Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Two Catholic organizations are calling attention to the scandal created by "pro-choice" Catholics this week, and another is educating the public on what it means to "vote Catholic":

  • Catholics Against Kerry is launching a major radio advertising campaign in Pennsylvania this week. Michael V. Pearce, Public Relations coordinator for the group, said in a press release Sunday, "Pennsylvania is a key battleground state, and the fact that one-third of its population is Catholic makes it an essential audience for our message." has the full details, as well as a transcript of the advertisement.
  • Today, American Life League's Crusade for the Defense of Our Catholic Church launches another round of newspaper ads identifying pro-abortion public figures who identify themselves as "Catholic." Rather than confine its criticism to Senator Kerry, the advertisement draws attention to the scandal of Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York Gov. George Pataki, reminding us that "the defense of innocent human life is not a partisan issue." has the details.
  • Today as well, the apologetics organization Catholic Answers is taking out a full-page advertisement, the content of which is derived from their "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics". The Voter's Guide identifies 5 issues involving "non-negotiable" moral principles which Catholics must consider when voting. The guide is nonpartisan and does not identify any politician by name, but simply maintains that Catholics cannot in good conscience vote for candidates who support, endorse, or condone the moral evils of abortion, euthanasia, embroyonic stem-cell research, human cloning and homosexual "marriage." Catholic World News has the details.

    You can read the full text of the voter's guide here; you can order a free print copy for yourself here. Bulk copies are also available for distribution.

    Unfortunately, according to EWTN:

    A parishioner in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis asked archdiocesan officials if he could distribute the "Voter's Guide" on church property. The archdiocese sought guidance from the USCCB, according to William Fallon, the archdiocese's chancellor, and was told they preferred that only the USCCB guide, "Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility", be distributed. "Faithful Citizenship," a document issued by the lay staff of the USCCB, has been criticized even within the Church for placing the paramount issue of abortion on a level playing field with other lesser issues like promoting "social justice" and "global solidarity." Bob Laird, director of the Family Life Office of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, said, "It equates abortion with debt relief. They are not equal." Critics charge that the document has had the effect of minimizing the importance of abortion in Catholic social teaching. The USCCB is also set to release its staff-produced presidential questionnaire which has faced similar charges.

Monday, August 30, 2004

John Courtney Murray and the 'Liberal Catholic' Justification of Abortion 

Posted by Christopher Blosser at 1:07 AM

John Courtney Murray was America's leading Catholic theoligian during Vatican II, and as a peritus [theological advisor] at the council was a great influence on the document "Declaration on Religious Freedom" (Dignitate Humanae).

Murray was also well known for his book We Hold These Truths: Catholic Reflections on the American Proposition, in which he meditated on the compatability of Catholic doctrine with the thought of America's Founding Fathers, particularly with respect to the First Amendment.

In the discussion of the relationship between church and state, he made the Thomistic observation that there existed a necessary distinction between morality and civil law; that the latter is limited in its capacity in cultivating moral character through criminal prohibitions, and that it "it is not the function of civil law to prescribe everything that is morally right and to forbid everything that is morally wrong." As we shall see, he was influential in bringing this line of thought to bear on the issue of contraception.

It comes as no suprise, then, that the thought of John Courtney Murray has recently been marshalled by numerous liberal Catholic politicians to justify a "pro-choice" stance in the current debate over abortion.

Consequently, in spite of the fact that I have little knowledge of Murray beyond my reading of We Hold These Truths or of Catholic political philosophy in general, I would like (with no small amount of trepidation) to present my findings on Murray's thought on contraception and the contemporary Catholic use of John Courtney Murray by "pro-choice Catholics" to support a liberal view of abortion and civil law. . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

National Review: Kerry should "Follow McGreevey's Lead" 

Posted by Christopher Blosser at 9:53 AM

Writing for the National Review, political science professor Paul Kengor suggests that pro-abortion Senator Kerry should follow N.J. Governor McGreevey's lead:

Governor McGreevey is a pro-choice Catholic, in stark opposition to Church teaching. In June, Archbishop John J. Myers of the Newark diocese released a five-page statement titled "A Time for Honesty," in which he wrote that Catholic politicians who support abortion rights should not seek Communion. In response, New Jersey's pro-choice governor said that he would respect the archbishop's request and not seek the Eucharist at Mass. Oddly, McGreevey said he would accept Communion in private (whatever that means) but not in public, even though Myers made no distinction. Still, unlike most pro-choice politicians, he was willing to accept Church authority on an issue the Church understands as a matter of life and death.

McGreevey's response begged the question, or at least should have begged the question, if anyone at The CBS Evening News or the New York Times had cared to ask: Would John Kerry do the same?

Kerry, also a Catholic, is not just passively pro-choice; he is a champion of the cause. At the 2003 NARAL Pro-Choice America Dinner, where he described pro-lifers as "the forces of intolerance," Kerry boasted that his maiden speech as a freshman senator had been in support of Roe v. Wade. On the floor of the U.S. Senate on August 2, 1994, he staked a frightening position: "The right thing to do is to treat abortions as exactly what they are -- a medical procedure that any doctor is free to provide and any pregnant woman free to obtain. Consequently, abortions should not have to be performed in tightly guarded clinics on the edge of town; they should be performed and obtained in the same locations as any other medical procedure.... [A]bortions need to be moved out of the fringes of medicine and into the mainstream of medical practice."

. . . a number of Catholic bishops have suggested or stated that if John Kerry presents himself for Communion in their dioceses, he will be turned away. These include Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis, Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes of New Orleans, and even Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston -- Kerry's home diocese. Bishop Michael J. Sheridan of Colorado Springs went further, issuing a stern pastoral letter saying that Catholics who vote for politicians who advocate legal abortion should be denied Communion.

That brings us full circle to McGreevey. Around the same time as Sheridan's bold letter, Archbishop Myers of Newark released "A Time for Honesty," with which McGreevey complied. This makes one inquire: Could just one person in the national media ask John Kerry if he will follow McGreevey's example? At the very least, it's an interesting question that seems newsworthy — surely, worth a single headline. Please? Someone?

One might add that a good number of our bishops ought to "follow the lead" establishd by Bishop Sheridan, Archbishop Burke, Archbishop Hughes, Archbishop John F. Donahue (Atlanta), Bishop Peter Jugis (Charlotte NC) & Bishop Robert J. Baker (Charleston, SC), emulating their faithful teaching and application of Cardinal Ratzinger's memorandum and canon 915.

How about it?

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Bishops Refute Flawed Theology 

Posted by Earl at 3:14 AM

From the pages of Fidelis, as posted by my fellow resident pundit Barbara Kralis . . .

