Fr. Barron comments on Sen. Edward Kennedy

August 31, 2009

Kennedy the Catholic

August 28, 2009

From Fr. Robert A. Sirico:

I only met Edward Kennedy once.

I had been invited to visit then-senator Phil Gramm, who was contemplating a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1996. Having read some of my musings on the topic, Senator Gramm wanted to brainstorm about some innovative welfare-reform policies that would simultaneously make economic sense and really help the poor.

After we had chatted for some time in his office, a bell rang and Senator Gramm rose. “I need to take a vote. Walk with me and let’s continue this conversation,” he said.

As we walked down the corridor, I could spy familiar names on the various Senate office doors. We came to an elevator that would take us down to an underground subway connecting the Senate offices to the Senate chamber. It was a small elevator, no more than a large closet. Senator Gramm, an aide, and I tucked ourselves in and the door began to slide shut.

Just before closing, an arm came through to stop the door’s close. As it reopened, I found myself standing face-to-face with the Lion of the Senate, arguably the most prominent Catholic layman in the country, scion of the most prominent Catholic family, perhaps, in U.S. history. Kennedy immediately looked me up and down, and then quizzically glanced over to Senator Gramm trying to figure out why his colleague was hanging out with a priest.

As Senator Kennedy stepped into the elevator, Senator Gramm welcomed him with his Southern tones, “Come on in, Teddy. We’ve called you here to pray for you.”

Without missing a beat, Senator Kennedy tossed a mischievous wink in my direction, nudging me with his elbow in Catholic camaraderie and replied in his Bostonian accent, “Uhh [there was that familiar pause of his], uhh, no Phil, Father and I have called you here to pray for you.”

There was laughter as the elevator door slid closed. It was my turn to speak so I decided to enter the spirit of the moment.

I stood erect, place my hand on Senator Kennedy’s broad shoulder and said, “Actually, senator, this is an exorcism.”

The laughter in that elevator, which spilled out onto the train platform, was electric, causing the by-standing senators to look in our direction and wonder what in the world would have Senators Kennedy and Gramm in such uproarious laughter with a Catholic priest.

And so, I had mixed feelings on the news of Ted Kennedy’s passing. A memory of a pleasant encounter, but knowledge that despite our common baptism, Senator Kennedy and I differed in some very radical ways on issues of public policy, economics, heath care, marriage, and, most fundamentally, on matters related to life.

James Joyce once remarked that the Catholic Church was “Here comes everybody,” and while I relish the experience of being part of a Church rather than a sect, a Church in which there are a host of matters on which faithful Catholics can disagree, I also recognize that there are some defining issues from which are derived the very sense of a shared identity. From my own life and in my pastoral work, I understand that not everyone lives up to the demands of the faith all the time. Graham Greene’s famed “whiskey priest” in The Power and the Glory was the prototype of an essentially good, yet flawed man.

Yet there are some matters so grave that they go beyond mere flaws and work to diminish or even fracture an identity. I fear that this will be part of Ted Kennedy’s legacy, notwithstanding his other personal weaknesses.

What might the face of the Democratic party, indeed American politics, today look like if Ted Kennedy had, instead of reversing himself, maintained the unflinching stance of his late sister Eunice in her consistent defense of vulnerable human life — whether that of a mentally handicapped child or sister or an infant in the womb? Instead, the senator took the dubious advice of certain Boston Jesuits to abandon that tradition and hence those most vulnerable.

Many will speak and write of the legacy of Ted Kennedy in the days ahead. For me, as an East Coast “ethnic” grandchild of immigrants, Kennedy’s death symbolizes several cogent moments in Catholic America.

It marks the passing of a generation that thought that being Catholic, Democratic, and pro–New Deal were synonymous. We now live in an age where many Catholic Americans are very happy to be described as pro-market and are suspicious of New Deal–like solutions — as, of course, they are entitled to be in a way that they are not on, for example, life issues. Senator Kennedy had it exactly the wrong way around.

