I believe it is entirely appropriate that the day before St Monica's feast day, that Senator Edward Kennedy has gone to meet his Maker. Mother Rose Kennedy was a devout Catholic and no doubt spent many an hour before the Lord praying for a son who had, like St Augustine of Hippo, lost his way. If Ed Kennedy had confessed his sin of supporting abortion when he reformed from his alcoholism after the William Kennedy Smith rape trial, he could easily have become another St Augustine, who went from ribald youth to bishop and doctor of the Church, thanks to St Monica's 28 years of faithful prayers and tears before Our Lord.
We don't know the state of his soul. We can only hope that he had the grace of a thorough confession before his death. I sent him an email begging him to do so.
Here's what we do know.
Few have been given the privileges of the Kennedy family; financially, socially and politically, and as we know to whom much is given, much is expected. How did Edward who has been a US Senator since his twenties, nearly 47 years use the talents given him by the Lord?
He began his career as a pro-life Senator from Massachusetts. In 1971, he affirmed that one can be a pro-life Catholic politician and a good senator in a letter written to the father of a friend of mine in which he stated, "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."
Somewhere, Senator Kennedy sold out to the left wing and became the most vociferous anti-life voice of the Senate, attacking excellent Supreme Court nominess Samuel Alito and John Roberts for being faithful Catholics.The Wall Street Journal has an article on how the Kennedy family abandoned their pro-life principles. He is called a 'good friend to the LBQT community'. If he was the Lion of the Senate, he had lost his roar when he abandoned his Catholic morality. Such a tragic misuse of power on the part of a fellow Catholic is maddening, and it is a a grave scandal that the Catholics in Massachusetts kept him in office.
There is however, one area in which the Senator deserves praise. His sister Rosemary Kennedy was mentally challenged, and like their sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Kennedy whose work founding Special Olympics, the Senator did much for the disability community. With Republican Senator Sam Brownback, he co-sponsored the "Prenatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act" which provides funds to educate health care professionals and parents whose children are prenatally diagnosed with children who have conditions such as Down syndrome and Spina Bifida. Such children are normally aborted at a heartbreaking rate of 90%, so this was pro-life legislation which was passed unanimously in both houses of Congress, as I described in this article in the National Catholic Register. For this I am grateful to Senator Kennedy and pray that he had the grace of a good confession before dying last night and is on his way to heaven.
Eternal Rest grant to him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him, may he and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace.
Here is a very moving post from my friend whose father received the 1971 letter from Senator Kennedy.
Read the entire story at WSJ news online.