Obama To Deliver Kennedy's Eulogy
By William Wan
As the coverage of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's death continues, his passing is drawing a lot of interesting discussion on the religious aspects of his life, work and death.
Among the newsier items, the White House has confirmed to the AP and The Boston Globe that President Obama will deliver the eulogy at Kennedy's funeral. As the Globe story notes, the church hosting his funeral will be especially meaningful: "Kennedy's funeral will be held at a time yet to be determined Saturday morning at The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the Mission Hill section of Boston. Commonly known as the Mission Church, the 1,450-seat basilica on Tremont Street was built in the 1870s. Kennedy prayed there in 2003 while his daughter, Kara, was being treated for lung cancer."
One of the most fascinating interviews since his passing, came from a local TV station in Boston that caught up with his Catholic priest, Rev. Patrick Tarrant of Our Lady of Victory Church, who talked about Kennedy's last moments:
Tarrant, who was called to Kennedy's bedside late Tuesday as the senator was dying, said it was clear that Kennedy was ready for the journey that awaited him. He described the senator as "a man of quiet prayer" in his last hours.
"The truth is, he had expressed to his family that he did want to go. He did want to go to heaven. He did want to die and he did want to go. He was ready to go. There was a certain amount peace -- a lot of peace, actually -- in the family get-together last night. I couldn't help but think that the world doesn't know that part of the senator at all," Tarrant said in a lilting Irish brogue.
Last interesting tidbit, comes from Rev. Jim Wallis, a leader in the progressive Christian movement, who found a strong ally in Kennedy.
On his blog, Wallis says Kennedy was the first to call him after the 2004 presidential election:
"He invited me to his home, where he and his wife, Vicki, engaged me in a long and very thoughtful conversation into the night about the relationship between faith, morality, and politics. Their own deep Catholic faith was evident and their articulation of it very impressive. Our discussion was not partisan at all -- it was not about how to win religion back for the Democrats. Rather, we focused on the great moral issues facing the nation, and how we as people of faith needed to respond to them."
Posted at 11:17 AM ET on Aug 27, 2009
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