From amidst the flotsam and jetsam in the swirling stream of media coverage of Kerry's Catholic problem, we pluck three fresh samples, which could well be labeled:
The real title of this column, if we want to get rough (and we do), might be "Dumbed down Catholics voting for dumb downed Kerry." Or "Welcome to Kerry's party for dummies." Allow me to explain why the dumbing down of U.S. Catholic laity is likely to win the 2004 presidential race for John Kerry....
Dissenting Catholic politicians' false statements, such as John Kerry's. seem to carry more weight with dumbed down Catholics than all of the Popes since St. Peter. –Barbara Kralis, Michigan News
By all means, Catholics and everyone else should bemoan and ridicule that aging stereotype that we should not elect a Catholic president because he will do the Vatican's bidding. Let's realize, however, that church coercion, overt and subtle, that requires a candidate to do its bidding will prove the stereotype in many minds....
It would not take much to take the church across the chasm that legitimately separates church and state. A sanction here. An official snub there. And pretty soon, the church will have proved the stereotype.
Such a tactic has tremendous potential to backfire. U.S. Catholics, 27 percent of the electorate, are not stupid and are not the braying, dutiful sheep that stereotypes would have you believe (even those taking communion). –O. Ricardo Pimentel, Tucson Citizen
What next? Will we have a political reporter to cover John Forbes Kerry at each Sunday Mass from now to November? Will there be wafer watch?
The intra-church debates about whether a pro-choice, pro-civil union Kerry could consider himself a good Catholic has been ratcheted up into a public spectacle about whether he would step up to the altar and whether a priest would offer him the sacrament. "I hope the bishops are satisfied that the sacraments of the church are now the subject of a media frenzy," fumed Frances Kissling of Catholics for a Free Choice....
In polls, Catholic opinions on abortion are in line with the rest of the country. Among churchgoers are those who beg to differ on civil unions or married priests, over abortion or women in the priesthood. "What do the bishops really want?" asks Kissling. "Would it be a good thing if John Kerry stopped going to mass and communion? Would it be a good thing if Catholics who disagree on abortion not go to church? The churches would be empty." –Ellen Goodman, The Topeka Capital-Journal
As opposed to today's climate of shameful episcopal silence, in which faithful Catholics who defend innocent life—not Catholic Judases who aid and abet its destruction—are made to feel as orphans in their Father's house?
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.