First US Bishop to Decry the “Scandal” of the Kennedy Funeral

Bishop Rene Henry Gracida, retired Roman Catholic Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas has denounced the “scandal” of the Kennedy funeral.  Writing on his blog, Bishop Gracida said, “There was so much wrong with the funeral liturgy celebrated in Boston last Saturday for Senator Edward Moore Kennedy that I hardly know where to begin.”

He added: “Aside from the impropriety of such a grandiose celebration for one of the country’s most notorious dissident Catholics, the ‘celebration’ was filled with liturgical errors and transgressions against the General Instruction of the Roman Missal which governs every celebration of the Church’s liturgy.”

Rather than going into specifics about the abuses himself, Bishop Gracida posted commentaries by lay and clerical pro-life leaders who identified the gravity of the scandal. “I am afraid that if I, a bishop, were to go into the details of the scandal it would only add to the scandal and so I will let the laity speak to it,” he said.

Bishop Gracida reposted several commentaries from lay leaders in the pro-life movement in various posts.  He, however, gave special attention to the commentary by Phil Lawler of Catholic World News.  Said Bishop Gracida: “It is not unreasonable to suggest that the ‘buck’ for the scandal of the secular extravaganza which obscured the sacred liturgical nature of the Kennedy funeral should stop at the desk of the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston.  Again, since I do not want to directly criticize another bishop, I leave it to the laity to analyze the true nature of that celebration.  I give the final word to a layman for whom I have a great deal of respect: Phillip Lawler.”

To read Lawler’s commentaries on the Kennedy funeral extravaganza in full click here.

See Bishop Gracida’s blog here.

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  • Warren Jewell

    What can God think about it all?

    It seems expectable that such unworthy distortion of His Mass in His Church was done for such a person unworthy of any public rites.

    However, I cannot explain, either, ‘Cardinal Sean’s’ (not my informal disrespect but that of his own blog and diocesan website) attempts to explain it all away.

    I appreciate Bishop Gracida’s remarks, but wonder that it is the lay leaders who have to make loudest complaints. Consideration for another ordinary’s authority in his dioceses does not preclude making the case for his having fumbled badly in a given circumstance.

  • jgeleney

    Today’s (9/11/09) Mass readings come to mind: 1 Timothy 1:1-2, 12-14 and Lk 6:39-42.
    Also Msgr Clark’s homily of the day seems appropriate. He says: “It’s amazing how much we think we know, and how sinless we think we are!” Later, he continues: It’s so much easier to take potshots at what’s out there than to attend to what’s inside our own lives, especially if we don’t have the habit of looking within.” And further on, “The issue is blindness: ‘I think I’m just perfect and therefore have the right to focus on your faults.’ Whereas the reality is that I have big problems that I haven’t even seen.”
    So this is my problem with the “extreme” pro-life, one issue people : their own self-righteousness and no compassion for other sinners.
    And yes, I am a fully committed pro-life Catholic priest.