As an editor, I have a bias for concise writing, having cut my teeth on Strunk & White. That being said, I am amazed at the wealth of information that Lane Core Jr. manages to convey on The Blog From the Core with what are essentially three words: lege, vide, and vide.
The lege brings you to the beginning, my analysis of the question of Catholic In Name Only (CINO) as reported below. You'll want to read what our astute commenters have to say. (You can also read many of their comments on Times Against Humanity.)
The first vide brings you to Josh LeBlanc's Dei Gratia, where he concludes:
I can call a rose a tulip, but that does not make it so. I can change the shape of its petals and even its color so much to make it look like a tulip, but it will always be a rose in disguise. Senator Kerry can call himself a Catholic and even perform all of the outward appearances of one (which he has not), but if he is not Catholic at the very center and core of his being, then he is no Catholic at all!
The second vide brings you to Bettnet, where Dom Bettinelli sums up his case succinctly:
The term CINO simply means someone who calls himself Catholic for having received the sacraments, but who doesn't hold to the vital, bedrock, basic teachings of the Church, and in fact publicly rejects them. In the old days, we'd call them heretics. In the new politically correct days, we call them CINO.
I think we can put this issue to bed, as they say in the newspaper trade, but I asked my friend Peter Vere, a canon lawyer, for his take on the matter, with a prayer that this did not constitute inside trading and land me in a jail cell more poorly decorated than Martha Stewart's. Although enroute to—would you believe—a conference of canon lawyers, Pete graciously took time to post these words, with which we close, on Catholic Light:
A debate is brewing around St. Blog over the appropriateness of refering to pro-abort "Catholic" politicians as Catholic In Name Only (CINO). Initially, I intended to stay clear of this controversy since I'm personally not fond of the CINO label. This has nothing to do with canon law and everything to do with taste -- I prefer the much more inflamatory (and I would argue accurate) designation of Demoncrat.
Nevertheless, over at Catholic Kerry Watch my friend Earl Appleby posted a good post on why he believes the CINO term is appropriate. Additionally, Earl dropped me an email soliciting my thoughts as a canonist and inviting me to respond.
Truth be told, I really don't know what canon law says about calling a pro-abort "Catholic" politician a CINO. Nor am I all that interested in researching the question, since I really don't care about the answer. I only have so much sympathy to go around, and as long as innocent children in the womb are being brutally dismembered limb-by-limb, I'm not gonna waste a drop of sympathy on some panty-waist pro-abort who claims to share the same faith as I do. Guess what? You don't.
So if pro-abort "Catholic" politicians find the CINO designation offensive, I don't care. Why? Because try as I might, everytime I get past my outrage at their abuse of the name Catholic, the horror of abortion stops me before I can give the CINO debate any serious thought. In short, every pro-abort Catholic politician is, in my opinion, an offense that should be met with excommunication or public refusal of Holy Communion.
So rather than cry over a few lost votes, pro-abort "Catholic" politicians should sit down, shut-up and thank God their mother didn't similarly dissent from Catholic moral teaching.
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.