Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources


Sunday, April 25, 2004

Fr. Ciccone (on giving communion to Kerry): "my bishop made me do it!" 

Posted by Christopher Blosser at 9:00 AM

"Kerry Takes Communion After Vatican Edict" reads the headline of a story appearing in newspapers across the world:
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry received communion from a Catholic priest Saturday, one day after a top Vatican cardinal said politicians who support abortion rights should be denied the Eucharist.

We're following the directive of our archdiocese," said Father Joe Ciccone, who gave Kerry the Eucharist. "They have said we should give him communion."

Cardinal Arinze has properly delegated the responsibility for a response to Kerry on the American bishops. Unfortunately, various members of the hierarchy have resorted to a strategy of deferment, with several members of the Boston clergy sending mixed or contradictory signals:

  • Cardinal Arinze: "The norm of the Church is clear," he said. "The Catholic Church exists in the U.S.A. and there are bishops there. Let them interpret."
  • Archbishop McCarrick (of Washington): "Every archbishop has the right to make his own decision in his own area."
  • Archbishop O'Malley (Boston, MA): "These politicians should know that if they're not voting correctly on these life issues that they shouldn't dare come to communion."
  • Rev. Coyne (aide and spokesperson for Archbishop O'Malley): "The position of Archbishop O'Malley has been that when people come forward to receive communion, we give them communion."
  • Fr. Joe Ciccone (Paulist Center): "We're following the directive of our archdiocese," said Father Joe Ciccone, who gave Kerry the Eucharist. "They have said we should give him communion."
With Fr. Ciccone having placed responsibility squarely on the shoulders of his bishop, it would appear that the ball is now in O'Malley's court.

How long can this circus drag on? -- As Catholic apologist Karl Keating wondered in a recent newsletter:

What a difference four decades makes! In 1962 Leander Perez and several other Catholic politicians in Louisiana were excommunicated by New Orleans Archbishop Joseph F. Rummel. Their offense? Opposing Rummel's pleas to end racial segregation in schools.

Segregation was a Bad Thing. As bad as it was, at least it wasn't a species of homicide. But abortion is homicide, which means it is a Worse Thing. You will look in vain to find an analogue to Archbishop Rummel in today's American episcopate.

Even the level of the umbrage has changed. The discussion hasn't been about excommunicating politicians who, through their votes, end the lives of unborn children. No, the discussion has been whether these politicians should undergo the inconvenience (which is about all it would be for them) of not being able to receive Communion.

If the leaders of the Church refrain from giving even a slap on the wrist, who can take them seriously? Bishops who don't "bish" undermine their own authority, and everyone under their care suffers from that.


(Borrowing the phrase of fellow blogger Mark Shea): Enough passing the buck. It's high time we saw some signs of "episcopal spine" from the Boston diocese.


Ongoing commentary by the editors of CatholicKerryWatch


Sen. John Kerry stands with Kate Michelman (right) President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Since 1995, Michelman's group has given Kerry a 100% rating for his voting record to defend abortion.

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Contributing Editors:

Oswald Sobrino of
Catholic Analysis

Earl E. Appleby of
Times Against Humanity

Jeff Miller of
The Curt Jester

Jamie
Ad Limina Apostolorum

Christopher Blosser of
Against The Grain


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Bloggers

Ad Limina Apostolorum
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The Blog From The Core
Catholics for Bush [Blog]
Catholic Light
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Disputations
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Fidelis
The Galvin Opinion
Just Being Frank
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Mark Shea
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Organizations

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News Resources

CatholicFactor
CNN.com
Google News
LifeNews.com
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New York Times
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Kerry Communion Watch @ Beliefnet.com

The Candidates on Abortion: Where do they stand?