Kennedy’s death also brings the Church face-to-face once again with the fact that there is a massive problem of basic Catholic education — catechesis — among the faithful. So many Catholics — even some clergy — make an absolute out of prudential issues such as economic policy, while relativizing absolutes, such as abortion, euthanasia, and marriage. This is done in the face of clear, binding teachings from John Paul the Great, who said that no other right is safe unless the right to life is protected, or, as Pope Benedict wrote recently in Caritas in Veritate, that life issues must be central to Catholic social teaching.

This also marks the passing of a certain type of cultural Catholicism — Northeast, Irish and increasingly Italian, concerned with obtaining political power while maintaining an identification with the Church, yet happy to relinquish the substance of the faith if it gets in the way. Indeed, today such cultural Catholics have dispensed even with the identity aspect and are often outright hostile to the Church of their baptism.

I would like to think that the letter, reported to have been ten pages, that Ted Kennedy wrote and asked President Obama to hand to Pope Benedict early in the summer renders an account of his life before God and the Church. I certainly pray he died at peace, reconciled with the Church of his fathers, and in God’s merciful grace. And I shall pray for his eternal beatitude.

Rev. Robert A. Sirico is president and co-founder of the Acton Institute


True Soldiers in the Church Militant

August 26, 2009

St. Joan of Arc

by Peter W. Miller:

The body of faithful which comprises the Catholic Church is divided into three parts: the Church Triumphant (souls in heaven), the Church Suffering (souls in purgatory) and the Church Militant (faithful on earth).1 The Church Militant has been defined as:

“the Christian church on earth, which is supposed to be engaged in a constant warfare against its enemies…” 2 (emphasis mine here and throughout)

It is useful to consider the military metaphors contained in such a definition. As Catholics, our lives should not be seen as “business as usual” but warfare — “constant warfare”. We are not regular citizens or noncombatants, but soldiers in the war against Satan; a war which has both spiritual and physical dimensions.

All soldiers are called to a particular cause, traditionally the glory of a king, emperor or state. As Catholics soldiers, we are called to fight for the glory of Christ the King and the triumph of His will. We must follow His commandments, receive His sacraments and carry out His directive to convert all nations. While a worldly soldier is concerned with physical warfare, a Christian soldier is involved in a struggle infinitely more important — the spiritual battle for the salvation of souls.

Enemies of a Christian soldier

Just as “soldier” and “warfare” take on different meanings in the context of the Church Militant, so does the term “enemy”. The only enemy of Christians is and has always been Satan, but because of his powers, he must be fought both internally and externally (or spiritually and naturally). He is our spiritual enemy when we tempts each of us internally and our natural enemy when he works through other men to subvert the will of God. Since, he is capable of deceiving and tempting every person on earth, he can make accomplices or slaves of men without their explicit knowledge. Such men can be referred to as our “human enemies”.

This is an important distinction to make because if Satan rather than an individual human is the true enemy, how we face battle and evaluate victory are very different. Unlike worldly soldiers, we are commanded by our Lord to love our enemies.

“But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you.” (Matt. 5:44)

Therefore, we must always seek that which is best for our human enemies — not their worldly comforts or success, but their eternal salvation. This is not to say the only end to our efforts is conversion since a “victory” occurs every time the desires of Satan is thwarted. And since his desires are always opposed to God’s will, a victory is also each instance in which His divine will is done. Both Christ and His Mother have repeatedly told their children that all sins (even by non-Catholics) offend their respective Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. Christ’s soldiers must fight to prevent any and every such offense, even if the offenders are not converted. Conversion however remains the surest and most effective way to ensure such offensives will not be committed again.

The human enemies of the Church can usually be divided into two groups — public and private enemies. Public enemies openly declare war on and attempt to carry out the destruction of the Faith or the faithful. Historically, such human enemies have included Jews, Muslims, Protestants, Freemasons and Communists.

