Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources

Friday, October 22, 2004

Catholics Publish "An Open Letter to John Kerry" 

Posted by Christopher Blosser at 1:21 AM

The last few weeks before election day, more and more faithful Catholics from all walks of life -- clergy and laity -- are voicing their discontent with Senator Kerry's blatant misrepresentation and mockery of the Catholic faith.

My colleague Earl E. Appleby has drawn attention to Bishop Paul S. Loverde's correction of Kerry's claim that the Church's opposition to abortion is an "article of faith" that cannot be legislated. In so doing, Bishop Loverde joins a growing list of bishops who -- like the biblical prophets of old -- are speaking truth to political power and condemning the slaughter of innocents.

This past Tuesday, another impressive list of academics, legislators -- even a retired U.S. Army major general -- joined together to sign an An Open Letter From Fellow Catholics To John Kerry On Faith & Reason, addressing the moral incohrence of the Senator's "pro-choice" allegiance:

Innocent human life must always be protected. Senator John Kerry, you have said that "life begins at conception," but you have persistently supported abortion and oppose all sensible restrictions on the practice.

You have voted six times against banning the barbaric practice of partial birth abortion. You voted to spend taxpayers' dollars to fund abortion at least 25 times.

You opposed Laci and Conner's Law, which protects pregnant women and their unborn babies from violent crimes.

In the most recent debate Senator Kerry, you said, "everything you do in public life has to be guided by your faith" and that "everything is a gift from the Almighty." But apparently, when it comes to the issue of the right to life, you follow neither your own faith nor your own reason.

Senator Kerry, your stand contradicts both your faith and reason.

What is troubling to me is that the complete irrationality of John Kerry's support of abortion should be obvious to anybody with a little bit of common sense. You don't need a philosophy degree to realize that there's something more than a little wrong with a politician who recognizes that human life begins at conception but defends with every breath the "right" to murder that life. Who claims to be "personally opposed" to abortion but proudly claims militant defenders of abortion as allies. Who claims to have a "respect" for the Catholic faith but denigrates Christian opposition to abortion as a "rigid ideology". Who claims to "fight for equality and justice" but is all too willing to exclude the weakest among us.

* * *

In "Kerry and Abortion: A Look at Stark Reality Without Distractions" -- a response to Professor Cathleen Kaveny's diatribe against "Rambo Catholics" (and worth reading in full) -- Greg Sisk conveys what is on the mind of many a Catholic:

The plain fact is that John Kerry is not a "pro-choice" politician. Much worse, John Kerry is the candidate of the abortion industry itself.

It is for these reasons, principled reasons far beyond those flowing from ordinary partisan politics, that I and so many others genuinely tremble at the prospect of a President Kerry. It is difficult even to contemplate the appalling spectacle of a professing Catholic who knowingly and freely and energetically gives financial and legal aid and moral comfort to those who daily add to our national holocaust. Watching the most powerful man in the country throwing his arms in a warm embrace around those who kill unborn children, while banishing from government and judicial office those who would promote life, would be heart-rendingly painful. That this same man then could claim communion with the Church of Life is astounding. Such unavoidably would be an act of fundamental dishonesty and contempt for the Church's witness to life. The scandal that would be caused to the faithful and the injury to the Church's credibility and voice on issues of life might reverberate for years.

In words expressed by many other bishops as well, although not targeted at Kerry in particular, Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark has explained that "Catholics who publicly dissent from the Church's teaching on the right to life of all unborn" have thereby chosen to separate themselves from the Church and "in a significant way from the Catholic community." He asked that such people should "honestly admit in the public forum that they are not in full union with the Church," and that any attempt by such a person to "express 'communion' with Christ and His Church by the reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist is objectively dishonest." To emphasize the fuller meaning and the powerful meaning of communion is not bullying; it is a matter of simple integrity.

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
Catholic Analysis

Earl E. Appleby of
Times Against Humanity

Jeff Miller of
The Curt Jester

Ad Limina Apostolorum

Christopher Blosser of
Against The Grain

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Kerry's Critics


Ad Limina Apostolorum
The Black Republican
The Blog From The Core
Catholics for Bush [Blog]
Catholic Light
Defensor Fidei (Jimmy Akin)
Domenico Bettinelli, Jr.
The Galvin Opinion
Just Being Frank
Laudem Gloriae
Let's Try Freedom
Mark Shea
[The Meandering Mind of a Seminarian]
The Mighty Barrister
Open Book
Thrown Back
TriCoastal Commission


Catholics Against Kerry
De Fide
Kerry Wrong For Catholics
Priests For Life

News Resources

Google News
Mallon's Media Watch
New York Times
Yahoo News

Kerry Communion Watch @

The Candidates on Abortion: Where do they stand?




National Catholic Reporter
National Catholic Register
The Hill
Crisis Magazine
National Review
Weekly Standard

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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