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