As usual, my remarks will be in red. After a few opening paragraphs in which Cardinal O'Malley mentions his ordination anniversary, the church, the music, and the late Senator Kennedy's habit of praying at this particular church during his daughter's struggle with cancer, we get to the heart of things:
In light of these themes, I wish to address our Catholic faithful who have voiced both support and disappointment [mainly, though, the Cardinal appears to address the disappointed] at my having presided at the Senator’s funeral Mass.
Needless to say, the Senator’s wake and Catholic funeral were controversial because of the fact that he did not publically support Catholic teaching and advocacy on behalf of the unborn. [Okay, now, all due respect to His Eminence, but hold on a minute! The Senator did not merely fail to support Church teaching on abortion, publicly or otherwise. The Senator openly, publicly dissented from that teaching, and used the power of his office to help pass laws which enabled the practice of abortion in too many ways to count! Surely there is a difference between open, public support for abortion and merely failing to support Church teaching, is there not?] Given the profound effect of Catholic social teaching on so many of the programs and policies espoused by Senator Kennedy [I think that's very arguable, in that Senator Kennedy didn't appear to care much about Catholic teaching, social or otherwise, at all in his public work] and the millions who benefitted from them, there is a tragic sense of lost opportunity [again, lost opportunity?? Do the millions of unborn whose murders were directly or indirectly facilitated by legislation Senator Kennedy supported and voted for during his lengthy Senate tenure count for nothing? It's as if those unborn victims simply don't count at all, and that's truly disturbing] in his lack of support for [support for the killing of] the unborn. To me and many Catholics it was a great disappointment because, had he placed the issue of life at the centerpiece of the Social Gospel where it belongs, he could have multiplied the immensely valuable work he accomplished. [No quibble there--but again, could we not say one word about the fact that the Senator did not merely fail to place the issue of life at the centerpiece of the Social Gospel but instead took a leading role that was openly inimical to the unborn?]The thousands of people who lined the roads as the late Senator’s motorcade travelled from Cape Cod to Boston and the throngs that crowded the Kennedy Library for two days during the lying in repose, I believe, were there to pay tribute to these many accomplishments rather than as an endorsement of the Senator’s voting record on abortion. [Here is our first--and only--mention that the problem with the Senator went slightly beyond a mere failure to support Catholic teaching and advocacy on behalf of the unborn.]
The crowds also were there to pay tribute to the Kennedy family as a whole. On the national political landscape, if Barack Obama broke the glass ceiling of the presidency for African Americans, Jack Kennedy broke it for American Catholics. [...] [There follow a few paragraphs about the Kennedys. I find this bit troubling; it's almost as though the pro-abortion stances of most of the Kennedy family are to be overlooked for two reasons: because of Eunice Shriver's pro-life views, and because of the way the Kennedys opened up politics to American Catholics. All due respect to the Cardinal, but has His Eminence noticed the way the Kennedys opened up politics to American Catholics? Has His Eminence realized that to get elected, most Catholics in higher office must turn their backs on the unborn--and that this is directly linked to the Kennedys and their promise that being Catholic wouldn't really mean anything in terms of the political landscape? Few pro-life Catholics can get anywhere in national politics today--the ones who sold their souls to the abortion industry have struck a devil's bargain that American Catholics still can't break.]
There are those who objected, in some cases vociferously, to the Church’s providing a Catholic funeral for the Senator. In the strongest terms I disagree with that position. [I also think Senator Kennedy should have had a Catholic Funeral. It should have been a restrained, quiet, penitential affair--as, indeed, all funerals of adults should be. It should not have been a quasi-canonization, scandalous in its overlooking of the Senator's support for abortion.] At the Senator’s interment on Saturday evening, with his family’s permission, we learned of details of his recent personal correspondence with Pope Benedict XVI. It was very moving to hear the Senator acknowledging his failing to always be a faithful Catholic, and his request for prayers as he faced the end of his life. The Holy Father’s expression of gratitude for the Senator’s pledge of prayer for the Church, his commendation of the Senator and his family to the intercession of the Blessed Mother, and his imparting the Apostolic Blessing, spoke of His Holiness’ role as the Vicar of Christ, the Good Shepherd who leaves none of the flock behind.
