Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Most St. Bloggers See CINO as Bad Practice--Not Bad Words 

Posted by Earl at 4:15 AM

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.


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Contributing Editors:

Oswald Sobrino of
Catholic Analysis

Earl E. Appleby of
Times Against Humanity

Jeff Miller of
The Curt Jester

Ad Limina Apostolorum

Christopher Blosser of
Against The Grain

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Kerry's Critics


Ad Limina Apostolorum
The Black Republican
The Blog From The Core
Catholics for Bush [Blog]
Catholic Light
Defensor Fidei (Jimmy Akin)
Domenico Bettinelli, Jr.
The Galvin Opinion
Just Being Frank
Laudem Gloriae
Let's Try Freedom
Mark Shea
[The Meandering Mind of a Seminarian]
The Mighty Barrister
Open Book
Thrown Back
TriCoastal Commission


Catholics Against Kerry
De Fide
Kerry Wrong For Catholics
Priests For Life

News Resources

Google News
Mallon's Media Watch
New York Times
Yahoo News

Kerry Communion Watch @

The Candidates on Abortion: Where do they stand?




National Catholic Reporter
National Catholic Register
The Hill
Crisis Magazine
National Review
Weekly Standard

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. 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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