I watched Senator Ted Kennedy's burial service at Arlington National Cemetery on t.v. last night and was saddened when hearing the contents of his letter to Pope Benedict XVI.
Nowhere in his letter did Kennedy profess a belief that Jesus Christ died to give him the free gift of eternal life. Instead Kennedy's letter read as from a man unsettled about his future, seemingly listing his accomplishments in hopes they would be enough and additionally hoping the prayers of the leader of his faith would help. Don't get me wrong, the prayers of the saints are invaluable - in all areas except helping God make up His mind on one's entry into heaven.
Furthermore, I also don't know how Kennedy's avid support of abortion could not have nagged him at the end of his life. I don't know how Kennedy could maintain in his letter, "I have always tried to be a faithful Catholic," and "I have opposed the death penalty and fought to end war," as if to say he respected human life, and not consider the one overriding blight on his record, his partial responsibility as a pro-abortion "liberal lion" for the killing of millions of preborn children.
Kennedy was a U.S. senator for 47 long years, during which time Roe v. Wade was imposed on America and the legalized abortion question was tested again and again. And during the time Kennedy went from believing "this generation... [should] fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception" to voting twice to oppose the Partial Birth Abortion Ban.
Liberals, of course, are trying to avoid discussing the fact Kennedy championed abortion, which I always find quite telling. Why not brag about abortion accomplishments alongside all others during eulogies?
Ah, well, following is a transcript of Ted Kennedy's letter to the Pope (Read the Pope's response here.):
Most Holy Father, I asked President Obama to personally hand-deliver this letter to you. As a man of deep faith himself, he understands how important my Roman Catholic faith is to me, and I am so deeply grateful to him.
I hope this letter finds you in good health. I pray that you have all of God's blessings as you lead our church and inspire our world during these challenging times. I am writing with deep humility to ask that you pray for me as my own health declines. I was diagnosed with brain cancer more than a year ago and, although I continue treatment, the disease is taking its toll on me. I am 77 years old and preparing for the next passage of life.
I have been blessed to be part of a wonderful family. And both of my parents, particularly my mother, kept our Catholic faith at the center of our lives. That gift of faith has sustained and nurtured and provided solace to me in the darkest hours. 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 have been the focus of my work as a United States senator.
I also want you to know that even though I am ill, I'm committed to doing 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.
I have always tried to be a faithful Catholic, Your Holiness, and though I have fallen short through human failings, I have never failed to believe and respect the fundamental teachings of my faith. I continue to pray for God's blessings on you and on our church and would be most thankful for your prayers for me.