As Archbishop of Boston, I considered it appropriate to represent the Church at this liturgy out of respect [really? Respect--not mercy? Are we to be respecters of persons, then?] for the Senator, his family, those who attended the Mass and all those who were praying for the Senator and his family at this difficult time. We are people of faith and we believe in a loving and forgiving God from whom we seek mercy. [...] [There follow, here, two paragraphs discussing the Cardinal's commitment to pro-life activities.]
At times, even in the Church, zeal can lead people to issue harsh judgments and impute the worst motives to one another [This bothers me terribly. What possible good motives could there be for a man to support abortion his whole life? What possible good motives could there be for his family to use the Funeral Mass as their own personal vehicle for politics, for celebration of the deceased's life, and for other unseemly actions?]. These attitudes and practices do irreparable damage to the communion of the Church. If any cause is motivated by judgment, anger or vindictiveness, it will be doomed to marginalization and failure. [Abolitionists were angry; they judged slaveholders as guilty of a crime against God. Were they wrong? Did they fail? Do we owe less of righteous anger and judgment, though rooted in love, toward those who aid in the slaughter of more than fifty million American children since Roe v. Wade?] Jesus’ words to us were that we must love one another as He loves us. Jesus loves us while we are still in sin. He loves each of us first, and He loves us to the end. [Yes. But He is also the just Judge Whom we face at the moment of our deaths. And woe to every prelate who has failed to convert those Catholics under his charge who publicly, actively, tirelessly work for abortion while claiming to be Catholics in good standing. I would not want to bear such a one's dreadful responsibility on the Day of Judgment.] Our ability to change people’s hearts and help them to grasp the dignity of each and every life, from the first moment of conception to the last moment of natural death, is directly related to our ability to increase love and unity in the Church, for our proclamation of the Truth is hindered when we are divided and fighting with each other. [Sure, if we are divided and fighting over trifles. Is the murder of innocent unborn humans a trifle? Is it mere politics, something that matters no more to our eternal salvation than the funding of a bridge project, or a tax increase? And isn't it already a deep and shameful scandal that Catholics are fighting over abortion at all? Shouldn't all Catholics in America be pro-life? Whose fault is it if they aren't?]
President Obama and three former presidents attended Senator Kennedy’s funeral. [Not even a mention of that eulogy, I see.] I had the opportunity to speak briefly with President Obama, to welcome him to the Basilica and to share with him that the bishops of the Catholic Church are anxious to support a plan for universal health care, but we will not support a plan that will include a provision for abortion or could open the way to abortions in the future. The President was gracious in the short time we spoke, he listened intently to what I was saying. [But why should he, in the end, care? Catholics in America have shown time and time again that we will roll over and play dead when it comes to the abortion issue, and this funeral was another opportunity to demonstrate exactly that.]
Democrats and Republicans sat side by side in the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, praying for Senator Kennedy and his family. It is my sincere hope that all people who long to promote the cause of life will pray and work together to change hearts, to bring about an increased respect for life, and to change laws so as to make America a safe place for all, including the unborn. [If we can't even change Catholic hearts on contraception, let alone on abortion, we have no hope of changing the hearts of Americans when it comes to giving up their abortion habit, which is so very important to the ethos of sex without consequences--an ethos the late Senator Kennedy worked hard to enshrine and protect. The Cardinal's hope is piously expressed, but the Cardinal's actions, like the actions of so many higher clergy in the American Catholic Church, have left much to be desired.]
UPDATE: Father Z. has done his own, trademark, masterful fisk of the Cardinal's blog post here.