Changing people’s hearts is “directly related” to Catholics’ ability to increase “love and unity” in the Church, continued O’Malley, saying that the proclamation of the Truth is hindered when Catholics are divided and “fighting with each other.”
Reflecting on the crowds of mourners who lined the roads of Sen. Kennedy’s funeral motorcade, the cardinal said that these people were paying tribute to his many accomplishments, and not endorsing his voting record on abortion.
“The crowds also were there to pay tribute to the Kennedy family as a whole,” he explained. “On the national political landscape, if Barack Obama broke the glass ceiling of the presidency for African Americans, Jack Kennedy broke it for American Catholics.”
The cardinal said that advocating on behalf of the dignity of life is “central” to his role as priest and bishop, pointing to his help in overturning the abortion laws in Honduras. Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a former abortionist who had a “change of heart,” assisted him in that effort.
He also cited the words of pro-life leader Helen Alvaré, who has said the pro-life movement is “best characterized by what it is for, not against.”
At the funeral, the cardinal reported, he briefly spoke with President Barack Obama to welcome him to the Basilica and to pledge the U.S. bishops’ willingness to support a plan for universal health care if it does not include a provision for abortion or the possibility of expanded abortion support.
“The President was gracious in the short time we spoke, he listened intently to what I was saying,” the cardinal said.
At the funeral Democrats and Republicans sat side by side in prayer for Sen. Kennedy and his family.
“It is my sincere hope that all people who long to promote the cause of life will pray and work together to change hearts, to bring about an increased respect for life, and to change laws so as to make America a safe place for all, including the unborn,” Cardinal O’Malley’s blog post concluded.