral mass. But what could be wrong with this when Jesus Himself sat down to eat with sinners as well as saints, the rich as well as the poor? The Lord invited sinners and the sinners invited Him. Afterwards they repented. Now that is how the gospel has to preached because it is how Jesus did it-with compassion.