Private enemies are those who either do not admit to (secret enemies) or do not realize (deluded enemies) their destructive intentions. These are the most difficult enemies to recognize, let alone fight. They are usually outwardly benign or “well-intentioned” people and are comprised mostly of schismatics, heretics, liberals, modernists and humanists. Their ranks include men and women, young and old, clergy and laity who cloak themselves in acts of human charity and prideful piety which only serve to confuse and seduce others. They are enemies of the Church because they spread defiance of God’s laws and undermine his Church through heresy, disobedience or indifference.

  • They are the atheists who consider Christ to be no more than an example of tolerance, cooperation and kindness.
  • They are the humanists who see no need for “religion” unless it can be useful in preventing poverty and war.
  • They are the naturalists who perform the corporal works of mercy while rejecting the spiritual and see no use for monastic life unless it accomplishes some humanitarian goal.
  • They are the heretics who claim to follow God’s commandments but reject the revealed Truth entrusted to His Church.
  • They are the modernists who seek to “evolve” or “renew” the beliefs and practices of the Church in order to “better accommodate” the changing times.
  • They are the abortionists who lovingly care for newborn infants days after they would have them brutally murdered.
  • They are the schismatics who claim for themselves apostolic succession but openly defy the successor of the Prince of the Apostles.
  • They are the pagans that sleep and work, laugh and cry, live and die according to the dictates of their conscience which is constantly adjusted by their environment.

These are the human enemies Satan puts in our path and how we choose to respond to them is what defines the true soldiers in the Church Militant.

The Church Militant and the modern world

Needless to say, today’s Church Militant is plagued with indifference. Too many soldiers of Christ would rather not fight their enemies because the immediate costs in comfort and human respect are too high. When they witness God being insulted through blasphemy, heresy or denial of His law, they are content to remain silent, denying their love for Him. When questioned directly, they may defend God but only in an equivocal way, depending on how much the opinion of the interrogator means to them.

This is not a “constant warfare”, it is a surrender! Soldiers don’t sit hiding in the bushes, waiting for someone to accidentally discover them before coming out to fight. They know exactly where the battlefield is and go in earnest to join the war effort. Everyone they make contact with knows not only that they are soldiers but that for which they fight.

Since the beginning of time, Satan has successfully used human respect and pride to tempt the faithful into silence and defiance. How many marriages have been destroyed, profanities been committed, children been aborted, blasphemies been encouraged and souls been eternally lost to Satan because people who knew right from wrong kept silent, putting too much value in human respect? They are more worried about being seen as different or “intolerant” or childish in the eyes of sinners than virtuous in the eyes of God. However subtle this brand of “persecution” may be, the struggle between God’s will and man’s has always existed. It is why Christ told us in the Sermon on the Mount:

“Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake. Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you. … You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:10-12,14-16)

And repeated by St. John Vianney:

“If you want to belong entirely to God you must be prepared to be despised and rejected by the world. Blessed is he, my friends, who belongs to these, and who follows in the footsteps of the Lord with courage and carries his cross with patience. It is only by doing so that we may obtain the happiness of reaching heaven.” 3

Catholic soldiers cannot remain silent in the face of evil and they cannot run from it in hope for better days. We must fight for the Faith at all times, especially when we are facing persecution. Our human enemies need to know that we hold and defend the Truth, even if they hate us for it. The history of Christendom is filled with saints and martyrs who chose torture and death rather than denying Christ or His Church. They could have saved their lives by going along with the popular errors of the day — be it paganism, Freemasonry, Communism or Islam, but they refused and were eternally rewarded. As beautifully expressed in the words of Blessed Sister Marie-Anne Vaillot, a martyr of the French Revolution who refused to take a masonic oath:

“Citizen, not only do we not want to swear to this oath, but we do not even want to appear to have sworn to it. Do not think us so cowardly and attached to the miserable life that you believe us capable of staining our soul and sacrificing it for an oath which we have always detested and still detest. God will not ask us to render an account of the services we could have rendered our neighbor only by swearing an oath that He detests and condemns. If taking that oath is the only way that we can save our lives, we declare that we prefer to die rather than do anything opposed to the love that we have sworn for God. 4

These days, in most Western countries such courage and dedication is almost non-existent, even though the consequences are much less severe. Many Catholics will deny Christ rather than risk feeling “awkward” or “uncomfortable” in the presence of pagans. They care more about what the faithless think of them than what God does. How many Catholics today would be willingly burned at the stake rather than deny their Faith? What’s the use of forcing a denial that is gladly and repeatedly welcomed almost every day?

