Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources


Thursday, July 01, 2004

Will Canon Law Fire a Blank?  

Posted by Earl at 3:34 PM

My Catholic Kerry Watch colleague Jeff Miller helpfully draws our attention to a complaint charging heresy on the part of CINO Senator John Kerry recently filed with the Archdiocese of Boston by canon lawyer Marc Balestrieri, J.C.L., an assistant judge with the tribunal of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

In this regard, the informed observations of Dr. Edward Peters, who has served as a canonical consultant to numerous ecclesiastical officials and institutions, merit our consideration.

"The now-abrogated 1917 Code of Canon Law expressly recognized the right of individual faithful to make formal denunciation of another's delict and to assert a personal right 'to seek satisfaction or to recover damages' for an alleged canonical crime," Dr. Peters observes on his blog, In Light of the Law.
In fact, this right of denunciation was recognized as a duty under natural law when the crime(s) alleged represented a "danger to faith or religion or some other imminent public evil was present."
Unfortunately—if predictably—the matter is far less clear under current canon law, as Dr. Peters details. As he observes in this regard:
It is ironic that just at the time when...a real place for what we might call "private attorney general" actions might have played a role in circumventing episcopal lethargy in responding, say, to clergy sexual abuse cases, the very canon authorizing such actions was dropped from the revised law.
Ironic indeed, as reflected in our headline. Nevertheless, as Dr. Peters concludes:
Whatever else this case does, it recognizes that the faith and conduct of a prominent Catholic is at issue, as is the welfare of the faith community with which he claims communion, to say nothing of the fate of untold third-parties whose very lives are at risk under certain measures strongly endorsed by Sen. John Kerry. Such concerns figure prominently among the issues that Christ charged His Church to watch over, and that makes the Kerry case something canon law speaks to.

...As general knowledge of canon law spreads among the faithful, its ability to respond to a much wider range of questions than, say, clergy personnel matters and annulments, is going to become clear. This is good news. Two millennia of legal and pastoral experience is too much to ignore any longer.
Defenders of the faith owe a debt of gratitude to conscientious canon lawyers like Drs. Balestrieri, Peters, and St. Blogs' own Pete Vere for keeping fellow members of the Body of Christ informed of this critical body of law. No blow for truth is ever struck in vain.


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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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
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The Blog From The Core
Catholics for Bush [Blog]
Catholic Light
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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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Kerry Communion Watch @ Beliefnet.com

The Candidates on Abortion: Where do they stand?

Documentation

LifeIssues.Net

Periodicals

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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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