The End of an Era
An Open Letter to Senator Ted Kennedy

Michael R. Hirsh

Senator Ted Kennedy
2400 JFK Building
Boston, MA 02203

Dear Senator Kennedy:

One month to the day after receiving Holy Communion from Pope Benedict XVI in Washington, D.C., the world learned with you of the cancerous tumor growing in your brain.  One can only imagine the force of the words coming from the doctor's mouth.  Judging from media attention of your diagnosis, it seems that was a collective gasp from a large segment of the population – from political friend and foe alike.

Because of your unmitigated support for human abortion for nearly your entire career, I celebrate the approaching end of your political career.  I say “nearly” because once upon a time your liberalism had not yet consumed your soul.  In a letter dated August 3, 1971 you wrote affirming your belief that:

Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain right which must be recognized - the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old. . . . But once life has begun, no matter at what stage of growth, it is my belief that termination should not be decided merely by desire.  I share the confidence of those who feel that America is willing to care for its unwanted as well as wanted children, protecting particularly those who cannot protect themselves. I also share the opinions of those who do not accept abortion as a response to our society's problems . . . .  When history looks back on 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 moment of conception.

Although you penned that letter prior to Roe v. Wade, since that time you have stood in direct contradiction of your own words. Your steadfast defiance of the teachings of the Church and your instrumental role in securing funding for all manner of post-modern barbarity against the unborn, allows me to exclaim but one thing as your political career closes:  Good!  That your disregard of the admonition against illicit reception of the Eucharist has continued for so long only serves to underscore how long-suffering God is (and causes me to wonder aloud – and underscore how long-suffering I am not - “what took so long.”)

But I find no happiness in your physical condition and nothing but sadness as you face eternity with the blood of millions of children – and at least one young woman – on your hands. Given your family's long and tragic history of sudden calamity and your own dubious driving record, you have been granted the singular grace of the opportunity to repent.

You have enjoyed every privilege.  For most of us, the money, prestige, and power that have been yours are approached only by reading fiction.  While these things may grant you access, they will not ultimately save you – either in this life or in the one to come.  But your money will do what money always does – it stays here.  To the extent that your other accomplishments of political survival have promised you anything, they abandon you now.  But that's not the real tragedy, for this happens to all of us.

Ironically, that you have the luxury of being seen on demand at Massachusetts General Hospital (one of the top fifty in the nation) in approximately half the time it took you to call police after a fatal car accident.  You then were able to quickly have elective brain surgery at Duke University Medical Center (one of the top two in the nation).  This is possible only because of your failure thus far to nationalize health care and completely redistribute the country's collective wealth.

The duties of a bishop, archbishop, or cardinal are arduous and demanding.  There is no way for distant laymen to know everything that is happening in any circumstance.  It is sad commentary on the state of the Church in the United States that there are discussions among the bishops over what to do in response to open and notorious scandal on the part of politicians and other celebrities.  Unrepentant scoffers, rebels, and reprobates should be kept from the Lord's Table with the hope of bringing their souls to salvation.  Instead of offering public discipline for public sin, there has been accommodation, ignoring the warnings of I Corinthians and the additional punishment awaiting spiritual malfeasants.  Receiving funeral accolades for a life of “public service” is a poor substitute for eternal life.

And notwithstanding your status as the conservative Senator from Massachusetts, you have been granted a window of opportunity.  Not only can you obtain the redemption of your own soul, you can courageously show your abortophile colleagues the error of their ways.  For as you correctly observed, history will judge this era on how it has fulfilled “its responsibility to its children from the moment of conception.” 

Very truly yours,

Michael R. Hirsh

[email protected]


cc:     Seán Patrick Cardinal O'Malley

          Archbishop of Boston
          2121 Commonwealth Ave.
          Boston, MA, 02135-3193