Monday, September 07, 2009

Rights of Burial'll come and find
    the place where I am lying
And kneel and say
    an "Ave" there for me.

In the weeks following the death and burial of Senator Edward Kennedy, much has been made of whether he deserved a Catholic burial (presumedly, yes), and having settled that, whether he deserved to be effectively canonized by eulogies from a President who wasn't even Catholic, among others (no, just like the rest of us). Carl Olsen gives us a rundown of the issue on Ignatius Press' Insight Scoop:

[Y]ou see, when Sen Kennedy was doing all of his good deeds, he was motivated by the Gospel and Catholic doctrine, but when he mysteriously failed to advocate for the unborn, it was one of those strange mishaps, like Michael Jordan missing a game-winning shot (“Goodness, I guess he is human!”), or Babe Ruth striking out (“Well, who would thunk it possible?”), as if it was the exception to the rule. But for Kennedy, being a driven and vigorous supporter of the culture of death was the rule, with few exceptions. So...

Sean Cardinal O’Malley, as Archbishop of Boston, may have been obliged to make provision for a Catholic burial, but he was more than obliged to keep the event as unadorned as possible. Any of us riff-raff who, say, married outside the Church, or otherwise lived a public life that was less than exemplary, would never have gotten so much as the parish choir to show up, even if we paid them. And you can just forget about them serving lunch afterwards.

What impression does this give us? That “the Church” has one set of rules for people they’re trying to impress, and another set for the rest of us. We’re the ones who have to mind our P’s and Q’s, mind you, as these poncy cake-eating pontificators wrap themselves in the mantle of orthodoxy, as if it were little more than talking a good game.

And these guys wonder why some people don’t take them seriously. These are the times when I don’t.

Thankfully, we may have witnessed the end of an era, an experience of Catholicism in America, recently described by someone, as pre-dominantly northeastern Irish-American, by people who left “the old neighborhood” with their parents by the end of the Big War, who haven't set foot in a real corner bar in years, and who don't have enough sense to know, that the final commendation over the grave is not the time to sing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.”

You're supposed to sing “Danny Boy” you big dummy!!!

(A wee tip o’ the Black Hat to Amy Welborn and Declan Galbraith.)

No comments: