Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Archbishop McCarrick Responds -- so now what? 

Posted by Christopher Blosser at 12:13 AM

Cardinal McCarrick responds -- implicitly -- to ALL's ad campaign in a recent column for the diocese newspaper ("If the world loves you" Catholic Standard May 13, 2004):
There is a saying that has its roots in the 10th chapter of St. John's Gospel. It reminds us that we should not look for the love of the world, but strive only to find God's will and do it with all our hearts. There is a good chance that if we are never criticized by others, we have missed the mark of being faithful to the teachings of the Gospel. If the world loves you, you are probably always saying what the world wants to hear.

In light of that simple but very profound truth, I hope you were not upset at the criticism of your archbishop in an advertisement that has appeared in some places lately. I appreciate the zeal of those folks who are critical, but I do not agree with them, and during my recent Ad Limina visit to Rome, it was clear that so many of the highest authorities in the Church are in agreement with my position. . . .

I'd be curious which of the "highest authorities" he is referring to at the Vatican?
The disagreement that I have with the folks who are annoyed at me is that I disagree that in this instance we should use denial of the Eucharist as a public sanction. As a priest and bishop, I do not favor a confrontation at the altar rail with the Sacred Body of the Lord Jesus in my hand. There are apparently those who would welcome such a conflict, for good reasons, I am sure, or for political ones, but I would not. . . .

He does adopt something of a stance on the issue, which is to say reiterating the Catholic teaching on the Eucharist and placing the burden of responsibility on the individual Catholic to "informing his consciences" and determine whether he is worthy of reception:
I am asking the Catholic Standard to reprint the statement about the worthy reception of the Eucharist which appears in the missalettes and which was authorized by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Basically, it places on the individual Catholic the need to make a judgment as to whether he or she can properly come to receive Communion. One must not be conscious of any serious sin that has not been absolved in the sacrament of Penance. One must be striving to live as a good Catholic, keeping the commandments of God and of the Church, especially those two great commandments to love God and neighbor. This would exclude from Communion anyone who would hate his neighbor or harm his neighbor, in particular when that neighbor is a little unborn baby in its mother's womb. This doctrine by which the Church places a particular personal responsibility concerning the decision to approach the altar on each individual, protects the holiness of the Eucharist and challenges its children to holiness as well. It places the decision to approach the altar on the informed conscience of the individual Catholic - informed by the truth of our teachings - and, therefore, each one of us must not presume to approach Holy Communion if we are not, in our informed conscience, already with the Lord and in communion with the teachings of His Church.

This is what the Church teaches and, as your bishop and your servant and your friend, this is what I teach, too. Thinking of you, as I come back home to Washington, I pray that each one of us will never approach this most holy sacrament of the Eucharist without the necessary disposition to receive its awesome grace.

Relatively strong words coming from McCarrick -- but I have the distinct feeling that it's not the response Judy Brown and American Life League were hoping to provoke by their ad campaign.

And here is the question that's been asked countless times already: what do you do when a pro-abortion Catholic politician reads a warning such as McCarrick penned, shrugs, and continues to recieve communion while actively promoting and campaigning for abortion, in open defiance of the Church? Catholic politicians who, by this time and after all that has been written, are fully aware that they are acting contrary to the explicit teachings of their Church?

What is the next step?

Further reaction and discussion around St. Blog's Parish

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

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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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