Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Catholics in Politics

The American Spectator's Washington Prowler contains this item today about the presumed nominee on the Democratic ticket for President. As a Catholic, I am growing very tired of politicians wanting God out of the public arena, but during elections sprouting up like spring flowers at every church in America, speaking from the pulpit in most of them, and if Catholic, making a big showing at Mass. In this article a Kerry staffer even ADMITS it was a photo-op for pity's sake. Only confirming what the rest of us have suspected and known for years.

So much for Kerry Catholicism. On Sunday, John Kerry showed up for the 10:30 Mass at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church at 10:41 a.m. (The church had roped off two pews for the VIP.) Adding further insult, Kerry arrived noisily, fully outfitted for skiing, not dressed for a religious service. Compounding the insult -- this time to all Catholics in good standings -- Kerry received the sacrament of Holy Eucharist, even though he's not considered to be a Catholic in good standing.

"It was just a media-op," says a Kerry advance staffer. "We set it up with some reporters that we knew were going to be there."

Kerry, who claims to be a practicing Roman Catholic (though lately he's been playing up his partial Jewishness), has consistently voted in support of abortion as both a state politician in Massachusetts and in his time in Washington. He has also spoken in support of euthanasia. He has stated that he disagrees with the Catholic position in both areas.

Under church law, Kerry's very public support of abortion disqualifies him from the sacraments. He is not known to be a regular Mass attendee. In fact, some Roman Catholics in Boston have in the past pressed for the bishops there to excommunicate Kerry for his refusal to accept Catholic doctrine and canon law.

Sen. Tom Daschle is finding himself in a similar position in South Dakota, where the bishop there has been rumored for months to be mulling excommunicating Daschle for his liberal positions on abortion.

Part Two
On the other hand, I also agree with the fact that just because you are a devout, practicing Catholic or Christian, you should not enter into the political arena. In fact, Mrs. Jeff and I are attending a "meet and greet" with a local candidate for Congress who also is Catholic and was recently endorsed by the Nebraska Right To Life organization over other Republicans who are more prominent in the state legislature. It will be an interesting campaign locally as well as nationally to be sure.


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