American Life League president Judie Brown also has a well-articulated statement:
Senator Edward Kennedy leaves behind a long record of public service, but honesty also requires that we acknowledge his mixed legacy. We applaud the late Senator for efforts to improve education, assist the poor, and for working to help the uninsured. While we didn’t agree with many of his legislative solutions to these important concerns, the nature of such issues allowed for substantive engagement and disagreement on how to best solve them.
Sadly, on the most seminal issue of our day, the plight of unborn children, Senator Kennedy’s legacy evokes deep sadness. During his early days in the Senate, Kennedy fittingly included the rights of unborn children in his dedication to protecting the most vulnerable. Since that time, millions of Catholics have been both saddened and disappointed by his decision to abandon the defense of unborn children and their mothers, a position contrary to the common good.
His words in 1971 are worth recalling: “When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception.”
Today we join the rest of the America, particularly our fellow Catholics, in praying for the repose of the soul of Ted Kennedy and for consolation for his family.
For 50 years, the Kennedy brothers struggled to reconcile their Catholic faith with the public square. Sen. Edward Kennedy’s legacy will, sadly, remain compromised in the eyes of faithful Catholics.
Kennedy’s claimed to be a Catholic while using his worldly power to condone and facilitate the deaths of innocent preborn babies. Kennedy emphatically defended their right to life in 1971, but tragically abandoned his Catholic principles as his presidential aspirations rose toward the end of that decade.
By breaking faith, Kennedy set a catastrophic precedent for “Catholic” public officials to publicly dissent from fundamental Church teachings while continuing to identify themselves as Catholics.As Senator Edward Kennedy's death provides a platform for others to applaud him as a historic figure, we mourn the loss of only God knows how many preborn children – lives snuffed out by this man's advocacy of abortion. God have mercy on his soul.
We extend our prayer to his family during this time of loss. As his death brings an era to a close, we pray that it will also mark a new era in which American Catholics will set a far more faithful standard for Catholic conduct in public life.