WASHINGTON (CNS): Catholic leaders from coast to coast in the United States praised the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy for his nearly 50 years of public service, but at least one expressed sorrow that his commitment to the less fortunate did not extend to the unborn.
The Massachusetts Democrat and son of one of the nation’s most famous Catholic families died late on August 25 at his home on Cape Cod after a year-long battle with a malignant brain tumour.
“For nearly half a century, Senator Kennedy was often a champion for the poor, the less fortunate and those seeking a better life,” Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston said.
“Across Massachusetts and the nation, his legacy will be carried on through the lives of those he served.”
Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, who worked with Kennedy in an unsuccessful effort to achieve comprehensive immigration reform in 2007, said “the voiceless, the powerless and the most needy of our citizens have lost a great champion” with the senator’s death.
“His deep and personal commitment to causes affecting the poor and needy among us flowed from his deep Catholic faith, and the life and outreach of Jesus Christ,” he said.
“Over the years, however, I was never able to bring him to promote fundamental rights for one important group in our society – the unborn.
“But he did struggle with this aspect of his Catholic faith, and I was hopeful that at some point he would see that all of his work for the most needy had to begin with a commitment to every person – born and unborn.”