Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources


Thursday, June 10, 2004

Bishop Sheridan's (implicit) response to McCarrick 

Posted by Christopher Blosser at 12:08 AM

The full text of Bishop Sheridan's letter of clarification countering further misinterpretation and misrepresentation by the press can be found here. (Thanks to Episcopal Spine Alert for the link).

Bishop Sheridan concludes his letter by responding to two pertinent and persistent questions posed by the press and those who disagree with him: "Won't your letter be the cause of some people leaving the Church?" and "Should the Eucharist be used as a weapon to force certain behaviors or punish others?"

In response to the first, Bishop Sheridan replies:

The truth of God can be divisive. Jesus foretold this. Truth is especially divisive when it challenges opinions that we hold dear. Jesus wanted his followers to accept His truth rather than their own opinions. Some did and some did not. But Jesus never stopped teaching the truth. And the Church will never stop teaching the truth.
In response to the allegation that the Eucharist is being "used as a weapon", he responds:
In hearing [this] from some Catholics I learned that there is a certain way of thinking that suggests that the Eucharist has little or no relationship to the way we live our lives in the world. It seemed beyond comprehension to them that anything should ever separate them from the Eucharist. This way of thinking comes as no surprise if we simply take note of the fact that everyone receives Holy Communion on Sunday and almost no one goes to confession.

Turning to Sacred Scripture once again, we recall St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians in which the apostle expresses his concern that some in the Corinthian community were receiving the Eucharist unworthily. He had heard of behavior in the community that was so contrary to Christian teaching that he told the Corinthians to examine their consciences well. He did not hesitate to write that "whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup unworthily sins against the body and blood of the Lord" (1 Cor. 11:27). The Church has always held that a Catholic must approach Holy Communion in the state of grace. Anything less is a sacrilege.

This, of course, is where the disagreement occurs. Some people have written to me and said that nothing or no one outside of themselves can determine the moral significance of their actions. They alone would decide what is right and what is wrong. This stance, claimed as Catholic, ignores Jesus' constitution of His Church and the Church's teaching authority. Jesus said to Peter: "I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:19). Again, as Catholics we live under a divinely established law. It is this law that must guide our every action.

Sheridan's stance on this issue runs counter not only to that of Senator Kerry but Cardinal McCarrick as well. Indeed, his rejection of the notion that the Eucharist is being used as a "weapon" in this matter seems to me a direct challenge to McCarrick's protests that he is "uncomfortable" using the Eucharist as a "sanction."

Let's hope that the Cardinal and the Bishop will have the opportunity to speak with each other during the conference later this month.


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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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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