No other Vatican memorandum has caused as much controversy in recent times as that written by the head of the Vatican's second most important dicastery of the Roman Curia. Moreover, one cardinal and one priest are at the forefront of this controversy, namely, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, DC, and retired sociologist Father Andrew M. Greeley, Ph.D.

  • First Controversy

  • The first controversy, perpetuated by Cardinal McCarrick, took place at the plenary meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which took place June 14–19, 2004, in Denver, CO.

    Knowing well the U.S. bishops' need to correct the scandal of over 500 "Catholic" politicians who promote procured abortion, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, had sent a memorandum in English expressly to the attention of Cardinal McCarrick and Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the USCCB. The directive was to be shared with the bishops as a guideline representing firmly defined Church teaching and law.

    In his memorandum Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion—General Principles, Cardinal Ratzinger said without ambiguity:
    "The minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it" when warning and counsel given the manifest sinner "have not had their effect."[1]
    As chair of the USCCB Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians, Cardinal McCarrick presented the remaining 189 U.S. bishops with his own recommendations regarding Catholic politicians who promote procured abortion. Not unexpectedly, they departed from clearly defined Church teachings and Canon Law. The "Task Force does not advocate the denial of Communion from Catholic politicians or Catholic voters," Cardinal McCarrick proclaimed."[2]

    Unfortunately, Cardinal McCarrick did not share the contents of Cardinal Ratzinger's directive with neither the Bishops Conference nor the committee[3] tasked with composing the ensuing controversial statement, Catholics in Political Life.[4] Because Cardinal McCarrick withheld Vatican directives, the bishops were led to believe that Cardinal Ratzinger was recommending them to take action contrary to Vatican documents and laws,[5] some written by Cardinal Ratzinger himself. Confusion reigned and the bishops remain divided to this day.

  • Second Controversy

  • Fr. Andrew Greeley perpetuated the second controversy regarding the same memorandum from Cardinal Ratzinger.

    None would dispute that Fr. Greeley is the "Catholic" darling of the secular media. Whenever the major news marketers require an interview on Catholic issues, they invariably call on the ubiquitous Fr. Greeley. Author of numerous nigh on pornographic novels, Fr. Greeley is under the authority of Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago. It is not known if Cardinal George has imposed any disciplines upon the aging hippy, Fr. Greeley, whose behavior is inconsistent with the ordained priesthood.

    True to form, in the August 10, 2004 issue of the New York Daily News, Fr. Greeley crafted a column that disparaged faithful bishops under the deceitful headline "Catholics can vote for Kerry." In his column, Fr. Greeley dishonestly states that His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that Catholics could vote for Presidential candidate John Kerry who promotes procured abortion.

    Fr. Greeley was fraudulently referring to the Cardinal Ratzinger memorandum. A scandalous excerpt from Fr. Greeley's column reads as follows:
    It is as close to an official statement on the subject as one is likely to get. It says that Catholics are not obliged to vote on one issue, no matter how important the issue might be. They may vote for Kerry "for other reasons" so long as they are not supporting him merely for his pro-choice stance. That ought to settle the matter. Catholics who have been confused by the insistence of a few bishops, some priests and some pro-life laity that they must vote against Kerry now know that they are free to make their choice balancing all issues—just as they always have been. The theory of "indirect material cooperation" is traditional Catholic moral teaching. Apparently, the few bishops who threaten to exclude Catholics from Communion if they vote for Kerry don't know much traditional moral theology, which shows what the qualifications are for the bishopric these days.
    That disparaging excerpt is malicious, but not surprising coming from a priest who makes a living writing steamy, enticing novels that are either an "occasion of sin" or "blatantly sinful to read."

  • Bishops Refute Fr. Greeley's Theology

  • According to three U.S. bishops, Fr. Greeley has distorted the words of Cardinal Ratzinger. The bishops—Bishop Robert Francis Vasa, M.Div., J.C.L., Baker, OR; Bishop Michael J. Sheridan, Colorado Springs, CO; and Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, D.D., S.T.D., Lincoln, NE—have granted this writer exclusive statements that strongly disagree with Fr. Greeley. The bishops were asked if they agreed with Fr. Greeley's assessment of Cardinal Ratzinger's statement. Their responses follow:
    • Bishop Robert Francis Vasa, M.Div., J.C.L.
    I see little sense in entering into a debate about the theological merits of Fr. Andrew Greeley's statement in the New York Daily News article of August 10, 2004. I do believe his interpretation of Cardinal Ratzinger's June statement is erroneous.

    While it is an interesting intellectual exercise to debate whether Catholics, under certain very limited circumstances, may or may not vote for candidates who favor procured abortion, the more important practical question is whether practicing Catholics should, in fact, vote for a candidate who openly, consistently and even aggressively defends the killing of preborn children when there are pro-life alternatives.

    Whether a Catholic may or may not vote for a candidate who favors procured abortion, when there are pro-life alternatives available, can be debated. Whether he should or should not, in my mind, is very clear. Preborn human life in our country is under consistent and vicious attack and those lives must be defended. As I have said elsewhere, these little ones have no vote but mine and I will use it for them at every opportunity.
    • Bishop Michael J. Sheridan
    It is my opinion that Fr. Andrew Greeley's reading of Cardinal Ratzinger's memorandum is very incorrect. Nowhere does Fr. Greeley even attempt to deal with the qualifying phrase " the presence of proportionate reasons."

    I would ask Fr. Greeley to provide those reasons that could even begin to justify voting for an avowedly pro-abortion candidate. Put another way, how do we balance out the murder of more than one million babies each year with any good or series of goods?

    Also, if Fr. Greeley's reading of the memo is correct, we would have to throw out other magisterial teachings, for example, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's own statement Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life.[6]
    • Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, D.D., S.T.D.
    Bishop Bruskewitz conveyed his response through his Vicar General, Msgr. Timothy J. Thorburn, J.C.L.
    No Catholics of any sense will take any pastoral advice from Fr. Andrew Greeley, a superficial writer who appears to spend his time promoting himself to various elements in the secular media.

    It is often said by priests and people in his native region of Chicago that he long ago published all his thoughts, and in the last decades has been publishing his fantasies.

    In his article in the New York Daily News, fostering a pro-abortion vote ("so long as it is not merely for that..."), he seems to strongly indicate not only a tragic indifference to abortion, which the Second Vatican Council called "an abominable crime," but a shallowness of mind akin to a harlequin.

    In his self-important buffoonery, he has appointed himself as instructor to bishops and to Catholics nationwide. In doing this, he merely announces to every thoughtful Catholic that his views are totally self serving and undeserving of any serious consideration.

    Fr. Greeley even appointed himself to be an interpreter and spokesman for Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, to the great amusement of all who really know the Cardinal.

    My advice to any Catholics who would ask me about that Greeley article would be to give it the same view as you would the words and acts of a clown.
    Labra lege! Catholics cannot follow Fr. Greeley's bad advice and vote for John Kerry.

