"As priests ordained to preach the Gospel of justice and peace, it is of grave concern to us when someone seeking the highest office in our land claims to share our faith and ignores the most fundamental injustice our country faces, namely, abortion.
"It causes even greater concern when public officials try to privatize the issue, as if the shedding of blood can ever be simply a matter of "private religious faith." Abortion practitioners are testifying in these very days in court trials about the partial-birth abortion ban. They describe how they crush the heads of babies, and those are the words they use. Those procedures are not "personal, private beliefs." They are publicly available, legal activities, repulsive to most Americans. (Transcripts of the court proceedings can be found at http://www.priestsforlife.org/pba).
"We reach out privately to dialogue with such officials. At the same time, we hold that if they publicly support abortion, they should not try to hide what abortion actually is.
"Thirteen-hundred priests in our association have signed a commitment to preach on abortion as the single most important electoral issue. More are committing to this daily.
"The central issue regarding Senator Kerry is not about Communion, or whether the bishops will allow it. It is about violence against children, and whether public officials will allow it. We challenge Senator Kerry to either renounce his support of legal abortion, or to publicly admit what he's supporting, and what abortion practitioners already testify to under oath: that abortion dismembers and crushes the heads of babies."
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.