Four months after American Catholic Bishops collectively decided that "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," St. Catherine's, the largest Catholic women's college in the U.S., will host a rally for Senator Kerry in their auditorium. According to LifeNews.com:
According to an announcement by the event's organizers, Artists for Kerry will hold a rally at the O'Shaughnessy Auditorium at the College of St. Catherine on Thursday, October 21.
St. Catherine's is run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and is the largest Catholic college for women in the U.S. The event is meant "to inspire and mobilize Minnesotans to Get Out the Vote on November 2 and elect John Kerry President," according to the announcement.
According to the college's website, an appearance by Kerry has not been confirmed, although he is scheduled to be in Minneapolis at the time of the event.
Pro-life organizations are protesting the event, but the school's communications director is claiming they are powerless to do anything about a group "renting their facilities."
Leo LaLonde, president of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, expressed concern over the college's acceptance of the arrangement.
"It is sad irony that the college named for St. Catherine of Alexandria who was beheaded for refusing to renounce her faith, welcomes a man who has renounced his faith by voting repeatedly to continue the practice of abortion; an act that the Catholic Church holds to be a grave moral evil," said LaLonde. "Equally ironic, St. Catherine is the patron saint of lawyers."
Senator Kerry recently spoke with the Denver Post, requesting that Catholics "look at his entire record in public office, and not just his position on abortion rights."
. . . To bolster his case, the Democratic presidential nominee pointed to a recent letter received by the U.S. bishops from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's arbiter of matters of faith and doctrine, who said it is not necessarily sinful for Catholics to consider all aspects of a public official's record, and not just his or her stance on abortion, before casting their votes.
[Kerry] cited a Democratic Senate survey that tallied votes on all the social justice, environmental, anti-abortion and foreign policy issues listed as concerns by America's Catholic bishops. Kerry said he had the best record in the Senate when it came to Catholic issues.
Never mind the fact that the very same memorandum that Kerry cites also contains the following note from Cardinal Ratzinger:
Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. . . . There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
And people wonder why Catholics like Marc Balestrieri are outraged.