    If you would like to express your gratitude to these courageous bishops, contact them as follows:
    Editor's Note: I urge you to do so!

    Friday, August 20, 2004

    Not a whole lot to report on Kerry right now, hence the lack of blogging on my part --'s keeping tabs on his latest round of media-fueled appearances at local parishes. My thanks as well to Earl for his analysis of the USCCB's "2004 Presidential Questionnaire" and to Jeff for exposing the fawning coverage of the media.

    In the meantime, according to

    Deal Hudson, publisher of the acclaimed U.S. Catholic magazine Crisis and since 2000 the advisor to President George W. Bush on Catholics, has resigned his post as presidential advisor. The move came in anticipation of a smear campaign on Hudson in a just released article by the National Catholic Reporter (NCR), a weekly publication that features prominent dissidents in the Catholic Church in America.
    Since it's only tangentially-related to Kerry, I've reserved my response to my own blog -- suffice to say I believe the liberal Reporter's taking revenge for Hudson's outing of Ono Ekeh as a vocal supporter of Catholics for Kerry (and for that reason, a liability as an employee of the USCCB); moreover, they have effectively removed him as a voice of Catholic influence on the Bush administration, striking a blow for "progressive Catholics" in the culture wars. Keep Mr. Hudson, his family and all involved in your prayers.

    Readers may be interested in this article from Christianity Today on "Pro-Abortion Madness" by Ted Olson, offering a good round-up of news and recent gains made by pro-lifers:

    For Kerry, the basis for keeping abortion legal isn't based in science but in the "separation of church and state." The change of rationale could be great news. It's no Herculean task to explain why banning abortion doesn't establish a government religion.

    But abortion advocates aren't rallying to Kerry's view of conception, so they're not arguing church-state separation, either. In summary, they have lost ground on science, emotional appeals, constitutional law . . . What's left?


    And another of our co-editers here at CKW (Oswald Sobrino) reviews the book Unfit For Command that's been making headlines recently, and sees a pattern of behavior in Kerry's actions:
    From a specifically Catholic perspective, there is also a strong religious parallel with the book's portrayal of Kerry's assiduous pursuit of medals while at the same time voicing anti-war opinions in Vietnam. Many of us Catholics are as deeply offended, as these veterans are about Vietnam, by Kerry's public displays of receiving the Eucharist even though he rejects Catholic teaching on abortion and on embryonic stem cell research. Kerry also refuses to support a federal amendment to protect marriage, even though the highest court in his own state is radically changing the legal landscape by embracing gay marriage. At the same time that Kerry takes anti-Catholic stands, he is, strangely enough, eager to be seen as a devout Catholic communicant.

    This pursuit of the badges of Catholic devotion--receiving Communion, publicly making the sign of the cross--while at the same time taking stridently anti-Catholic political positions parallels Kerry's pursuit of military decorations while at the same time attacking the war before, during, and after his Vietnam service . . . What is the common motivation for this strange approach to reality? Political power.

    Tuesday, August 17, 2004

    Debating 'Catholics for Kerry' 

    Posted by Christopher Blosser at 10:45 PM

    Frank, ("Just Being Frank") has brought to my attention his blog, in which he mentions:
    . . . I had the opportunity to have some discussions with some of the good folks at the Yahoo! Group, Catholics for Kerry, whose sister site accuses Bush of being the Anti-Christ. Unfortunately, they banned me from the group because, alas, I am not a Catholic for Kerry. But I had a few revealing conversations with several of the members via e-mail.

    Church teachings forbid any Catholic from voting for politicians that threaten the most basic of natural laws. (Indeed, universal morality forbids any individual from voting for those politicians.) So the first question facing every voter is, which candidates, if any, threaten the most basic of natural laws?

    The Church wisely leaves Catholics to determine the answer to that question. As Colorado Springs Bishop Michael Sheridan wrote, "when Catholics go to the polls to vote, they take their consciences with them". When we vote, we better make sure that our votes are moral.

    I am almost certain that both Ralph Nader and John Kerry threaten the most basic of natural laws and that voting for either is therefore wrong. I am slightly less certain -- but believe nonetheless -- that George W. Bush is the morally best choice for president. In the article linked below, I lay out my case.

    Frank does take some time arguing in defense of the U.S. war on Iraq -- what some readers might consider tangential to a discussion of Kerry and abortion, but is evidently necessary in countering a common tactic of Kerry Catholics: bringing up the war (or capital punishment) as a means of diverting attention from Kerry's abominable record on abortion, or the 'casualty rate' of abortion itself (1.3 million annually).

    However, one needn't agree with the Bush Administration's action on Iraq to find that Frank makes a very compelling case as to why Catholics should not -- indeed, cannot -- vote for Kerry.

    Furthermore, his display of courtesy and charity in engaging the opposition in debate (I use the term loosely, since the other side has a tendency to dodge the issues, and offers little in the way of coherent arguments) is truly commendable and a model for emulation.

    All in all a good read and a welcome addition to our growing list of "Kerry Critics."

    Beliefnet has the lowdown on the media coverage of John Kerry going to Mass here. In one of the articles linked I saw this story from his July 4 visit to the Church of the Resurrection in Dubuque, Iowa.
    The Democratic presidential candidate on Sunday attended mass at the Church of the Resurrection in Dubuque, sat in the fourth pew, donated a crisp $20 bill to the church during collection, and received Communion.

    But several churchgoers separately quizzed Kerry about his legislative support for abortion rights after Mass on Sunday when Kerry was signing autographs and posing for pictures with congregation members.

    "It's hard," Kerry told parishioner Frank Ward, a father of five and an abortion opponent. "It's a difficult line to walk."

    Kerry told another man in the lobby of the church that "I'm against partial birth abortion," even though he voted against banning the procedure six times in the Senate. Kerry said he would have voted for the ban if it included an exception to allow the procedure if it was necessary to protect the health of the mother.

    "They did it for a political reason," Kerry said of Republicans who backed the measure, which passed last fall in the Senate 64-34 with support from several Democrats after years of debate. "They tried to drive home the politics of it."

    It's hard, it's a difficult line to walk? I guess it is difficult to walk when your feet are on both sides of the fence. The protect the life of the mother dodge is totally phony and medically untrue. How is delivering the baby backwards so that you can vacuum the brains out less safe for the mother than delivering the child normally?

    Monday, August 16, 2004

    Authority Does Not Trump Responsibility 

    Posted by Earl at 9:56 PM

    Acre of SpadesWriting on Catholic Online, attorney Michael Gaynor analyzes the deficiencies in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' statement on Catholics in Political Life.

    The authority of each bishop over his diocese, Gaynor rightly reminds us, does not absolve him of the sacred duty to uphold and to apply canon law. Nor we would add to defend the Body and Blood of Christ from sarilegious profanation.

    While we scarcely see the spinally deficient episcopacy as "warlords," we appreciate Gaynor's observation that:

    The Roman Catholic Church is supposed to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic, according to the Nicene Creed. Bishops are not to be independent warlords, doing whatever they want within their territory, because they can. Each bishop must follow canon law, not his personal preference.
    No doubt this includes Canon 915, the most discussed and most neglected in the code. As Archbishop Raymond Burke, St. Louis, MO, affirms:
    Canon 915 must be applied. It does not give an option. Canon 915 says that those persons who obstinately persist in grave manifest sin must be denied the Eucharist. I strongly believe that if a bishop has spoken to someone who obstinately persists in grave manifest sin and he still presents himself for Holy Communion, he should be refused.
    As Gaynor concludes:
    It is for those who dispense Holy Communion to follow the mandate of Canon 915. Bishops who are reluctant to embarrass prominent politicians need to recall that Jesus had no patience for those moneychangers in the Temple. Protecting the sanctity of the Temple was His paramount consideration then. The protection of the Holy Eucharist must be the bishops' paramount consideration today.
    [courtesy of Vivificat!]

    Saturday, August 14, 2004

    The clear choice for non-practicing Catholics 

    Posted by Jeff Miller at 8:43 PM

    Eleanor Clift write in a column that excuses Kerry's new found support of the Iraq war and this being perceived as a flip-flop with:
    "It was classic Kerry, full of subtleties that get lost in translation."

    Full of something, but I thinks not subtleties. Funny what use to be known as being disingenuous is now known as nuance. Eleanor Clift ends by writing about the Catholic vote.
    What moves voters is as much art as science. No candidate has won the popular vote without carrying Roman Catholics, and both Bush and Kerry are wooing the Catholic vote. A recent poll shows Catholics evenly divided, with 40 percent committed to each candidate, and 18 percent undecided -- a high number in this polarized electorate. Bush appealed to the pope when he visited the Vatican earlier this year to encourage the bishops to get more involved in the U.S. election by pushing their opposition to gay marriage. Bush did Kerry a favor by activating the bishops because now everybody knows Kerry is a practicing Catholic, and that's a benefit when one out of four voters is Catholic -- and they're congregated in the battleground states.

    As for Bush doing Kerry a favor, I wouldn't go that far. But prior to the President's visit to the Vatican in June of this year there had already been months and months of news about the Communion debate and the various opinions of the Bishops. With the constant barrage of editorials crying against the separation of church and state and complaining taht the Bishop's were stepping out of line and being political -I wouldn't think that there were many if any Catholics who had not already informed that John Kerry was a Catholic. This view that Catholics would then vote for someone because they were Catholic is also not very credible. Maybe there are some of those creatures left, but they are basically extinct.

    The poll she was referring to must have been the latest one from Gallup that showed that among those Catholics who went to Mass weekly - supported President Bush 52 percent compared to Kerry with 42 percent. For those Catholics who seldom or never went to Church Kerry lead by 57 percent compared to Bush's 39 percent. The overall sample that included both groups Kerry led Bush by 51 percent to a 45 percent margin. This sample of 545 self-described Catholic registered voters must have included more non-practicing Catholics and this is probably accurate that out of the 25 percent of the electorate that identifies itself as Catholic, there are more non-practicing ones.

    Reagan vs. Reagan and The Stem-Cell Cover-Up 

    Posted by Christopher Blosser at 3:50 PM reports that pro-life advocate Michael Reagan has been invited to address the Republican National Convention, in which he will counter the misleading claims of Ron Reagan's speech to the Democratic National Convention, in which he called for federal funding of embroyonic stem-cell research and legalization of human cloning (a position endorsed by Senator Kerry):
    Last month, Ron Reagan told Democratic Party loyalists to "vote for embryonic stem cell research" in a speech that touted the unproven research.

    After President Reagan passed away, advocates of embryonic stem cell research piggybacked their message onto his death, saying that such research could benefit others who suffer from diseases such as Alzheimer's.

    However, Michael Reagan, a board member of the John Douglas French Alzheimer's Foundation in California, said his father would have opposed the research and paying for it with taxpayer funds. He accused the media of making it seem that wasn't the case.

    "The media continues to report that the Reagan 'family' is in favor of [embryonic] stem cell research, when the truth is that two members of the family have been long time foes of this process of manufacturing human beings -- my dad, Ronald Reagan during his lifetime, and I," Michael Reagan wrote in an editorial ("I'm With My Dad on Stem-Cell Research" July 30, 2004).

    "Moreover, using the widely promoted and thoroughly discredited argument that stem cell research can lead to a cure of Alzheimer's disease, the media and proponents of stem cell research have suggested that had the research been done a long time ago, my dad might have avoided the ordeal he endured," Michael Reagan explained. "This is junk science at its worst."

    On a related note, here is an excellent article I discovered today on the stem cell cover-up by Michael Fumento, author of BioEvolution: How Biotechnology Is Changing Our World, in which he discusses the numerous and phenomenal advances in adult stem-cell research and application:

    • More than 30 anticancer uses for stem cells have been tested on humans, with many already in routine therapeutical use.

    • By some accounts, the area in which stem-cell applications are moving fastest is autoimmune disease, in which the body's own protective system turns on itself. Diseases for which stem cells currently are being tested on humans include diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Evans syndrome, rheumatic disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), among many others.

    • Just last February, two different human-autopsy studies demonstrated that stem cells transfused into the marrow work their way into the brain, where they can repair neurons and other vital cells. Other studies have shown that when injected into animals with severed spinal cords, stem cells rush to the injury site effecting repairs. "I think the stem cells may act as a repair squad," says the leader of one of the two studies, Helen Blau of the Stanford University Brain Research Institute. "They travel through the bloodstream, respond to stress, and contribute to brain cells. They clearly repair damage in muscle and other tissues."

      At a conference in late 2002, French researchers reported that during the last 14 years they had performed 69 stem-cell transplants with an 85 percent disease-free survival rate. Since improving their procedure in 1992, all 30 of the last transplants have been successful.

    • Stem cells have been injected into damaged hearts and become functional muscle. This destroyed the dogma that heart muscle cannot be repaired, just as stem-cell research also wrecked the firmly held belief that brain tissue cannot regenerate.

    . . . here's what you may have missed. While the overwhelming majority of favorable media coverage of stem cells concerns those pulled from human embryos, called embryonic stem cells (ESCs), not a single treatment listed above has used that kind of cell.

    Why such gains has been persistently and deliberately neglected in favor of the current ethical controversy over embroyonic stem-cells? -- Mr. Fumento responds:
    . . . here's a huge ESC industry out there, with countless labs packed with innumerable scientists desperately seeking research funds. Private investors avoid them because they don't want to wait perhaps 10 years for commercial products that very well may not materialize and because they're spooked by the ethical concerns. That leaves essentially only Uncle Sam's piggy bank, primarily grants from the National Institutes of Health, to keep these labs open. This, in brief, explains the "stem-cells wars," the perceived overwhelming need grossly to exaggerate petri-dish advances with ESCs, while life-saving new applications of ASCs are downplayed or ignored.
    Read the article, judge for yourself, and let's hope that more citizens will challenge Ron Reagan and Senator Kerry on their endorsement of embryonic stem cell research as a 'cure-all.'

    Friday, August 13, 2004

    No Response, Best Response to Sham Survey 

    Posted by Earl at 9:17 PM

    Bishop Rene GracidaFrom the pages of Times Against Humanity . . .

    The Most Reverend Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, TX, has studied the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' 2004 survey of presidential candidates and has concluded, as have other orthodox Catholic analysts, that it falls considerably short of what is required. His statement should be read and widely disseminated in its entirety:

    I have had the opportunity to review a copy of the 2004 Presidential Questionnaire submitted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to President George Bush and Senator John Kerry. I am disappointed that the Questionnaire is so broad and covers so many issues that are before the American public today that its value in helping to show the differences between the positions of the two candidates on the really important issues will be minimal.

    While certainly there could be and should be a "Catholic" position on most, if not all, of the issues covered by the Questionnaire, from the perspective of the Church's teaching some issues far outweigh others in importance. For instance, there is no moral equivalence between the issue of abortion-on-demand and farm subsidies. The Questionnaire should have been much shorter and should have been limited to questions on those issues on which there is a clear unequivocal teaching of the Church, e.g., abortion, cloning, assisted suicide, embryonic stem-cell research and marriage.

    There is no clear unequivocal position of the Church on such issues as the minimum wage, immigration, farm subsidies, etc. The inclusion of questions in the Questionnaire can only result in confusion in the minds of Catholic voters who do not understand that there is no moral equivalence between these two groups of issues. I can only hope that both presidential candidates will refuse to reply to the Questionnaire, or, if they do reply, that the leadership of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will recognize the danger to Catholic voters and will publish those replies with a clear teaching on the greater importance which should be attached to the replies to the first group of questions I have listed above that have far greater moral implications for the Nation. (Courtesy of Crisis via Thrown Back.)
    Editor's Note: Given the sorry track record of the bishops' bureaucracy and the fact that they engineered this seamless garment cover up in the first place, I would recommend that President Bush not respond to this Sanhedrin-style tribunal, whose implied verdict arises not so much from the answers as from the questions. In sum, this sham survey tells us far more about its creators than its respondents.

    Bishops' Bureaucracy: Selling Short or Selling Out? 

    Posted by Earl at 1:01 AM

    balance scales

    From the pages of Times Against Humanity . . .

    "An issues questionnaire sent to the presidential candidates by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is being criticized as a partisan misrepresentation of Church teachings," Victor Morton reports in Wednesday's Washington Times.

    The survey devotes more than twice as many questions to immigration than to abortion and more than four times as many questions to poverty than to euthanasia or embryonic stem cell research. each of which is relegated by the bishops' bureaucracy to equal footing with federal broadcast licensing requirements.

    The Times' article features cogent observations from two of St. Blog's best: Fr. Rob Johansen (Thrown Back) and Fr. Bryce Sibley (A Saintly Salmagundi):

    "They've basically taken a 'throw-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink' approach to this," said the Rev. Rob Johansen of St. Joseph Catholic Church in St. Joseph, Michigan. "There is no indication that any of these items are of greater or lesser gravity than any other." To put broadcast regulation and human cloning "side by side is absurd."...

    The Rev. Bryce Sibley of Parks, La., said "issues of life" such as abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and euthanasia "have far greater weight" than anything else. "Any economic or social teaching, from both the perspective of common sense and church teaching, will be outweighed."
    But not it seems in the false scales of the bishops' bureaucracy, today's equivalent of the temple's money changers.

    Supplemental Reading:
    • On Thrown Back, Fr. Johansen offers further cogent observations on this bureaucratic betrayal of the Gospel of Life. You'll want to read every word.

    Wednesday, August 11, 2004

    Back With a Vengeance? 

    Posted by Earl at 9:41 PM

    ballto box being kicked from competing cornersFrom the pages of Times Against Humanity . . .

    In the Toronto Globe and Mail, Michael Valpy explores the resurgence of religion in American politics. According to Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life:

    Religion has become a systemic, hard-wired feature of U.S. presidential elections, driven by a new coalition of conservative Roman Catholics and evangelical Protestants and fueled by fear that American culture is being taken over by militant secularism.
    In fact, despite the significant advances of secularism over the past half century, research describes the United States as increasingly alone among advanced industrial democracies as "a deeply religious country."
    The key electoral constituencies of both the Republican and Democratic parties are now the two most highly religious segments of the U.S. public—black Americans on the Democratic side and white evangelical Protestants on the Republican side, together representing more than a quarter of the electorate.
    When we add "conservative, observant Catholics" to the camp of faith-based voters, we approach 40 percent of the American electorate.

    Addressing a conference provocatively entitled "God's Back With a Vengeance: Religion, Pluralism, and the Secular State," Lugo described the emerging alliance between traditional Catholics and evangelical Protestants as "one of the huge stories in U.S. politics...a political realignment of major proportions."
    "The tussle between Kerry and the bishops" takes on huge significance, he said, because conservative Catholics are divided between the two parties and because many of them are concentrated in important swing states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.
    Driven by "a fear that a very militant secularism is driving religion from public life and increasingly besieging faithful believers":
    In overwhelming numbers, Americans approve of politicians talking publicly about their religious beliefs and welcome the presence of religious discourse in public-policy debate...

    Three-quarters of Americans think there's nothing wrong with President George W. Bush saying he relies on his religious beliefs to make decisions. Half of Americans say they would not vote for an atheist. Nearly 60 per cent believe journalists should question politicians about how their religious beliefs might affect their decisions.
    If God indeed is "coming back with a vengeance," let us pray that His people give witness to it next November.

    Supplemental Reading:
    • For the latest on how the Catholic vote is shaping up for the presidential race, read Catholic World News.

    Monday, August 09, 2004

    Senator Kerry dismisses religious convictions as "ideology" 

    Posted by Christopher Blosser at 11:01 PM

    The Washington Post ran a story yesterday on Kerry's push for federal funding of embroyonic stem cell research ("Kerry Takes On Issue of Embryo Research" August 8, 2004), vowing upon election to "stand up for science," and remove the restrictions the Bush administration has placed.
    "Here in America, we don't sacrifice science for ideology," Kerry said in his radio address. "Every day that we wait, more than 3,000 Americans lose their lives to diseases that may someday be treatable because of stem cell research."
    Blogger Conor Dugan ("TriCoastal Commission") responds:
    . . . what really bothers me about this quotation is that Kerry seems to think that science has no moral limits. He thinks that Bush's policy is a mere kowtowing to ideology. But why can't he assume the best? Why can't he read what his own deeply held faith argues is at stake here (these are publicly accessible arguments based on reason by the way)? Why can't he at least assume that Bush made his decision in good faith and that those of us who oppose embryonic stem-cell research do so based on good reasons that are more than mere "ideology"? And, moreover, why can't he admit that he doesn't even believe science should be wholly unregulated and without moral limits? Can't he at least admit that he and Bush both are making their decisions based on a moral analysis? Kerry believes the potential good (and let us admit that there is much good that could come from embryonic stem-cell research) of such research justifies the destruction of innocent human life. I and those who join me in opposing such research do not believe such potential and likely elusive ends (though even if they were guaranteed I would still oppose such research) justify the actual and present destruction of innocent human life. Both positions are harnessing science for a moral purpose.

    And shouldn't the burden be on Kerry to make the case for the intentional destruction of what even he believes to be human life?

    I don't have the statistics on hand, but I would venture a guess that the majority of those who oppose embroyonic stem cell research do so on specifically religious grounds, motivated by a genuine respect for human life, from conception to death, and a belief that life is sacred. If Senator Kerry wants a real discussion on this issue he is going to have to confront the objections of those who oppose it.

    Likewise, if Senator Kerry is truly interested in establishing connnections with those of religious faith (a weakness which the Democratic Party has been trying to alleviate as of late), he could do a lot better than casually dismiss the religious belief of thousands of American citizens as mere "ideology."

    Sunday, August 08, 2004

    Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John
    Kerry (news - web sites), D-Mass., and his wife,
    Teresa Heinz Kerry, leave San Felipe de Neri
    Catholic Church in Albuquerque on Sunday,
    Aug. 8, 2004. (AP Photo/Laura Rauch)

    Saturday, August 07, 2004

    From the pages of Fidelis, as posted by my fellow pundit, Barbara Kralis . . .

    Recently, Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke, D. D., J.C.L., of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, "the new John Fisher for our times,"i granted this writer and Catholic Online an exclusive interview.

    You may remember that on January 8, 2004, Archbishop Burke, then Bishop of the La Crosse, WI, diocese, promulgated a "canonical notification" based on Canon Law 915.ii In other words, Bishop Burke, a doctor of Canon Law,iii imposed sacramental disciplines or regulations concerning the unworthy reception of the Holy Eucharist. He did not need a filibustering Bishops' Task Force on the Doctrinal Note on the Participation of Catholics in Political Life to decide how to admonish manifest, obstinate, persistent sinners. Archbishop Burke knew he must stop the sacrilegious reception of the Eucharist and the scandal to his faithful flock. When the diocesan bishops ignore enforcing Canon Law, they are giving license to all manifest sinners to commit Eucharistic sacrilege and cause grave scandal to the faithful.iv

    Granting this interview while away on vacation, Archbishop Burke very kindly answered six questions. These questions addressed the confusion and misinformation caused by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, DC, and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) President, Bishop Wilton Gregory, during the June 2004 USCCB meeting in Denver, CO. In particular, these six questions were asked Archbishop Burke regarding a memorandum addressed by Cardinal Joseph Ratinger to Cardinal McCarrick, chair of the USCCB's Task Force, and to Bishop Gregory.

    It is well for us to remember that in his memorandum Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion—General Principles, Cardinal Ratzinger said without ambiguity:

    "The minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it"v when warning and counsel given to the manifest sinner "have not had their effect."
    Dear Archbishop Burke, regarding Cardinal Ratzinger's June 2004 memorandum, were the contents of the memo made known to you and the other bishops at the Denver meeting?
    It certainly was not made known to me, and I do not believe it was given to the other bishops. Cardinal McCarrick referred to the memorandum. We were told that, according to Cardinal Ratzinger, the application of the Canon 915 was up to the prudent judgment of each bishop. The text of the memorandum would have been very helpful at the meeting in Denver. Knowing now about the memo, I am disappointed it was not given to us at the meeting of the Bishops' Conference.
    The Bishops' Denver Statement reads, "Bishops can legitimately make different judgments on the most prudent course of pastoral action." Does this mean that one Bishop could deny Senator Kerry Communion and another Bishop can give Kerry Communion and both Bishops are correct?
    No, in fact, Canon 915 must be applied. It does not give an option. Canon 915 says that those persons who obstinately persist in grave manifest sin must be denied the Eucharist. I strongly believe that if a bishop has spoken to someone who obstinately persists in grave manifest sin and he still presents himself for Holy Communion, he should be refused.
    Cardinal McCarrick received a letter dated July 9, 2004, from Cardinal Ratzinger saying:
    The Statement is very much in harmony with the memorandum's general principles, Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion, sent as a fraternal service—to clarify the doctrine of the Church on this specific issue—in order to assist the American Bishops in their related discussion and determinations.
    Is it your understanding that Cardinal Ratzinger agreed that some ministers of Holy Communion should admit John Kerry and that some should not admit him?
    That is not my
    In the Denver Statement, the fifth paragraph read, "Our obligation as bishops at this time is to teach clearly." Can one bishop admit and another bishop not admit? Is this teaching clearly? Is it not a contradiction of Canon 915, for one bishop to refuse John Kerry the Eucharist in one diocese and for another bishop to give John Kerry the Eucharist in another diocese?
    Yes, it would be a source of confusion. I have refused to talk about individual candidates, but when a "Catholic" pro-abortion politician knows the actions he has taken are gravely sinful in a public matter like supporting abortion, the only way to uphold church teaching is to withhold Holy Communion. It is not right for one "minister of Holy Communion" to give the Eucharist and another not.
    Is it your understanding that the Task Force's work is completed? Cardinal Ratzinger's July 9 letter assumed that the Task Force has not decided yet.vii
    I understood from the meeting that the work of the Task Force was not completed and we would be given another report at our November 2004 meeting. I do not know if there will be another vote. Normally there is a vote to accept and not to accept.
    What can you tell us now about the Note Bene statement of Cardinal Ratzinger at the end of his June memorandum? In it, he states that "proportionalism" or voting for "the lesser of two evils" is acceptable. Do you think it is possible to end abortion by always voting for the lesser evil candidate? How would this apply to Pope Paul VI who stated:
    Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good," it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it viii—in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general.ix
    It is clear that the Catholic voter has to be opposed to procured abortion. Anybody who votes for a candidate who supports or favors procured abortion because the candidate favors procured abortion cooperates in evil.x

    A host of considerations enter in the decision to vote for a particular candidate. The voter must be opposed to procured abortion and do everything as a voter to decrease the evil of abortion and eliminate it. If the Catholic voter votes for a candidate who is in favor of procured abortion, while the voter is clearly opposed to it, there must be some serious reason to justify such a vote.

