Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources


Monday, June 21, 2004

Mixed Reactions to Catholics in Political Life 

Posted by Christopher Blosser at 10:03 PM

One of our members (Oswald) seems most hopeful about the Bishops' statement on communion; however it must be noted other members of "St. Blog's Parish" are not so optimistic:

Domenico Bettenelli, Jr.:

My problem in all of this is that what we have from bishops is a big fat nothing. Everyone can go to Communion, apparently, whatever you may have done, whether you have mortal sin or not, whatever you profess in public. It's just fine. Oh sure, you're not supposed to go, but they're not going to do anything if you do.

What's the point of a prohibition without any enforcement?

Greg Krehbiel:

The bishops had to do two things:
  1. make a clear, unambiguous and quotable statement (so that lazy reporters can faithfully cite the message) that pro-choice Catholics should not take communion; and
  2. clarify the confusing message about the difference in status between the church's long-standing teaching on abortion and the modern spin on the death penalty (to undercut the liberals who want to make a moral equivalence between John Kerry's pro-choice position and, e.g., Justice Scalia's position on the death penalty).

On the first point, the bishops' statement gets a C-. On the second point, it gets an F. It is almost unbelievable how undistinguished and uninspiring ... in short, how average these guys are.

The Mighty Barrister appears satisfied:
This is about what I expected, and not all that bad considering the circumstances. The bishops cannot risk taking a public position that would risk a public splintering of the group. We will see a few more bishops follow Chaput & Sheridan's lead on this. We will see a few bishops take the Mahoney "all are welcome here" approach. Others will take a "the sin is on their heads" approach and ignore the scandal that has developed.

The vast majority, however, will do what they do best -- remain silent, and thereby permit the scandal to grow.

Despite the fact that they ducked the key issue, I am still pleased by the rather strong language in support of life and in rejection of the "private Catholic / public heretic" language popularized by the two JFKs.

My brother, Jamie Blosser, is less than enthused:
. . . In short, it's vague enough, in every aspect, to justify nearly any interpretation. In sentence after sentence, just when you think they're gearing up for a punch ("The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms . . .") they qualify it with an arbitrary phrase which makes any disciplinary response or judgment utterly impossible (". . .which would suggest support for their actions").

One could have wished for something with a little more punch, but I suppose such a wish would have been unrealistic.

I guess that, like Owald, I'm hoping this statement will serve as an impetus for more bishops to follow the examples of Bishop Burke and Archbishop Chaput. We'll see what happens.


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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Bloggers

Ad Limina Apostolorum
The Black Republican
The Blog From The Core
Catholics for Bush [Blog]
Catholic Light
Defensor Fidei (Jimmy Akin)
Disputations
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Fidelis
The Galvin Opinion
Just Being Frank
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Mark Shea
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The Mighty Barrister
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Organizations

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News Resources

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CNN.com
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LifeNews.com
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Kerry Communion Watch @ Beliefnet.com

The Candidates on Abortion: Where do they stand?

Documentation

LifeIssues.Net

Periodicals

National Catholic Reporter
National Catholic Register
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Crisis Magazine
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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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