The dangers of supernatural warfare

Getting caught up in battles against heretics and abortionists, it’s easy and dangerous to lose sight of the supernatural aspect of the conflict. Satan and the powers of darkness are fighting to ruin every mortal soul, especially those devoted to Christ. This battle isn’t just between the Catholics and non-Catholics, but between good and evil, Christ and Satan.

As such, the ways we can fall are varied. Not only can we be defeated through our own tendencies toward doubt or indifference, but also by giving into the zeal of the battle. Too often, humble soldiers fighting for the will of God give way to the vices of pride and anger. We must not lose sight of the true enemy (Satan) and the true goal (the triumph of God’s will). In fighting one error, we must not fall victim to another.

Since this is a supernatural battle, we must use the supernatural weapons heaven has given to us. The Mother of God has given us the Most Holy Rosary and the Brown Scapular to assist in our mission. We also have the teaching of the Church Fathers and Catechism of the Catholic Church which prepare us to recognize error when it is encountered. We have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which is hated by Satan above all, so much so that modern times have seen it subjected to his destructive power. We have been given the other sacraments which give us access to the most precious gift of grace, especially the sacrament of Penance.

Above all else, those fighting for the Christ’s Church must never neglect regular prayer and sacrifice. To do so is to fall in to the very errors of the naturalists against which we fight. We cannot inadvertently become allies in the propagation of supernatural indifference. For it is only through the mercy of God and in a State of Grace that we will prevail.

Ancient advice for modern times

For a reminder on how Catholics are called to live their lives and relate to the world, we will always be able to turn to the timeless words of St. Justin Martyr:

“Christians do not differ from other men as to habitat, language or custom. They live among Greeks and barbarians, wherever destiny has put them. They follow local custom in garb and diet and other matters. But their way of life is nonetheless strange and unbelievable to many. They live in their native land, but as sojourners; as citizens they share everything with their fellowmen, yet they are treated as alien; any alien country is homeland to them, and every homeland an alien country. They marry as men do and beget children, but they do not practice abortion. They share tables but not beds.

They live in the flesh but not according to the flesh. They dwell on earth but regard heaven as their city. They follow established law but in their way of life, go beyond what the law requires. They love all and everybody persecutes them. No one knows them, while all condemn them; they are put to death and still are very much alive.

To put it all briefly: What the soul is to the body, Christians are to the world. The soul is present in all the body’s members; so are Christians in the world’s cities. The soul dwells in the body but does not originate from it; Christians live in the world but do not have their origin there. The invisible soul abides in the visible body; Christians are seen as living in the world, but their piety is invisible. On the other hand, the body, though it suffers nothing from the soul, hates it and makes war upon it because it cannot enjoy its pleasures in peace; the world suffers nothing from Christians but hates them because they reject its pleasures.

The soul loves the flesh and members which hate it; so do Christians love those who hate them. The soul is enclosed in the body but it contains the body; Christians must remain in the world as in a prison, but they contain the world. The immortal soul dwells in a mortal home; Christians are pilgrims in a corruptible world while they look forward to heavenly immortality. God has set them in the world as His sentinels and they may not leave their posts.


Archbishop Chaput: Health care and the common good

August 26, 2009

From Denver Catholic Register:

Last week a British Catholic journal, in an editorial titled “U.S. bishops must back Obama,” claimed that America’s bishops “have so far concentrated on a specifically Catholic issue—making sure state-funded health care does not include abortion—rather than the more general principle of the common good.”  