    As Cardinal Ratzinger said, in his June memorandum, such a vote is "remote material cooperation," which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.
    His position is not proportionalism, for the voter remains steadfastly opposed to procured abortion and works to eliminate abortion in society and its protection by the law.
    Thank you very much for granting this interview.
    You are welcome, and please pray for me.
    It is important to note that not only does the canonical discipline Canon 915 include the estimated 500 so-called "Catholic" pro-abortion politicians—Democrat as well as Republican—in the United States, but other manifest, obstinate, persistent sinners.

    A short list would include homosexual couples approaching the Eucharist arm-in-arm or with sodomite, rainbow banners over their shoulders, as well as those divorced and "remarried" without benefit of annulment.xi Also, included would be employees of abortion mills and Planned Parenthood, Mafia figures, drug lords, notorious criminals, couples living openly in fornication or adultery. (This is certainly not an exhaustive list of manifest sinners.)

    Earlier, Archbishop Burke said:
    So serious is the moral obligation to avoid scandal that we are admonished not only not to do wrong but also not to appear to do wrong. When a person acts, he or she must always consider the appearance of the act to be done.xii
    For a bishop or any pastor to exclude someone from Communion is always a source of great sorrow. The sorrow is caused by the care that a pastor naturally has for a soul who rejects the teaching of Christ and His Church.

    What would be profoundly more sorrowful would be the failure of a bishop to call a soul to conversion, the failure to protect the flock from scandal and the failure to safeguard the worthy reception of Communion.xiii

    In late 2002, a Vatican office issued a paper on The Participation of Catholics in Political Life, which quoted Pope John Paul II as saying lawmakers have a "grave and clear obligation to oppose" any law that "attacks human life."

    Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz's Vicar General, Monsignor Timothy J. Thorburn, J.C.L., said it is best to err on the side of reverence of the Eucharist:

    If I had denied Holy Communion to someone who is known to be manifest, persistent, and obstinate in his sin and he later demonstrates that he had, in fact, publicly denied his promotion of, say, abortion, I then would publicly apologize to him.
    If anyone is keeping score—and I am—the tally goes as thus for denying manifest, obstinate, persistent persons in grave sin: Six diocesan heads for denying the Eucharist, 189 diocesan heads against denying. The six good men are: Bishops Burke, St. Louis, MO; Bruskewitz, Lincoln, NE; Robert Vasa, Baker, OR; John Donohue, Atlanta, GA; Robert Baker, Charleston, SC; and Peter Jugis, Charlotte, NC.

    Other bishops have strongly warned manifest sinners, but have refused to declare that they would deny them Communion nor have they taken diocesan wide disciplinary measures. New Jersey bishops Joseph Galante and John Smith have said they would deny Governor James E. McGreevey, but have not promulgated diocesan disciplines against other manifest persons.

    The holy recourse is for each bishop to warn and then counsel the manifest sinners to the healing love of God. Without delay, the bishop should promulgate diocesan discipline until such time as the manifest sinner publicly repents of his evil actions, receives the Sacrament of Penance, makes a firm purpose of amendment, and makes reparation for the harm he has done. God is waiting for their return with a loving Heart.
    Editor's Note: Endnotes may be accessed via the above links. An annotated edition of the above article, which has been slightly revised for Fidelis, can be found on Catholic Online. You may convey your support and encouragement to Archbishop Burke here.

    Thursday, August 05, 2004

    The Stigmatization of 'Democrats for Life' 

    Posted by Christopher Blosser at 11:16 PM

    Irish Elk has a good roundup on Democrats for Life at the Democratic National Convention, and reactions by fellow party-members.

    According to

    despite Democratic Party chairman Terry McAuliffe's promise that a pro-life speaker would be allowed at the convention, the only speaker to oppose abortion, Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin, promoted embryonic stem cell research by introducing Ron Reagan for a speech on an issue pro-life groups oppose.
    On the Kerry/Edwards forum, someone inquires Why Won't DNC link Democrats for Life?, is there no room in the tent?"

    Update: Democrats "Religion Advisor" Resigns 

    Posted by Christopher Blosser at 10:56 PM

    The national Democratic Party's top religion adviser resigned this week after being denounced by religious conservatives for opposing the Pledge of Allegiance.

    The Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson, 56, former pastor of Newtown Christian Church in Scott County, Ky., and an ordained Disciples of Christ minister, stepped down after less than two weeks on the job in the face of withering criticism.

    "The whirlwind was more than I could just about stand. It was amazing," Peterson said Thursday.

    The Catholic League had blasted Peterson, the Democratic National Committee's senior adviser for religious outreach, for signing a friend of the court brief earlier this year urging the U.S. Supreme Court to remove "under God" from the patriotic oath.

    Source: "Top religion adviser to Democrats resigns amid controversy", by Frank Lockwood. Knight-Ridder Newspapers. August 5, 2004.

    Commentary The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

    Perhaps Kerry should consider this handsome devil as a replacement?

    Wednesday, August 04, 2004

    Southern Bishops Unite Against Pro-Abortion Pols 

    Posted by Christopher Blosser at 8:37 PM

    "We also take this opportunity to address all Catholics whose beliefs and conduct do not correspond to the Gospel and to Church teaching. To receive the great gift of God -- the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ -- we must approach Holy Communion free from mortal sin. Those who are conscious of being in a state of grave sin should avail themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to Holy Communion. To partake of the Eucharist is to partake of Christ Himself, and to enter into sacramental communion with our Lord we must all be properly disposed. 

    Because of the influence that Catholics in public life have on the conduct of our daily lives and on the formation of our nation's future, we declare that Catholics serving in public life espousing positions contrary to the teaching of the Church on the sanctity and inviolability of human life, especially those running for or elected to public office are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in any Catholic church within our jurisdictions: the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the Dioceses of Charleston and Charlotte. Only after reconciliation with the Church has occurred, with the knowledge and consent of the local bishop, and public disavowal of former support for procured abortion, will the individual be permitted to approach the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist."

    Source: Joint statement from Bishop Peter Jugis of the diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, who joined John F. Donoghue, the archbishop of Atlanta and Robert J. Baker, bishop of Charleston, South Carolina, in issuing a statement that essentially bars pro-abortion politicians from reception of the Eucharist.

