WASHINGTON - Sen. John Kerry ignored a Vatican cardinal's denunciation yesterday of pro-choice Catholics who take Communion and vowed to fight to protect a woman's right to choose.
"We deserve a President who understands that a stronger America is where women's rights are just that - rights, not political weapons to be used by politicians of this nation," Kerry told activists ahead of an abortion-rights march tomorrow in Washington.
Francis Cardinal Arinze rekindled the debate when he told reporters at a Vatican news conference that a Catholic politician who supports abortion rights "is not fit" to receive Communion.
Arinze said "Yes," when asked whether priests should refuse to give Communion to pro-choice politicians. "If the person should not receive it, then it should not be given," Arinze said. "Objectively, the answer is there."
Kerry and fellow Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy both signaled they won't change how they worship as Catholics.
"This is an opinion by one member in the Vatican circle ... but he's not speaking for the Pope. That's a major difference," Kennedy said.
10. If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favour of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications.
When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.
The celebration of the Eucharist, however, cannot be the starting-point for communion; it presupposes that communion already exists, a communion which it seeks to consolidate and bring to perfection. The sacrament is an expression of this bond of communion both in its invisible dimension, which, in Christ and through the working of the Holy Spirit, unites us to the Father and among ourselves, and in its visible dimension, which entails communion in the teaching of the Apostles, in the sacraments and in the Church's hierarchical order. The profound relationship between the invisible and the visible elements of ecclesial communion is constitutive of the Church as the sacrament of salvation.71 Only in this context can there be a legitimate celebration of the Eucharist and true participation in it. Consequently it is an intrinsic requirement of the Eucharist that it should be celebrated in communion, and specifically maintaining the various bonds of that communion intact.
Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Kerry are not in communion with the beliefs of the Church so they should end the lie that they are until such time as they actually believe in some of the most basic tenants of the faith.
This excuse about the Pope not saying it is just posturing. Francis Cardinal Arinze being the Prefect of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, his statement is more than just an opinion of someone working at the Vatican.
Priests at the Paulist Center on Boston's Beacon Hill, where Kerry often worships, have said they won't deny the senator Communion, but didn't immediately comment on the statement from Rome.(source)