But there is also the matter of canon 915, which expressly provides: "Those ... who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion." And see again the Vatican's official interpretation of that canon - it refers to objectively grave sin, not (only) to those subjectively guilty of grave sin (i.e., "in mortal sin") because they've not only committed it but also done so with full knowledge and freedom.
However much McCarrick might "disagree" with this canon, it is his duty to the Church and the world to enforce it. This goes double inasmuch as his characterization of "denial of the Eucharist as a public sanction" is somewhat misleading. The point is not merely - or probably even primarily - to realize some sort of retributive justice against those who commit grave sin. The point is also to avoid scandal, scandal that has the effect of further undermining respect for the lives of the unborn.
Furthermore, his concern about "confrontation at the altar rail" is somewhat (I hedge because of ALL's approach - but theirs need not be considered the only possible one) of a "straw-man" argument. As the Vatican interpretation linked above indicates, such "confrontation" need not, indeed should not, be the first step. Yet McCarrick does not even seem willing to take "non-confrontational" first steps. And again, the problems with his argument are doubled when one realizes that the scandal of giving communion to "Catholics" like Kerry (or Schwarzenegger, or ...) might be at least as great as the scandal of a "confrontation" would be.
Giving Communion to these politicians is already a scandal. I doubt if there would be any "confrontation" at the altar rail. These politicians probably would not show up for Communion if they knew they would not be allowed to receive.
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.