By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
Did Ted Kennedy's Catholicism really matter to him, as biographer Adam Clymer says?
Duane Lamers of Michigan is skeptical:
Ted Kennedy could have simply stepped outside the abortion battles in Congress. Instead, he was very active in securing abortion "rights" and voting against judicial candidates who were anti- Roe v Wade. That doesn't sound to me much like taking Catholic moral teaching on the subject very seriously.
And so he gets a sendoff from the basilica in Boston! No doubt with Cardinal O'Malley presiding and a host of hierarchs in attendance. And the bishops wonder why Catholics no longer attend Mass! Never a word of warning to Kennedy, but loads of criticism for GW Bush. The irony of it all!
But Bill Curry of Louisiana sees plenty of evidence that Kennedy took his Catholicism seriously:
It is hard to reconcile the senator's views on abortion with Catholic teaching. However, we must not forget that had an abiding concern for the common man (or woman). Those who would vote for a Republican simply because he or she is pro-life might be voting for more death (assuming abortion is killing) than if they voted for a pro-choice liberal such as Ted Kennedy.
Think of the lives that would have been saved if we'd not gone to Iraq and if we had government health care. TK's positions on Iraq and health care would have saved lives. I believe God will judge TK holistically, rather than on the basis of one issue. In any case, TK's position on abortion was probably informed by his ideas on separation of church and state, and his belief that the poor should have the same rights as the rich (i.e., a rich woman can afford to travel to where abortion is legal and safe; a poor woman cannot necessarily do that). If TK's conscience was clear on his position on abortion, then he should be ok w/the Catholic church.