Last Thurs, I offered a 6:30 a.m. Mass for Sen. Kennedy praying a for his last minute conversion - even after the fact. I am not quite sure how that will work but in God's economy of Salvation, one never knows. Later, I've read that a priest was summoned to his side as he died. And that fulfilled the minimum requirement for him to get a Catholic burial.
+ The gospel was damning
Whatever was said by Church representatives during his wake & burial is significant because of his prominent ole in legalizing abortion in the USA. The gospel from Mt:25 states, "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me." That is damning for someone who supported abortion because Jesus can say, "When I was in my mother's womb, you allowed me to get murdered. Now go into the eternal fire..." And in this case, he might say it 50 million times; that's the approximate number of murders that were allowed since Roe V. Wade was adjudicated.
+ but focus shifted away from abortion
But the focus was shifted to his works for the poor as if that negated the 50+ million murders of the aborted fetuses. No wonder many think that it is morally acceptable to support the right to choose and consequently the legal protection of murdering the unborn. But the Church has always taught the contrary i.e. abortion is intrinsically evil.
+ Cafeteria spirituality is not salvific
Consequently, people can go away with the mistaken perception that as long as one does some good, then other transgression will be excused. Or that one does not have to follow all the 10 commandments and still make it. I heard part of Obama's eulogy about Ted sailing into a happy place as though he knew that for a fact. But the Catechism and the Gospels insist of following every commandment from God - even the summarized form of loving God and neighbor will bring the aborted person as a counter-witness because he has been murdered and the Creator has been offended. So, the cafeteria spirituality where one picks and choose what to follow is notsalvific e.g. one cannot commit adultery and simply make up for it by praying the Rosary and giving a $100 to the poor.
+ Laws expel pro-abortion lawmakers
And if that is not clear enough, the Church's "chief justice" interprets canon 915 as excommunicating public officials who support abortion and denying them holy communion. http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/may/09050613.html That puts the parishioner on notice i.e. "You're outside the Church and so you cannot be saved unless you change." How much clearer can the Church get? So at death, canon 1184 §1.3 would prohibit a Catholic burial as a likely consequence. Then again, not all the bishops follow the Church's laws and that is a problem - specially for the bishop who caused his flock to be lost.
+ Forgiveness of sin
As Jesus died he forgave those who killed him "for they did not know that they did." And he forgave sinners who knew what they did e.g. the tax collector and the prostitutes who repented. What about those who despite the Church's teaching against abortion persisted freely and knowingly to support the legalization of this atrocity? The last recourse is the conscience because, that is tribunal where God will judge everyone. But that is not an instant "Get out of Hell card" because conscience may say that an evil thing is good. So, the Church teaches that one must ensure the correct formation of conscience. To be honest, I doubt whether someone as intelligent as the senator can be confused with what is morally right and wrong hence the fear that his sentence is severe.