Liturgy Training Publications, the Chicago-based publisher associated with the Archdiocese of Chicago, has apologized for distributing a controversial prayer that praised the late pro-abortion Sen. Edward M. Kennedy as one who had promoted peace, justice, equality and liberty.
The prayer was made available for use at Sunday Masses after the prominent Catholic senator’s death on August 25.
The original prayer, posted through the publisher’s downloadable Prayer of the Faithful resource, read: “For those who have given their lives to service to their country, promoting values of peace, justice, equality, and liberty; especially, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, that he may find his eternal reward in the arms of God . . . . We pray.”
Pro-life Catholics such as the 87-year-old priest and blogger Fr. John Malloy complained about the prayer, citing the late senator’s ardent support for abortion in the latter half of his political career.
Liturgy Training Publications Director John A. Thomas wrote to Fr. Malloy and others to apologize for the “extremely poor use of words” in the prayer.
He explained that the prayer had been adapted from the text for “Prayers on the Inauguration of a Public Official.” Calling the source text a “poor choice,” he said that the prayer is future-oriented and not intended as a reflection on “the quality of the life of a person.”
“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.”
He said the editors did not intend to show support for Sen. Kennedy’s positions.
“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,” his letter concluded.
A spokeswoman at Liturgy Training Publications confirmed for CNA that Thomas had sent out the letter, which has been published on several websites.
Responding to the apology, Fr. Malloy explained his reaction to the prayer and commented that Sen. Kennedy “certainly didn't promote liberty for the unborn, or equality and justice. And that's what I found offensive."
"I think we pray for everyone who's dead, our enemies, we pray for them, but we don't extol them," he continued.
Fr. Malloy told ChicagoCatholicNews he has “great respect” for the publisher and said he believes their apology is sincere.