On The Wisdom Of Catholic No-Eulogy Policy

In the Catholic furor over the Ted Kennedy obsequies, many people have made the point that the liturgy was hijacked by politics and that no one dared refer to the departed man's well-known failings.

Fr. Rutler, discussing Justice Brennan's funeral, at which the late Senator was a eulogist, shows the great wisdom of the Church's prohibition against eulogies at funerals: now mostly gotten around by having remarks made by others than the pastor after the liturgy of the Eucharist, but nevertheless before the final blessing.

In the first place, it
is awkward to speak ill of a dead man.
As Dr. Johnson conceded, in lapidary inscriptions no man is upon oath. To avoid testing this protocol in the sanctuary where only truth is to be spoken, eulogies were discouraged in more honest days when even romanticized charlatans and avuncular Caligulas could be buried, but with the crepe of contrition.
It's a more wholesome practice to reserve the funeral for interceding for the deceased.
The misguided may excuse this because "funerals are really for the family," but that is not so: consolation of the bereaved is a derivative benefit of the first purpose of the funeral rites, which is the offering of prayer and eucharistic sacrifice for the dead. When that purpose is not understood, the rites themselves may succumb to parallel intuitions of stoicism and sentimentalism. Mix the two into an incongruous brew, and the reaction is nervous banter around the coffin, and self-conscious whimsy.
Though woe betide the pastor who tries to enforce this understanding. My own relatives (by marriage) have frequently had rows with their priests over this matter, and there is no breaking through to some people.

Fr. makes a good point, but I share this because of this delicious line, a commentary on the assertion that the Brennan mind met the Brennan heart and found a good match.
A meeting of mind and heart is anatomically difficult when there is a spine
That stings!