Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources


Friday, June 18, 2004

U.S. Bishops Call for No Honors or Platform for Pro-Abortion Politicians 

Posted by Oswald at 9:57 PM

In a statement issued today entitled "Catholics in Political Life" (June 18, 2004), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called for Catholic institutions to refuse honors or a platform for pro-abortion politicians, whether Catholic or non-Catholic:

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 which would suggest support for their actions.

Source: U.S.C.C.B. Website.

This means that we should not see John Kerry holding campaign events at Catholic schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, or soup kitchens. Kerry will have to limit his photo opportunities with Catholic symbols to his entering and exiting Catholic churches for Mass.

On the issue of denying Communion, the Conference recognizes that the decision is in the hands of individual bishops:

The question has been raised as to whether the denial of Holy Communion to some Catholics in political life is necessary because of their public support for abortion on demand. Given the wide range of circumstances involved in arriving at a prudential judgment on a matter of this seriousness, we recognize that such decisions rest with the individual bishop in accord with the established canonical and pastoral principles. Bishops can legitimately make different judgments on the most prudent course of pastoral action.

Source: U.S.C.C.B. link above.

This stand is not a concession. The Conference cannot bind the hands of any bishop in this matter. St. Louis Archbishop Burke and other brave bishops are completely free to deny the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians. Obviously, Cardinal Ratzinger, in his letter to U.S. bishops, must have upheld the power of bishops to deny the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians. Hopefully, this green light from the Vatican will mean that more bishops will play the man and defend the Sacrament. To repeat, the Vatican has given the green light to bishops who think it is necessary to deny the Eucharist to politicians like Kerry.

The conference statement also shows that the view apparently held by some that Catholic teaching requires leaving the decision on whether to receive the Eucharist solely to the individual communicant's conscience is wrong.

This statement is a victory for those who see the need to deny the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians like Kerry. It is a victory because for decades the status quo has been that these politicians can receive Communion with impunity. This statement recognizes that the status quo is changing. And that is a victory for the right to life.

Postscript: The Archdiocese of New York sponsors the Al Smith Dinner as a fundraiser which is a big media event with speeches by the presidential candidates. If, as the bishops' statement says, the Catholic community should not provide a platform for pro-abortion politicians, then Kerry should not be allowed to address the gathering. Let's see what transpires. See this N.Y. Times editorial from May 10, 2004, already bemoaning the fact that Kerry may not be allowed to speak at the dinner.


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
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Jeff Miller of
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Jamie
Ad Limina Apostolorum

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News Resources

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Kerry Communion Watch @ Beliefnet.com

The Candidates on Abortion: Where do they stand?

Documentation

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Periodicals

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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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