Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources


Saturday, May 01, 2004

Liberals frame the issue of denying the Eucharist to pro-abortion Catholic politicians as one of the Church interfering with politics. Of course, the exact opposite is true. This whole matter is an issue of pro-abortion politicians seeking to revise Church teaching and thus interfering with an intimately religious issue: the sacramental discipline and parameters set by a Christian community. First, they contradict Church teaching by being blatantly and uncompromisingly pro-abortion. Second, they proceed to proclaim that they are "devout" and faithful Catholics. Third, they proceed to prove their good standing as Catholics by receiving the Eucharist. The inevitable conclusion from their actions is that being pro-abortion is reconcilable with the Catholic faith. That conclusion is heretical because the Catholic faith proclaims the direct killing of innocent human life as inherently and gravely evil.

But there is an additional heresy involved in the "three-step" dance by which the pro-abortion politicians mock the Catholic faith. That heresy is the notion that there is an unconditional right to receive the Eucharist. Scripture is clear:

Whoever, therefore eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and the blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.

1 Corinthians 11:27-29 (RSV).

Participating in the Eucharist is not unconditional. This teaching was recently reiterated in the just released disciplinary Vatican document on the Eucharist (see Redemptionis Sacramentum, sections 80-86, 91). Canon law provides that Catholics have a right to the assistance of the sacraments, but canon law does not and cannot alter the theological conditions on that participation ("Can. 213 Christ's faithful have the right to be assisted by their Pastors from the spiritual riches of the Church, especially by the word of God and the sacraments." See the 1983 Code of Canon Law at this link.) To give the Eucharist in a situation where those conditions are not met is not "assistance" but rather the condemnation spoken of by St. Paul.

Liberal activists use arguments based on access to the Eucharist to push for the ordination of women and even for erasing the distinction between the ordained and the non-ordained in consecrating the Eucharist. The hypocrisy of this liberal reliance on access to the Eucharist is that the liberals never want to discuss the primary condition under which one can exercise that access: freedom from mortal sin. But, of course, liberals stopped believing in mortal sin a long time ago. Under the liberal version of "fundamental option" theory in moral theology, the rule is simple: "Once a Catholic, always a communicant." It doesn't work that way, and it never will. To the surprise of many in an age of poor catechesis and confusion, merely being Catholic is not enough to allow one to receive the Eucharist. But that is the additional heresy that the pro-abortion politicians and their defenders are pushing, even after being clearly told not to approach the Eucharist.


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

Jamie
Ad Limina Apostolorum

Christopher Blosser of
Against The Grain


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Kerry's Critics

Bloggers

Ad Limina Apostolorum
The Black Republican
The Blog From The Core
Catholics for Bush [Blog]
Catholic Light
Defensor Fidei (Jimmy Akin)
Disputations
Domenico Bettinelli, Jr.
Fidelis
The Galvin Opinion
Just Being Frank
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Let's Try Freedom
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Organizations

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News Resources

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CNN.com
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Kerry Communion Watch @ Beliefnet.com

The Candidates on Abortion: Where do they stand?

Documentation

LifeIssues.Net

Periodicals

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The Hill
Crisis Magazine
National Review
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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. Newsmax.com 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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