I think that it is a positive sign that so much has been written about the contradiction in Mr. Kerry's political life and his professed faith. When Teddy Kennedy ran for the presidential nomination against then President Carter there was not much public outcry on his contradictory stances to the faith. The pro-life movement has gained momentum since the apathy of the 70s and 80s on this issue is partly responsible for this. Also I believe the availability of news other than what was the dominant mainstream sources has also led to the media reporting on issues such as this. The media for the most part has not covered this story very well, but at least they are making some attempt.
I found this article via a post by Ramesh Ponnuru at The Corner.
Joseph Bottum has an article in the Standard on the subject. This seems as good a time as any to respond to the couple of emails I got taking issue with, or asking me to clarify, my remark the other day that "I think that Catholic bishops are probably obligated to withhold communion from pro-abortion politicians (after first talking with them privately)."
I think two things have often been lost in the discussion about that idea. First: The withholding of communion should be seen not as a punishment so much as an act of charity. The Catholic church teaches that the act of denying justice to the unborn (by voting for abortion) is a grave sin. The politician who persists in it is endangering his soul. To encourage him to mend his ways is to do him a favor, albeit one that he will understandably not recognize as such. Second: The church cannot fail to offer this charity. If my reasoning is correct, this is not a discretionary matter for the bishops. Thus: Even if the bishops knew to a certainty that withholding communion from Kerry would generate a backlash that helped him, and the Bush campaign were pleading with them not to do it, they would, if I am right, still have to do it for Kerry's sake.
I hope the Bishops do respond as a whole out of charity for Kerry's sake and to stop a public scandal. If they don't act now and Mr. Kerry does become President then the scandal will only be escalated a hundred fold.
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.