Skip to comments.Vatican Worries About Kerry
Posted on 03/29/2004 12:38:30 AM PST by kattracks
John Kerry's support for abortion and gay marriage, both condemned as mortal sins by the Roman Catholic Church, is raising serious concerns in the Vatican over the clear apostasy of a nominal American Catholic politician.
"People in Rome are becoming more and more aware that there's a problem with John Kerry, and a potential scandal with his apparent profession of his Catholic faith and some of his stances, particularly abortion," a Vatican official and an American told Time magazine.
Taking such positions at odds with Church teaching could subject Kerry to excommunication, but the Massachusetts senator says he's comfortable with his stands even when they conflict with the doctrines of the Church to which he claims allegiance.
"I don't think it complicates things at all," Kerry told Time Saturday, the first article in which he has discussed his faith extensively. "We have a separation of church and state in this country. As John Kennedy said very clearly, I will be a President who happens to be Catholic, not a Catholic President."
Time, however, noted that there are huge differences between the time in which Kennedy ran and today. When Kennedy ran for president in 1960, Time recalls, "a candidate could go through an entire campaign without ever having to declare his position on abortion much less stem cells, cloning or gay marriage. It was before Roe v. Wade, bioethics, school vouchers, gay rights and a host of other social issues became the ideological fault lines that divide the two political parties and also divide some Catholics from their church."
Kerry, a former altar boy who Time says complains when his campaign staff does not leave time in his Sunday schedule for Mass and receives Communion, describes himself as a "believing and practicing Catholic, married to another believing and practicing Catholic."
In the face of that declaration, however, last week he went out of his way to show up on the Senate floor to vote against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act ("Laci and Connor's Law"), a bill that would make harming an unborn child during the commission of a crime a separate offense. The bill was named for Laci Peterson and her unborn son, Connor, who were murdered.
As Time observed, Kerry's vote put him squarely on the same side as abortion industry supporters in opposing specific legal rights for the unborn and against nearly two-thirds of his fellow senators and the great majority of Americans.
Kerry told Time his Catholic faith was instilled in him in childhood. He even took the opportunity to raise the subject of his four months of service in Vietnam once again, claiming that he wore a rosary around his neck when involved in combat operations.
When Kerry got home, however, he admits to having gone through what he described to Time as a "period of a little bit of anger and agnosticism, but subsequently, I did a lot of reading and a lot of thinking and really came to understand how all those terrible things fit."
Kerry and other nominally Catholic politicians insist that their religious faith does not oblige them to follow the tenets of their Church when acting as elected representatives. As Time notes, politicians taking that position provoked New York's Archbishop John Cardinal O'Connor in 1984 to chastise then-New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro for being in favor of abortion.
Times have changed. In response to the demands of huge numbers of the Roman Catholic faithful that Catholic bishops in America clamp down on politicians thumbing their noses at Church doctrine in their public lives, the Church is, as Time notes, getting tougher.
Last year, for example the Vatican issued a "doctrinal note" warning Catholic lawmakers that they have a "grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them."
Moreover, when Kerry campaigned in Missouri in February, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke publicly warned him "not to present himself for Communion" an ostracism, Time explained, that Canon Law 915 reserves for "those who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin." A defiant Kerry told Time that regarding his planned trip to St. Louis last Sunday, "I certainly intend to take Communion and continue to go to Mass as a Catholic."
According to Time, most Catholic officials believe that the Church's response to Kerry's candidacy will vary from diocese to diocese. "You may not see many Catholic bishops appearing at Kerry photo ops this campaign season, and there's a possibility of some uncomfortable moments on the trail. All you need is a picture of Kerry going up to the Communion rail and being denied, and you've got a story that'll last for weeks," Father Thomas Reese, editor of the Jesuit magazine America, told Time.
Even in his own Boston archdiocese, Kerry will face his newly hard-nosed archbishop, Sean O'Malley, who, although he has given Kerry Communion in the past, now says that Catholic politicians who do not vote in line with Church teachings "shouldn't dare come to Communion."
Being banned from receiving the Eucharist is excommunication.
Said Kerry, "I don't tell church officials what to do, and church officials shouldn't tell American politicians what to do in the context of our public life."
As Crisis magazine noted last May, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in November 1998 released a pastoral letter, "Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics," that castigated Catholic politicians for supporting abortion and euthanasia.
On Jan. 16, Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the USCCB, issued a statement welcoming the doctrinal note issued by the Vatican that denounced Catholic politicians who favor abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage and human cloning. Said Bishop Gregory, "Catholic politicians cannot subscribe to any notion which equates freedom or democracy with a moral relativism that denies these moral principles.
Both of these statements flow naturally from the seriousness the Catholic hierarchy attaches to abortion in particular. As early as 1975, the bishops described the right to life as "among basic human rights."
Wealthy Massachuttes politicians have regularly gotten annulments. Maybe that will change with Archbishop Sean OMalley. Meanwhile the unasked questions for Kerry are:
Doesnt your annulment mean that your first marriage never existed?
Doesnt that mean that your children are illegitimate?
Wealthy Massachuttes politicians have regularly gotten annulments.
It is tempting to believe there is some particular corruption associated with wealth and annulments, or being a RAT politician and annulments, but the truth is that the rejection rate is very low (if not zero), and that Kerry, Kennedy, and all the others got annulments because everyone gets annulments.
"I don't tell church officials what to do, and church officials shouldn't tell American politicians what to do in the context of our public life."
Oh really... I guess John then it means you don't have to suscribe to the doctrine of the church, or the teachings of Christ, or the Ten Commandments. It crimps your style, John?
What an absolute smug attitude.
No wonder you're so lost.
Tell me John, just when did you decide to sell your soul?
Satan must be howling with delight!
Faith in Jesus Christ, who is «the way, the truth, and the life»(Jn 14:6), calls Christians to exert a greater effort in building a culture which, inspired by the Gospel, will reclaim the values and contents of the Catholic Tradition.
The Participation of Catholics in Political Life
In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue; participation in the political process is a moral obligation.
Catholic Ping - let me know if you want on/off this list
I can't imagine the arrogance here.
Kerry's basically telling all practicing Catholics that church doctrine only applies to them, and not the supreme, arrogant politicians.
I think every Catholic publication in the United States ought to print his comments, and then see how good, practicing Catholics respond come election time.
Actually, it's not.
Being banned from communion means that you are in a state of mortal sin. Indeed, since Kerry's first marriage has not been annulled, he shouldn't be receiving communion, since he is living in sin...there is a line from Paul that says you shouldn't receive the bread and wine "unworthily"...
For all that is written about JFK, I remember back then he never went to communion, although he usually went to church...so when I heard about his girlfriends, I figured that was the reason why...Kerry doesn't have that problem. He obviously doesn't think receiving the bread and wine is receiving the body and blood of Christ...imagine meeting Christ and saying: Yes, I am your follower, but I will help people murder babies if they chose to do so....
What was Kerry's relationship with the disgraced Cardinal Law of Boston?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.