Two Catholics died this week. The first death generated much controversy among U.S. Catholics; the second probably won’t even be mentioned in the MSM.
Much debate this week has been about whether or not, given his advocacy for legislation contrary to Catholic teaching, Kennedy should have a Catholic funeral. A “benefit of the doubt” decision would suggest a simpler, private Requeim Mass, but given the prominence of the Kennedy family in the country’s politics for decades, today’s public Mass was more likely.
As stated in an earlier post, Obama giving a eulogy at that Mass was inexcusable and unacceptable. In allowing Obama to speak, the primary purpose of a Requiem Mass – “Christians affirm their hope of everlasting happiness … profess Paschal faith” (Dictionary of the Liturgy, Rev. Jovian Lang, page 218) glossed over. What will most reverberate in this country for quite a while is the misperception that Catholic teaching and Obama’s extreme pro-abort stances – and even the manipulations and evasions of the current health care bills – are somehow compatible. They are not.
The second person who died this week had also been part of a national controversy about life issues. But his death will not prompt non-stop coverage for days, nor will his Requiem Mass be broadcast and live-streamed. Robert Schindler, the father of Terri Schiavo, has died, according to LifeNews. His family became the faces of the battles ahead.
In the end, all the hoopla and controversies won’t matter. The only thing that will matter will be one’s accounting to God. Let us pray for the repose of both souls, and under the surface of this week’s hoopla, ponder the juxtaposition of the life and death of these two Catholic men.