It went on to say that if U.S. Catholic leaders would get over their parochial preoccupations, “they could play a central role in salvaging Mr. Obama’s health-care programme.”

The editorial has value for several reasons.  First, it proves once again that people don’t need to actually live in the United States to have unhelpful and badly informed opinions about our domestic issues. Second, some of the same pious voices that once criticized U.S. Catholics for supporting a previous president now sound very much like acolytes of a new president.  Third, abortion is not, and has never been, a “specifically Catholic issue,” and the editors know it.  And fourth, the growing misuse of Catholic “common ground” and “common good” language in the current health-care debate can only stem from one of two sources: ignorance or cynicism. 

No system that allows or helps fund—no matter how subtly or indirectly—the killing of unborn children, or discrimination against the elderly and persons with special needs, can bill itself as “common ground.”   Doing so is a lie.

On the same day the British journal released its editorial, I got an e-mail from a young couple on the East Coast whose second child was born with Down syndrome.  The mother’s words deserve a wider audience:

Magdalena “consumes” a lot of health care. Every six months or so she’s tested for thyroid disease, celiac disease, anemia, etc. In addition, she’s been hospitalized a few times for smallish but surely expensive things like a clogged tear duct, feeding studies and pneumonia (twice). She sees an ENT regularly for congestion, she requires a doctor’s prescription for numerous services—occupational therapy, physical therapy, feeding, speech, etc.—and she needs more frequent ear and eye exams.

I could go on. Often, she has some mysterious symptoms that require several tests or doctor visits to narrow down the list of possible issues. On paper, maybe these procedures and visits seem excessive. She is, after all, only 3 years old. We worry that more bureaucrats in the decision chain will increase the likelihood that someone, somewhere, will say, “Is all of this really necessary? After all, what is the marginal benefit to society for treating this person?”

What do we think of the (Congressional and White House health-care) plans? A government option sounds dangerous to us.  The worst-case scenario revolves around someone in Washington making decisions about Magdalena’s health care; or, worse yet, a group of people—perhaps made up of the same types of people who urged us to abort her in the first place. In general, we feel that policy decisions should be made as close as possible to the people who will be affected by them. We are not wealthy people, but our current set up suits us just fine. We trust our pediatrician, who knows us very well, who hears from us personally every few months, who knows Magdalena and clearly sees her value, to give us good advice and recommend services in the appropriate amounts.

We are unsure and uneasy about how this might change. We worry that we, and Magdalena’s siblings, will somehow be cut out of the process down the line when her health issues are sure to pile up. I can’t forget that this is the same president (Obama) who made a distasteful joke about the Special Olympics. He apologized through a spokesman … (but) I truly believe that the people around him don’t know—or don’t care to know—the value and blessedness of a child with special needs. And I don’t trust them to mold policy that accounts for my daughter in all of her humanity or puts “value” on her life.

Of course, President Obama isn’t the first leader to make clumsy gaffes.  Anyone can make similar mistakes over the course of a career.  And the special needs community is as divided about proposed health-care reforms as everyone else. 

Some might claim that the young mother quoted here has misread the intent and content of Washington’s plans.  That can be argued.  But what’s most striking about the young mother’s e-mail—and I believe warranted—is the parental distrust behind her words.  She’s already well acquainted, from direct experience, with how hard it is to deal with government-related programs and to secure public resources and services for her child.  In fact, I’ve heard from enough intelligent, worried parents of children with special needs here in Colorado to know that many feel the current health-care proposals pressed by Washington are troubling and untrustworthy. 

Health-care reform is vital.  That’s why America’s bishops have supported it so vigorously for decades.  They still do.  But fast-tracking a flawed, complex effort this fall, in the face of so many growing and serious concerns, is bad policy.  It’s not only imprudent; it’s also dangerous.   As Sioux City’s Bishop R. Walker Nickless wrote last week, “no health-care reform is better than the wrong sort of health-care reform.” 

If Congress and the White House want to genuinely serve the health-care needs of the American public, they need to slow down, listen to people’s concerns more honestly—and learn what the “common good” really means.