Documentation

LifeIssues.Net

Periodicals

National Catholic Reporter
National Catholic Register
The Hill
Crisis Magazine
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Related Documents & Articles

Worthiness To Recieve Communion: General Principles
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding The Participation of Catholics in Political Life
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Evangelium Vitae
Pope John Paul II

Worthy to Receive the Lamb: Catholics in Political Life and the Reception of Holy Communion, from Archbishop Donoghue (Atlanta, GA), Bishop Baker (Charleston, SC) and Bishop Jugis (Charlotte, NC).
August 4, 2004

Catholics in Political Life U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. June 7, 2004.

Catholic Politicians and Bishops. By Most Rev. Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis. America June 21-28, 2004.

A Time For Honesty, Pastoral Statement by The Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark. May 5, 2004.

Why Communion Could Be Denied to Anti-Life Legislators. Interview with Father Thomas Williams, dean of the School of Theology of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum.

Why Don't Catholic Politicians Practice What the Catholic Church Preaches?, by Judie Brown. Washington Dispatch April 19, 2004.

How to tell a Duck from a Fox: Thinking with the Church as we look toward November, by Archbishop Chaput. Denver Catholic Register April 14, 2004.

On the Dignity of Human Life and Civic Responsibility, a Pastoral Letter by La Crosse Bishop Raymond L. Burke.

Blood On Their Hands: Exposing Pro-abortion Catholic Politicians, by Mark Stricherz. Crisis May 2003.

The Failure of Catholic Political Leadership, by Robert P. George & William E. Saunders. Crisis 18, No. 4 (April 2000).

Denying Holy Communion: A Case History, by Bishop Emeritus Rene Henry Gracida. [PDF Format].

Ten questions regarding the denial of the Eucharist, by Barbara Kralis.

Recommmended Reading

John Kerry, Abortion and the Catholic Church

Irreconcilable Differences", by Matthew Mehan. NRO Sept. 16, 2004.

John Courtney Murray and the 'Liberal Catholic' Justification of Abortion Investigative report by Christopher Blosser. August 30, 2004.

"Please answer the question, Senator Kerry", The Mighty Barrister. August 2, 2004.

You wouldn't even ask. Fr. Pavone (Priests for Life). July 2004.

Kerry isn't making abortion stand clear, by Raymond J. Keating. Newsday July 27, 2004.

Senator Kerry May Be Human . . . But is He a Person?, Catholic Kerry Watch. July 23, 2004.

Kerry's Catholic Problem, by Brent Bozell. July 7, 2004.

The Body Politic and the Body of Christ: Candidates, Communion and the Catholic Church. Debate btw/ Thomas J. Reese, S.J. and George Weigel. June 23, 2004.

The Kerry challenge, by George Weigel. May 5, 2004.

Rites and Wrongs: Why John Kerry should not take communion, by Philip F. Lawler. Wall Street Journal April 30, 2004.

John Kerry's Catholic Problem", by Cal Thomas. April 26, 2004.

Kerry Distorting Catholic Doctrine. Newsmax.com interviews George Weigel. April 16, 2004.

"Personally Opposed, But…" Five Pro-Abortion Dodges, by Todd M. Aglialoro. Crisis April 1, 2004.

On Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

Reagan vs. Reagan and The Stem-Cell Cover-Up, Catholic Kerry Watch, August 14, 2004.

Senator Kerry dismisses religious convictions as "ideology"  Catholic Kerry Watch. August 9, 2004.

Ron Reagan & Functionalism, Revisited, Catholic Kerry Watch. July 29, 2004.

Out of Touch, by Michael Fumento. Refuting Kerry's claims on the use of embryonic stem cells. Citizen Magazine August 2004.

Stem Cell Defection, by Ramesh Ponnuru. National Review August 16, 2004.

Stem Cell Research: Fact Sheets, Letters to Congress and Articles from the USCCB.

On Voting, "Proportionality" and Cardinal Ratzinger's Memorandum

What Ratzinger Said, by James Akin. Sept. 9, 2004.

Bishops Refute Flawed Theology (of Andrew Greeley) Barbara Kralis. August 22, 2004.

Thoughts on Proportionality, Catholic Kerry Watch. July 12, 2004.




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