Nov 2, 2005

Vaya con Dios? Not so fast.

Brian Vander Brug/LA TIMES

Vaya con Dios.

With these familiar Spanish words, L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina concluded her eulogy for her mentor and elder statesman, Edward Roybal, Sr.

Vaya con Dios. Go with God.

Wait a minute. Not so fast.

I'm sorry, but I cannot envision Mr. Roybal joining hands in heaven with Mother Teresa just yet.

Why? Because on the one issue that outweighs all others Edward Roybal and the Saint of Calcutta were in opposing camps. Blessed Mother Teresa decried abortion while Edward Roybal blessed it.

Roybal died a week ago at the age of 89 and yesterday he received a saintly send off with a funeral Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Cardinal Mahony was present to pay his respects, "presiding,"as they say, in cardinalatial choir dress. The Spanish language daily, LA OPINION, reported that the main celebrant and homilist of the Mass was Monsignor John Moretta.

Moretta is the inured pastor of Resurrection Parish on the eastside. It's hard to figure him out since he has the reputation for being an activitist pro-life priest. Yet here he is leading the Church's final prayers for L.A.'s first Latino City Council member and U.S. Congressman whose political record was consistently pro-abortion.

According to LA OPINION (which provided many more details about the event than the LA TIMES), Moretta's homily was directed to Roybal's family. Present alongside his widow was Roybal's daughter and U.S. congresswoman, Lucille Roybal-Allard (D). Like her once politically powerful father, Roybal-Allard has forged a record of uncompromising support for abortion, even partial birth abortion. The powerful abortion lobby, NARAL, gives her a 100 percent approval rating.

In addition to Roybal-Allard and Molina, there were scores of other like-minded Latino politicians present, most notably, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

In his homily, Monsignor Moretta failed to call for suffrages for the soul of the late politician. Instead, he effectively "canonized" Roybal, saying:

"... él está en un lugar mucho mejor”.

"... he is in a much better place."

I hate it when at any funeral Mass the priest (usually motivated by a false compassion) descends to such trite sentimentality. At this funeral Mass, however, it was especially vexatious.

Is Edward Roybal, Sr., really in a better place?

If by this "better place" Moretta meant purgatory (which most assuredly is not what he meant), I have to admit that that's a possibility. And indeed, purgatory is a much better place than Boyle Heights (East L.A.) or even Malibu, for that matter.

Fact is, when the moment of death comes the final disposition of one's soul is known to God alone. But in this case the soul in question was a man who was, at least in my book, a notorious sinner. Roybal may have been a "decent man" in many ways. He was from humble beginnings, hard working, a family man who overcame many obstacles to rise to a certain measure of greatness. Notwithstanding all of this, he has now gone to God with the blood of untold numbers of unborn innocents on his hands because of political choices he made and the political dynasty -- Latino and pro-abortion to the core -- which he himself engendered and shaped.

I hope that the many years that God gave him were sufficient for him to truly repent for his complicity with the abominable crime of abortion, although I have my doubts. During her eulogy, Roybal's pro-abort protegee, Gloria Molina, tearfully remembered how just one day before he died, Mr. Roybal "... se despidió de ella con un beso en la mano" [he said goodbye with a kiss on the hand].

I earnestly pray that the priest who attended to Roybal during his final illness (was it Mahony? Moretta?) sought to help him make a thorough examination of conscience and a sincere confession before he breathed his last. But, alas, these details we cannot know.

Let us not forget that the venue for this funeral Mass was the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and that the one who "presided" over these scandalous proceedings was Roger M. Mahony, a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. Ultimately, when all is said and done it is Cardinal Mahony who, by virtue of his most dignified office, will have to answer for so much more.

I cannot help but cite anew the words that Cardinal Mahony spoke during the first homily preached in the new cathedral at the dedication Mass on September 2, 2002.

"Be assured that the fullness of the Gospel of Life will be proclaimed here, and each human life, from its earliest moments to its eldest years, will find in this place nurture and respect."
I wish Cardinal Mahony had never spoken those words because then I would not have had to say this word ...


Brian Vander Brug/LA TIMES

See previous related post HERE.


The following is an excerpt from a 1988 letter Archbishop Mahony wrote to Virgil Dechant, at that time the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus.
"Congressman Roybal is a faithful Catholic, one of our best examples of an Hispanic Catholic in public office who is not afraid to live out his Catholic life with pride. I have known him and his family for over thirty years, and I have the highest respect for him as a member of this Archdiocese."


Anonymous Xochilt said...

Keep your eyes peeled for a statement from the Cardinal regarding the death of Roybal and what a good man he was.

I predict that there will be glorious coverage of the funeral and words of praise from Roger Mahony in the upcoming Tidings.

How much you wanna bet?

11:12 AM  
Blogger skeetor said...

admonish the sinner. call him a liar for me as well if you get the chance.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let the dead bury the dead.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...


6:44 PM  
Blogger bridget said...

The only flaw with your statement is the "Mother Teresa" analogy. Mother Teresa believed that all faiths go to heaven and was in favor of birth control. She never tried to convert anyone to the true faith. She was a nun for heavens sake. Wouldn't you think that would be her first duty to God? THese are facts.
So with that in mind, the two of them just may be in the same place.

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bridgit i might agree with you on mother teresa not converting folks. but i don't think she was for birth control. unless you consider counting your menstrual cycle on beads birth control.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

MT would never force Christianity down anyone's throat, but she never shyed away from speaking of Jesus to everyone she met. It is absurd to posit that she was for contraception and even more absurd that she didn't seek to share Christ with everyone.

Where do you get such nonsense?

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you know that the deceased Mr. Roybal was for abortion rights? I searched on the internet, but it appears to not have any definitive information on the issue? If it's true, this is a great scandal.


8:40 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...


Check out my previous Roybal post and follow the links.

9:40 AM  

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