"Kerry's Catholicism: Checked at the door". (USA Today June 2, 2004). A good editorial by James P. Gannon, a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal and the former editor of The Des Moines Register. Here are a few choice quotes:
". . . Given his beliefs and his voting record, I wish John Kerry professed another religious faith or none at all. I would rather have an agnostic or an atheist in the White House than a person who proclaims himself a Catholic but tosses overboard those parts of Catholic doctrine that are politically inconvenient.
The liberal Massachusetts senator has consistently disregarded the church's teaching on the sacredness of human life by voting against any restriction on abortion, even the termination of a nearly completed pregnancy known as partial-birth abortion. He not only has voted to support abortion rights at every opportunity, but he also has proudly proclaimed his stance in speeches to Democratic pro-choice groups such as NARAL. Kerry is not in the least way embarrassed by his pro-abortion stance. I am, and I believe many Catholics are, too."
"Kerry's rise to the pinnacle of American politics, with his well-advertised Catholic label, raises the stakes in this struggle for the hearts and minds of Catholic voters. Can American bishops ignore the fact that his voting record on basic moral issues defies church teaching? Can Catholics who embrace the church's teaching accept as our leader a man who so easily abandons Catholic beliefs? Kerry is carrying our flag, but he is dragging it on the ground."
"Kerry rationalizes his position on abortion with the well-worn excuse used for years by Catholic politicians who find their faith's teaching inconvenient. He professes to be personally opposed to abortion as an article of faith but says it is not appropriate for a member of Congress to legislate personal religious beliefs. This position is tired and intellectually dishonest. . . . "
"As a Catholic who takes the church's positions on abortion and same-sex marriage seriously, I wonder how Kerry can toss aside these "personal beliefs" so easily. Kerry seems to wear his Catholicism like a sports coat that he puts on for Sunday Mass but takes off when going to work. I don't trust a man whose supposedly deep inner convictions can be checked in the cloakroom of the Senate chamber, or cast aside at the door of the Oval Office."
Here's one American voter who gets it where so many bishops and clergy don't. Congratulations to a mainstream newspaper like USA Today for giving him the opportunity to share his thoughts.
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.