Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Silence of the Shepherds Imperils Innocent Lambs 

Posted by Earl at 1:36 AM

As posted by my fellow resident pundit Barbara Kralis on Fidelis . . .

Will the silence of most U.S. Catholic bishops help elect a Presidential candidate who promotes procured abortion and supports same-sex marriage?

The Democrat Presidential candidate, John Kerry, proclaimed recently to all Americans that he is a "faithful Catholic" in good standing, yet promised that if elected:

I will not overturn Roe v Wade; I will not appoint judges hostile to "choice;" I will allow poor women to have free abortions; I will never outlaw abortion; I will increase American taxpayer's dollars on population control efforts around the world."[1]
In other words, this pro-abortion legislator has set himself outside of the Catholic faith and has incurred, according to Canon Law n. 1398, a common excommunication, latae sententiae, a censure incurred by the very fact of committing a crime.

Yet, ironically, a majority of U.S. Catholic Bishops is unwilling to discipline legislators who support procured abortion by banning them from the sacrilegious reception of the Eucharist in most of the nation's Catholic dioceses. The sixty-million U.S. Catholic laity is scandalized and confused by the refusal of most bishops to dutifully govern and correct.

The world media are reporting with amusement the reactions of individual bishops.

Currently, two archbishops and 10 bishops have stated publicly they would obey the Church's Divine Law and deny the Sacrament of the Eucharist to legislators who support procured abortion.[2]

The rest of the 365 U.S. bishops, 46 archbishops, and 12 cardinals, including the remaining 184 of the 196 diocesan bishop heads, have made no such statement.[3] In fact, many bishops have spoken wrongly against the denial of Holy Communion to anyone, at anytime, for any reason.

Is the silence of this majority of Bishops sending a loud, clear message to all Americans that being pro-abortion is not a grave offense against God?

The Code of Canon Law n. 1369 instructs all Bishops:
A person is to be punished with a just penalty who gravely harms public morals.
Who could refute the fact that for years Senator Kerry, Senator Kennedy and over 500 pro-abortion U.S. "Catholic" politicians have participated in abortion by writing, endorsing, encouraging, and passing pro abortion and pro sodomite legislation? Canon Law n. 915 specifically prohibits persons receiving the Eucharist who obstinately persist in their grave manifest sins. This is a no-brainer.

In fact, Senator Kerry's pro-abortion record is so strong that he is the first presidential candidate--including Clinton and Gore--to be endorsed by the evil Planned Parenthood abortion group.

Senator Kerry supports human cloning, favors the creation and destruction of human embryos for research, and has voted repeatedly against a federal ban on "partial birth abortion."

In an interview Kerry gave the Dubuque, IA, Telegraph Herald, as cited in a secondary report by the Washington Post,
I can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist . . . who doesn't share it. We have separation of church and state in the United States of America.
Does not the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's note Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life carry any authority with American bishops and clergy? It declared:
Lawmaking bodies have a grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that attacks human life.[4]
Why, as recently revealed by Catholic World News, have three of the twelve prominent members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Review Board flagrantly and traitorously disobeyed Church teachings and financially supported pro-abortion Kerry's presidential campaign?[5]

Kerry travels throughout the United States in his presidential bid. This pro-abortion, heretical "Catholic" legislator receives sacrilegious Holy Communions wherever and whenever he attends the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Why?

Each Sunday, pro-abortion Senator Kerry enters a different parish, approaches the altar, receiving the Eucharist while obstinately refusing to obey the Church's clearly defined laws against his unlawful reception of Communion. Every parish receives advance notice of Kerry's clamorous arrival, yet, in parish after parish, both Ministers of Holy Communion (pastors, priests, deacons) and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (laymen) willfully give Kerry sacrilegious Communions.

The Catechism teaches that all clergy who administer the Sacrament of the Eucharist to manifest, obstinate, persistent sinners also participate in this grave cardinal sin of sacrilege (CCC, n.1755). Is it not clear they must deny these pro-abortion politicians the Eucharist?

In fact, Canon Law n. 915 places the responsibility on the minister--'ne admittantur'--who, in the opinion of some canonists, could be punished themselves according to Canon Law n. 1389 §2, should he unlawfully administer the sacrament with the consequent danger of scandal for the rest of the faithful. Canon Law n. 1339 prescribes the possibility of punishing any person who causes grave scandal by any violation of a divine or ecclesiastical law.

Some have suggested that the silence of most of the bishops is because U.S. clergy overwhelmingly vote as Democrats and do not want to offend their leaders. A recent poll suggested this was the case, at least, in the diocese of Chicago.

According to an exclusive Illinois Leader analysis[6] of the voting habits of the Chicago Archdiocese's voting Catholic priests, more than 75% of them sided with the Democrats in the March 2002 primary election. Consequently, many U.S. Catholics are receiving a message from many bishops and priests, however subtle, that the Church wishes them to vote for the Democrat Party, the official abortion party in America Is this why many of our pulpits are silent on the infallible Church teachings regarding morals and faith, teachings that definitely offend Democrats?

Could another reason be that U.S. bishops fear losing money donated in weekly offertory collections? Do some bishops fear offending powerful Democrat parishioners?

Dear Bishops, you are the leaders and shepherds of our church. We stand beside you in deepest prayer and respect. Please stop this scandal and sacrilege of the Eucharist, we pray!

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 Renew America.

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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