Friday, August 28, 2009


Dear Fr. Malloy:
I’m writing, in response to your message, to apologize for the extremely poor use of words reflected in the recent posting of our Prayer of the Faithful resource as it relates to the petition regarding Senator Edward Kennedy. Upon reflection, the editors who adapted and wrote the prayer recognize their poor judgment.

As a source text they drew from “Prayers on the Inauguration of a Public Official” found in the Book of Blessings. This was a poor choice as a source text. The source prayer, as originally intended, intentionally reflects a future hope; it is not intended as a reflection on the quality of the life of a person or persons. This was not considered enough when adapted. As adapted for the Prayer of the Faithful, the text inappropriately presents a sense of support for the positions and actions taken by the late Senator by those who wrote it or pray it. I know it was not the intention of the editors to support the Senator’s positions, but upon reading the petition, as it was originally written, support can be inferred. I apologize for our failure in judgment and poor selection of words used in the prayer. I pray that we do better in the future.

The text of the prayer has been amended and it now reads:
“For all our beloved dead, especially (particular parish intentions), and for Senator Edward M. Kennedy, that they may find their eternal reward in the arms of God. We pray:”

I appreciate your feedback and concern.

John A. Thomas
Liturgy Training Publications
3949 S. Racine Avenue
Chicago, IL 60609
Phone (773) 579-4900, ext. 3557
FAX 773-579-4929


Dietrich said...

Way to go, Father! We're not always just shouting down a well, are we?

I'm sitting here trying to avoid the constant TV lionizing of a man who had a lifetime to figure it out and live up to the standards he applied to himself by declaring himself a Catholic. We're all broken vessels of one kind or another, but I truly can't understand what is gained by holding oneself to a standard one has no intention of following, implied or otherwise (are you listening, Mr. Mayor? Mr. Governor? Mr. Gibson?).

I'm know public figures have a special set of pressures and temptations we mortals have no concept of, thus they need and deserve our sincere prayers. But these figures have heard the message of repentance and personal integrity too many times to claim ignorance.

I spent my life hearing about the glories of the Kennedys. My family and theirs share common ancestors, and both my grandmother (RIP) and aunt spent time with JFK on his presidential campaign. For them, it was their proudest moment, and is still.

However, time and experience has taught me that this is nothing to be proud of. These are men who could have either come clean and declared fealty to the Catholic Church of their birth, or been man enough to cease trading on the false declaration that they were members of a Church that demands more of it's members.

We should all pray for this family as individuals and as a family. Speaking from a worldly perspective, they are kings and queens. However, from a Catholic perspective, they're a case study in failure. The best thing we can do for them is shudder, pray for them, and pray that we don't follow their folly. I truly hope their kingdom was not only of this earth.

Anonymous said...

Yep, good work Father!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Wow, I thought we should pray for every soul, not pick and choose by judging them first! If you noticed the prayer did NOT praise him or chastistize Kennedy for his belief but for his deeds. Can't we recognize Kennedy for being the best man he could be on this mortal plane?