Ted Kennedy, longtime senator, patriarch of famous family, dies at 77

August 26, 2009

From Catholic News Service:

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who died late Aug. 25 at the age of 77, stood firmly on the side of the Catholic Church on a wide range of issues from immigration reform to the minimum wage during his 47 years as a U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

But the youngest son of one of the nation’s most famous Catholic families ran into criticism from leaders of the U.S. Catholic Church for his stand on abortion. He opposed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, supported Roe v. Wade and was a chief sponsor of legislation to limit protests outside abortion clinics and to permit the use of federal funds for research projects using fetal tissue.

Kennedy died at 11:30 p.m. at his Massachusetts home on Cape Cod after a yearlong battle with a malignant brain tumor. His family was at his side, as was a Catholic priest, Father Patrick Tarrant. Funeral arrangements were pending.

The senator took the helm of one of the most prominent American Catholic political families of the 20th century after his two older brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert Kennedy, were assassinated in the 1960s.

His death came exactly two weeks after the death of his sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 88. The only surviving sibling is Jean Kennedy Smith, 81.

“An important chapter in our history has come to an end,” President Barack Obama said in a statement Aug. 26. “Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest U.S. senator of our time.

“And the Kennedy family has lost their patriarch, a tower of strength and support through good times and bad,” he added.

Kennedy had served in the U.S. Senate since he was first elected in 1962 to fill his brother John’s unexpired term after he became president.

As the second-most senior member of the U.S. Senate, Kennedy joined with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in a bipartisan effort for immigration reform, which the Catholic Church backed but which was ultimately unsuccessful. In earlier years, he championed a national health insurance plan that church leaders supported, except for its inclusion of abortion as a covered health service.

Since Obama’s election he had supported the president’s push for passage of health care reform this year. He helped draft the Affordable Health Choices Act under consideration by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. It would require individuals to purchase health insurance except in hardship cases.

Addressing a Senate committee in 1993, Sister Maryanna Coyle, a Sister of Charity who then chaired the board of trustees of the Catholic Health Association, praised Kennedy for his longtime support of a U.S. health care system that covers everyone.

“CHA shares your belief … that the goal of universal health care coverage is and must remain the one non-negotiable item throughout the coming debate on health care reform,” she said.

Kennedy also served as a co-sponsor and/or co-author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and legislation raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour.

Born Feb. 22, 1932, in Brookline, Mass., Edward Moore “Ted” Kennedy was the last of the nine children of Joseph P. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. After his graduation from Harvard University and the University of Virginia Law School, he managed the Senate re-election campaign and then the presidential campaign of his brother John.

He was 30, the minimum age for serving in the Senate, when he was elected to fill his brother’s unexpired term in 1962. But the history of Kennedy family tragedies that had begun with the deaths of his brother Joe and sister Kathleen during and after World War II continued in 1963 with the assassination of John. In 1968 his only surviving brother, Robert, also was assassinated, while campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Edward Kennedy’s political career was nearly derailed in 1969 when he drove a car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts, drowning his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne. He won re-election to his Senate seat easily in 1970, but lost his post as Senate majority whip by a close vote.

Although he was considered a potential presidential candidate in 1972 and 1976 he did not make a serious run until 1980, when he unsuccessfully challenged incumbent President Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination.

His stature in the Senate continued to grow with his successive re-elections. In the 111th Congress he was chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and ranking member of several committees and subcommittees.

He was a vocal opponent of both the Vietnam War and the war in Iraq and a strong supporter of the civil rights movement, increased federal funding of public schools and early education programs such as Head Start, universal health coverage, the rights of workers to organize and to earn a living wage, and immigration reform that would lead toward citizenship.

On most of those issues Kennedy’s stance was on the same side as Catholic leaders, but on abortion they diverged sharply.

He did not begin his Senate career as an abortion supporter, however, according to a 1971 letter that surfaced many years later.

