Page 9, 14th June 1968

14th June 1968
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Page 9, 14th June 1968 — Kennedy's murder 'black mark for

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Kennedy's murder 'black mark for

world' says Pope


THE assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy had left an indelible mark not only on American history but on the conscience of humanity, Pope Paul said on Sunday. He was giving his usual Sunday blessing to crowds in St. Peter's Square.

Recalling the courage of Senator Kennedy, his murdered brother, the late President John F. Kennedy, and the assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King, he said their moral courage must be a warning to us all.

"We must not forget the true values shown by those victims of deadly cowardice and perverse passions."

Senator Kennedy spoke "in favour of the poor, the disinherited, the segregated, the urgent progress of social justice, fought not with violence and discordant struggle between citizens and brothers, but with the energetic and coherent affirmation of liberty, brotherhood and responsibility."

Senator Kennedy's body was flown to New York from Los Angeles, accompanied by his widow, Mrs. Ethel Kennedy; Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of President John F. Kennedy; and Mrs. King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King.


On Friday Senator Kennedy's body lay in state in St. Patrick's Cathedral for 15 hours while an estimated 140,000 sorrowing citizens of many races and denominations, walked slowly past his catafalque in a final tribute.

Women-and some menmaintained their composure until they reached the bier, then sobbed and wailed their sorrow. Husbands supported wives too grief-stricken to walk alone.

A majority of them were young people, many of them college students and some not even of voting age. At the head of the queue they sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic as they waited. Negroes in the crowd sang "We Shall Over As they reached the African mahogany coffin some stopped briefly for a prayer or to reflect, some of them touched the coffin with their hands, some kissed it.


Six cardinals-including Cardinal Dell'Acqua, the personal emissary of Pope Paul-six archbishops, 18 bishops and more than 200 priests were present at the Requiem Mass in St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York. It was the eighth Mass of the day said for Senator Kennedy.

Among the 2,300 guests were President Lyndon and Mrs. Johnson and four men who were Kennedy's rivals in the Presidential campaignVice-President Hubert Humphrey, Senator Eugene McCarthy, former Vice-President Richard Nixon and Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

Chief Justice Earl Warren, Secretary of State Dean Rusk and other members of the Cabinet were there, with leaders of Congress and the Armed Forces.

Mrs. Ethel Kennedy, the widow, who is expecting their 11th child, entered the cathedral just before the service began, on the arm of her brother-in-law, Edward Kennedy. She sat in the front pew with four of her five oldest children Kathleen (16), Joseph (15), David (12), and Mary Courtney (11). The second oldest son, Robert (14) served as an altar boy.

Archbishop Cooke of New York, in a 20-minute eulogy, said Robert Kennedy was "a man of faith-faith in God 'first of all, but faith also in the basic goodness of his fellow man and faith in the future of his country." He was a gifted public ser vant who gave his life. in the attempt "to build a better world for all his fellow men," said Archbishop Cooke.

He urged the nation not to be demoralised by Robert Kennedy's death, and quoted President Johnson's "wise counsel when he pointed out that 200 million Americans did not fire the shot that ended Senator Kennedy's life."

"The act of one man must not demoralise and incapacitate 200 million others," Archbishop Coke said. "To permit this to happen would be to fail utterly to grasp the message of hope and optimism in Senator Kennedy's life.

"Our sense of shame and discouragement tears alone will not wash away. Somehow, by the Grace of God, and with the strength that still lies deep within the soul of America, we must find the courage to take up again the laborious work to which Senator Kennedy devoted all his energies-the building of a great and honourable nation."


Senator Kennedy's body was taken by train from New York to Washington for the funeral and burial in Arlington National Cemetery, near the last resting place of his brother.

The final service was a simple one, lasting only a few minutes. Cardinal O'Boyle, Archbishop of Washington, and Archbishop Cooke of New York said the last prayers.

There had been a six-hour delay on the train journey, caused by an accident in which three people waiting for the funeral train were killed by another going in the opposite direction, and by a fault to the funeral train itself.

Cardinal Cushing of Boston was taken ill and was flown home.

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