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August 26, 2009

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Catholic Democrats Mourns the Passing of
Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Offers Prayers for the Kennedy Family and the Nation

Boston, MA:   Catholic Democrats mourns the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), one of the most important Catholic political leaders in our country's history.  The third longest serving member of the Senate, Kennedy's life exemplified a commitment to public service.  His irreplaceable brand of leadership in Congress and to the nation led to the passage of unprecedented landmark legislation that covered a broad range of social justice issues which reflected both Catholic Social Teaching and his deep personal faith.  He touched the lives of hundreds of millions of people, providing for their fundamental human needs, opening doors of opportunity, and helping create a more just society.

"Senator Kennedy's Catholicism was at the core of his identity," said Dr. Patrick Whelan, president of Catholic Democrats.  "The common thread that runs through everything he accomplished was his belief in building things for the benefit of others, particularly those most in need.  I believe this is the essence of being a good Catholic, and I think it's right at the heart of Senator Kennedy's entire legacy."

"The 'Lion of the Senate', Senator Kennedy brought the passion of his beliefs to, in his own words, "all those whose cares have been our concern" while at the same time reconciling differences between his colleagues from both sides of the aisle.  He was both a fighter and a healer.  He fought for universal health care, "the cause of my lifetime" he said, until the very end of his life.  Both Republican and Democratic leaders will greatly miss his leadership in making universal health care a reality," said Whelan, a pediatric specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

"Senator Kennedy's passing is an immeasurable loss to our country and the world.  He inspired liberals and earned the respect of conservatives.  He was the conscience of our nation, particularly on the necessity of providing health care to all and on behalf of the poor and disadvantaged," said Steve Krueger, national director of Catholic Democrats.  "His remarkable life's journey - one of overcoming insurmountable challenges through faith - provides inspiration for all of us in our own personal journeys and in serving the common good."

"We offer our most heartfelt prayers to the Senator's family in this time of sadness.  There will never be another Ted Kennedy," said Whelan.


About Catholic Democrats
Catholic Democrats is an association of state based groups representing a Catholic voice within the Democratic Party, and advancing a public understanding of the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching and its potential to help solve the broad range of problems confronting all Americans. For more information about Catholic Democrats please go to