Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources

Friday, April 16, 2004

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain! 

Posted by Earl at 10:42 PM

Greg Popcak's satirical "transcript" of yesterday's closed-door consult between Sen. John Kerry and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is beginning to look more and more like a journalistic scoop.

Consider these all too predictible signs from an Associated Press wire story issued today.
"The presumptive Democratic nominee and McCarrick declined to comment after the 45-minute session, with Kerry telling aides that the meeting was "completely personal and private, " according to spokesman David Wade.
Privacy, of course, if we are to believe the improbable case that the outspoken Catholic rebel sought confession or personal spiritual counsel from his Emminence rather than political advantage, but the fact still remains that a public challenge to the teaching authority of Holy Mother Church and a public scandal to her good name demands a public response from the heirs of the Apostles entrusted to safguard the deposit of faith.
Susan Gibbs, a spokeswoman for the Washington archdiocese, said Kerry and McCarrick, who had never met, had "a chance to get to know each other" at a session requested by Kerry. Gibbs said she couldn't say if the work of the task force had come up, but said she "wouldn't expect it to particularly."
Nor, sorry to say, would we. That would be gauche, Susan, wouldn't it and so unpastoral? Indeed, unlike Greg, we're not so sure the A word was even mentioned. Of course, we mean "a" for abortion, not "a" for adultery.
Aides to Kerry said the meeting had been in the works for months, but it came just days after McCarrick, in a national television interview, raised the specter of punishing Catholic politicians who break with the church in supporting abortion rights and stem-cell research.
Two words: damage control.
McCarrick is heading a seven-member task force, created last year by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to study what steps to take against Catholic politicians who vote and support positions at odds with church teachings.

Among the options are denying access to Catholic schools or hospitals that might be venues for campaign events to excommunication, but McCarrick made it clear that he does not favor the latter choice.

"I think there are many of us who would feel that there are certain restrictions that we might put on people, that there are certain sanctions that we may put on people," he told Fox News Sunday. "But I think many of us would not like to use the Eucharist as part of the sanctions."
Denying communion to a scandalously and publicly defiant defender of a particularly vile form of murder is not so much a question of sanctions as in punishment as it is of safeguarding the Body and Blood of Christ from public profanation. Moreover, it is an act of love by the Church towards her prodigal son in that it reminds him of the perilous state of his soul and prevents him from commiting the damnable sin of sacrilege.
The task force was established after the Vatican issued a decree that said Catholic politicians have a duty to uphold the church's "nonnegotiable ethical principles"—specifically mentioning opposition to both legalized abortion and recognition for same-sex couples.
The same two words: damage control.
Gibbs said it would be "several months or even after the election" before the task force makes its recommendations.
We wouldn't want to incovenience Kerry's political ambitons would we? After all, "What doth it profit a man to gain heaven and suffer the loss of the White House?" Besides, we wouldn't want to undercut the seamless-garment inspired scorecard, which will imply that Catholic Kerry is more faithful to the Church's teachings then say "this President," who is a Protestant. Besides, what would be the point of embarrasing the spiritual heir of the Kennedy legacy, surely not the inconvenient fact that:
Kerry says he is personally opposed to abortion, but supports the rights of others to make that choice. He argues that church doctrine allows Catholics the freedom of conscience to choose that stance.
And bishops the freedom to say and do as little as possible about it?

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
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Let's Try Freedom
Mark Shea
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News Resources

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The Candidates on Abortion: Where do they stand?




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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. 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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