“While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life,” Kennedy wrote a year and a half before Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that lifted most state restrictions on abortion.

“Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized — the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old,” he added. “When history looks back at 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.”

In recent years, however, Kennedy earned a nearly 100 percent negative rating from the National Right to Life Committee and a 100 percent positive rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America for his abortion-related votes in the Senate.

Kennedy had been married since 1992 to the former Victoria Reggie, a Washington attorney. He and his first wife, the former Virginia Joan Bennett, married in 1958 and were divorced in 1982. They had three children — Kara Anne, Edward M. Jr. and Patrick Joseph.


New Documentary “Blood Money” Seeks to Expose the Abortion Business

August 26, 2009

August 25, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A group of filmmakers have recently filmed a documentary that aims to expose the terrible reality of abortion, focusing on the financial aspect of the multimillion dollar abortion industry.

The film, entitled “Blood Money,” includes numerous interviews with leaders of the pro-life movement, in which they lay out the facts about the abortion industry and the effects that abortions have on women.

The film covers a variety of issues, including “Roe V. Wade, Planned Parenthood, the scientific fact that life begins at conception, and how abortion affects women who have had one” the director of the film, David K. Kyle, told LSN in an interview today.

The original title of the film had been “The American Holocaust.” However, as filming progressed, the filmmakers found that the business aspect of abortion kept coming to the forefront.

“As I traveled around the country last September doing all these interviews with various pro-life leaders and women who had had abortions, the money part just kept coming up.”

Kyle said that the idea for the movie first came four years ago when he and his partner, John Zipp, the producer of the film, were working for Steve and Michael Peroutka, pro-life activists in Maryland, and realized that the issue of abortion is not significantly addressed by the media.

“During election time it is brought up, but it’s really not talked about. You hear the word abortion, people know what it is, but they don’t go in depth on the subject like they do other issues.”

The movie, which is currently in post-production and will hopefully be complete by the end of September, hopes to get people talking about the issue of abortion. Kyle says, “It’s one of those issues that even the pro-choice side really doesn’t want to talk about.”

Kyle says they hope the movie will inform people about the business aspect of abortion and the effect that abortion has on women.

“People are making millions upon millions of dollars off the murdering of innocent babies,” he said.

“Abortion has consequences to it. It’s sold as a quick fix when you’re in trouble. You can go and have an abortion and the problem goes away. Well, we know from countless women that the problem does not go away. Women have long term consequences that they are going to have to deal with for years and years.”

The movie also aims to encourage pro-life people to work towards an end to abortion.

“This is all about getting the truth out there to save babies. We want to motivate people to do something, even people in the pro-life community. We have thousands of people out there who are pro-life but who really don’t take an active part in it. We want to motivate them to do something.”

Out of everything in the movie, the interviews with women who have had abortions are the most poignant for Kyle.

“The women talking about their abortion experiences were the most difficult to get through when doing the interviews. I’ve sat with this footage countless times going through it and it still affects me.”

Kyle says that his interview with Carol Everette was especially powerful for him. Everette, who used to run abortion mills in Dallas, has since become a noted pro-life speaker and advocate of unborn children’s rights.

In the preview for the movie released Friday on Youtube, Everette says, “We would give them [young girls] a low-dose birth control pill they would get pregnant on or a defective condom. Our goal was 3-5 abortions for every girl between the ages of thirteen and eighteen.”

“Blood Money” still does not yet have a distributor, but Kyle is hopeful that through the support of pro-life advocates the film will gain the attention of one. In order for this to happen, though, he says that people need to register at the website or watch the preview on youtube to show their support.

“We know 250,000 to 300,000 people come to D.C. every January for the pro-life march, and it should be pretty easy to get those kinds of numbers looking at the website or the youtube video. If we can generate those kinds of numbers we think it will help us tremendously to get a distributor.”

To support the documentary “Blood Money,” please either watch the youtube trailer here.

Or register at the website: www.bloodmoneyfilm.com


Catholic iPhone Apps

August 25, 2009