    Related Sources:

    A New Voice Defends An Old Truth 

    Posted by Earl at 9:09 AM

    "Only those whose souls are not stained with 'unconfessed' grave sins or only those who have repented can receive the Eucharist," Albert Greenland reminds us in his guest column on The Galvin Opinion.
    Dropping the Eucharist into an unclean body is something akin to dunking a lamb in motor oil. An unclean temple (soul/body) is not a proper receptacle for the Eucharist. Accordingly to Catholic teaching, to receive the Eucharist while in the state of mortal sin is a "sacrilege"—a grave offense directly against God.
    "The Bishops are right to argue that John Kerry is openly in the state of mortal sin," he continues, because "he openly proclaims without waiver his support for abortion."
    All arguments aside, abortion is murder. The Catholic Church knows the truth that life begins at conception and that that cluster of cells in a woman's womb is very much alive...So where Kerry openly supports abortion, not only does he abet the mortal sin of murder, but he also commits the grave sin of promoting teachings that are anathemical to the beliefs of the Church. This promotion of abortion on the part of Catholic politicians and leaders is sinful really scandalous. So not only should Kerry be refused Communion if he attends Mass (a right all priests have to prevent sacrilege on the part of known mortal sinners), he should also be excommunicated—the punishment for heretics, those Catholics who prominently and vociferously propound anti-Catholic and poisonous ideas to the masses. [emphasis added]
    I'm sure that all of us here at Catholic Kerry Watch join Mr. England—a writer I look forward to reading again—in offering "congratulations to Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis and all others who have the courage to speak out against the evils and evil persons of our time."

    The Mighty Barrister: "Please Answer The Question, Senator Kerry" 

    Posted by Christopher Blosser at 1:35 AM

    The Mighty Barrister on the implications of Peter Jenning's interview with John Kerry:
    . . . What is very clear is that John Kerry has made an ill-informed attempt to "reach out" to the pro-life crowd by using the phrase "life begins at conception." Doing so, he has now painted himself into an extremely tight corner. If Kerry believes what he said, then he is condoning murder, and even the most nimble political feet can't dance around that tacit acknowledgement. If he doesn't believe what he said, then he's an insincere (and very bad) liar.

    Either way, John Kerry has committed a huge error. It remains to be seen whether the press will, well, press him on this topic.

    President Bush's Pro-Life Record - A Recap 

    Posted by Christopher Blosser at 12:28 AM

    Responding to a frequent commentator of CKW's allegation that "[Bush] hasn't done anything substantial to limit or stop abortion in this country.", I took the time over the weekend reviewing Fr. Peter West's compilation of Bush's pro-life record on, as well as the news archives of Tennessee Right To Life and

    Let's recap what Bush has done during his first term to support the pro-life movement, and see if we come to the same conclusions about President Bush's contributions to the pro-life movement . . . READ MORE.

    Tuesday, August 03, 2004

    Kerry and the religion thing 

    Posted by Jeff Miller at 9:49 PM

    Maggie Gallagher has a good column on Kerry and Faith.

    For John Kerry (news - web sites), this religion thing is a problem. On the one hand, he wants to appeal to Dem elites who tend to be (let's face it) more secular than not. On the other hand, he doesn't want to offend the vast majority of voters who consider themselves religious folk, especially black and Hispanic Democrats.

    Unlike George Bush, John Kerry has to straddle not only the difference between his base and the swing vote on religious themes, but a radical difference in taste between key constituents of the Democrat Party.

    A June Time magazine poll, for example, showed just 7 percent of likely voters consider Kerry a man of strong religious faith. At the same time, a third of Kerry voters agreed that Bush's "intense religious views" worried them. How to walk that fine line? Kerry on the stump alternates between references to himself as a man of faith, with pronouncements of his strong faith in that "beautiful line" separating church and state in America. Another strategy? Market segmentation: Kerry's campaign recently began running Spanish-language TV ads in Spanish with "Faith" as a theme.

    I guess this is cultural marketing or perhaps pandering. Bring up faith in front of black and Spanish audiences and leave it behind in front of others.

    Monday, August 02, 2004

    Catholic League questions Kerry's latest choice of religion advisor 

    Posted by Christopher Blosser at 10:52 PM

    Back in June, CKW reported on Kerry's poor choices of Maria Vanderslice (socialist and member of activist organization ACT UP) and Fr. Drinan, S.J. (popularizer of the "personally opposed, BUT . . ." excuse). Now, Donahue of the Catholic League, Senator Kerry has once again selected a religious advisor of questionable background. CNSNews reports:
    Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has replaced his religion adviser with a woman who was one of 32 clergy members to file a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the atheist [PDF] who challenged the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

    According to the Catholic League, Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson's amicus brief on behalf of atheist Michael Newdow "shows infinitely more concern for the sensibilities of atheists like Newdow than it does for the 90 percent of Americans who believe in God." Peterson replaced Mara Vanderslice as director of religious outreach.

    "[Democratic National Committee chairman] Terry McAuliffe says the appointment of Rev. Peterson as the new Senior Advisor for Religious Outreach 'reflects the DNC's commitment to reaching all people of faith,'" said Catholic League President William Donohue.

    But Peterson's background makes one question whether the Democrats have lost their minds, he said.

    Meanwhile, Ms. Peterson inaugerated her service with a post to Kicking Ass, the blog of the Democratic National Committee. Writes Rev. Peterson:
    At the People of Faith Luncheon yesterday here in Boston, joy, hope and excitement were in the air! An extremely diverse crowd delighted in fellowship with each other and the comfort of knowing that the DNC and the Kerry/Edwards ticket take seriously all people of faith and the issues we care about.
    "All issues," it would seem, but . . . oh, wait, let's see now: partial birth abortion, unborn victims of violence, human cloning and embroyonic stem cell research, oh, wait, do these issues count?

    Ms. Petersen continues by sharing with her readers with the politically-charged "A Prayer for People of Faith for John Kerry" -- which really has to be seen to be believed.

    Posts on Kerry's past 'religion advisors':

    "Non-Christians and even Christians can take opposite positions on abortion even when they think rationally, honestly, and with good will. The continuing controversy over abortion shows that it is a truly controversial issue. It is not simple and clear-cut, but complex. Just as the choices for action are often difficult for a woman contemplating abortion, the choices for thought are often difficult for open-minded philosophers."

    "Everything I have said so far is a lie, in fact a dangerous lie."

    Boston College philosopher Peter Kreeft explains why it is not only philosophically unsound, but willfully dishonest, to deny that personhood begins at conception. Article here, Kreeft's homepage here, philosophically unsound and willfully dishonest person here.

    Sunday, August 01, 2004

    A CKW reader sent along a link to this article in Human Events by the Most. Rev. Robert J. Carlson Bishop of Sioux Falls. The article is too good to extract and it will also be published in Monday's "Bishop's Bulletin."

    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. 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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