last thirty-five years the national media has been attempting
to keep Catholics out of the political debate. Perhaps I should
say “practicing” Catholics, i.e. those Catholics
who actually live their beliefs in a manner recognizable to
the average person. “Fallen away,” ”non-practicing,”
and “dissenting” Catholics have been always given
a platform by the media. But if you claim the faith, you are
a throwback to those terrible days of the “Inquisition”
and not worthy of consideration.
is, of course, unless you agree with the liberal press. When
Catholic bishops speak in opposition to the death penalty or
about increased spending for programs to help the poor, they
are applauded and lawmakers are told by the press to listen
to these fine moral leaders. But let these same bishops comment
on the evil of abortion, the tragic effect of divorce on society,
or the problem with gratuitous sex in our culture, and the liberal
press will scream like banshees about separation of church and
state and how lawmakers cannot be influenced by their religious
beliefs. The press will claim that bishops and priests have
no business addressing these moral issues of our time and certainly
have no right to tell Catholics how to vote or what issues are
critical in such a determination.
us to a current topic of discussion: John Kerry and his standing
in the Catholic Church. Now I do not profess to know the state
of this man’s soul. Only God knows the mind and heart
of John Kerry. But I do know what I see and what I read and
what I hear from the mouth of John Kerry. And I do know those
essential truths that are taught by the Catholic Church that
one must believe in order to be in full communion with the Church.
Finally I know what one must do and what one must refrain from
doing in order to be able to receive the Holy Eucharist, otherwise
referred to as Holy Communion. Catholics believe that the Eucharist
is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. This
belief and all that surrounds it are central to the teachings
of the Catholic Church and have been so for 2000 years.
believes in abortion. John Kerry supports abortion; John Kerry
has voted to keep abortion legal and has opposed all efforts
to end the practice of abortion. John Kerry, by his words and
deeds, promotes a practice condemned by the history of western
civilization as barbaric and evil. He has been endorsed by organizations
that profit from the murder of unborn children. Yet this man
has the nerve to say that he is a Catholic.
quoted in Time Magazine as describing himself as a “believing
and practicing Catholic.” Yet he is divorced from his
first wife. There is no record of his having received an annulment.
His second “marriage” was a civil union and there
is no record that it was blessed. So aside from his unabashed
support for child killing, he has some irregular marital issues
that would on their face prevent him from receiving communion.
he was in St. Louis. While there, Archbishop Burke instructed
that he was not to be given Holy Communion. Kerry opted instead
to attend a non-Catholic service. There is no record of his
having attended mass on that Sunday. For a believing and practicing
Catholic, attendance of Sunday liturgy is obligatory, unless
one is seriously ill or infirm. For a believing Catholic, participating
in the mass is a holy and sacred event. One does not avoid mass
for it is a reflection of one’s obedience to God’s
not Catholic, these matters may seem parochial. However, in
reality, one is speaking to the issue of integrity. John Kerry
wants people to believe that he is a Catholic in good standing.
Yet John Kerry is unwilling to accept some very essential teachings
of the Catholic Church. If John Kerry does not want to ascribe
to the teachings of the Catholic Church, he is free to renounce
them. But, if he wants the privilege of being a considered a
Catholic in good standing in his church, then as a public figure,
he must not cause scandal, lead others astray, or set a bad
example that would cast aspersions on the sacred teachings of
As a politician,
Kerry provides a witness that many observe. He can provide a
good witness or a bad witness to how a Catholic lives his life.
This is a grave responsibility and one to be taken seriously.
We have seen in history the fate of statesmen who chose Christ
and paid dearly for embracing the cross. Consider the fate of
Sir Thomas More; lawyer, judge, and chancellor of England. He
would not deny the teachings of the Church and he was killed
for his fidelity to Christ. Pope John Paul II recently declared
St. Thomas More to be the patron saint of politicians and statesmen.
The pope asked those in public office to remember that their
first responsibility is to the truth and that protecting the
lives of innocent human beings must never be compromised for
the sake of utility. Yet, this betrayal of the truth marks Kerry’s
political career from the beginning and reveals a man whose
hands are stained by the blood of innocent children.
is the deliberate killing of an unborn human being in the womb.
It is a crime against a person and one does not have to believe
in a religion to know that the deliberate killing of an innocent
human life is always wrong. Until this last century, every religion
held it to be wrong and a violation of its tenets. Today the
Catholic Church, along with other Christian and non-Christian
faiths, holds abortion to be a sin against God and the person.
It is a grave and serious sin and can damn a person to hell
if not there is not repentance and reconciliation. Anyone who
promotes abortion is guilty of a grave and serious sin. The
Code of Canon Law states, “ All persons are bound to seek
the truth in matters concerning God and God’s church;
by divine law they are obliged and have the right to embrace
and observe that truth which they have recognized. Can. 748
Sec.1. The Code states that one who procures an abortion is
automatically excommunicated. Can. 1398.
can Kerry claim to be a Catholic in good standing and support
something (abortion) that automatically excommunicates the user,
the performer and the facilitator?
ignore the fact that Kerry is promoting something (abortion)
that is condemned by Christ and His Church?
seriously believe that Kerry really believes in the teachings
of the Church when he ignores a fundamental component of the
faith - the respect for the dignity of the human person?
articles by Time Magazine and the New York Times are efforts
to shut down the Church before the election. The stories are
biased and attempt to marginalize the Church. For example, in
the Time Magazine article, the writer states that Kerry’s
position is “not sitting well with members of the church
elite.” Well, his position is not sitting well with the
rank and file faithful either; something ignored by the writer
(By the way, notice the term “elite” – as
if they are the only ones who care). In a similar vein, the
New York Times article attempts to minimize the issue, by noting
that Kerry is “not following the pope’s bidding
closely enough.” The implication being that this is some
archaic concern by the pope that does not affect the entire
church and the Catholics in the pew.
with “Catholic” pro-abortion politicians is long
standing because of the generally weak approach historically
taken by the bishops, especially in the Northeast. Kerry and
Kennedy, along with other Catholics such as Biden, should have
been admonished long ago for the sake of their immortal souls.
Rather than seek popularity and invitations to Democratic cocktail
parties, these bishops have a duty to preach the truth for the
sake of the gospel. Kerry and others have been able to exploit
this silence and foster confusion among Catholic voters. During
every election cycle, the bishops have a duty and responsibility
to preach the “Gospel of Life.” They must inform
every Catholic that each one of us has a duty to properly form
one’s conscience and that a properly formed conscience
cannot support a person who approves of and supports abortion.
Given that scenario, it would be a grave and serious sin to
vote for a notorious unrepentant pro-abortion candidate such
as John Kerry.
cannot have it both ways. He cannot call himself a Catholic
in good standing and be pro-abortion. He cannot mislead people
into thinking that he can be both. However, given his effort
to do just that, he shows himself to be a fraud and a liar.
In fact, the absurdity is brought home in his latest action
when he made a special trip to Washington to vote against the
Unborn Victims of Violence Act. The bill passed overwhelmingly
and was signed by President Bush on April 1, 2004. This is a
bill that would allow the government to prosecute someone who
killed an unborn child while committing a federal crime. It
is known as the Laci and Connor Peterson bill, after the mother
and unborn child brutally killed in California. Kerry voted
against it. Kerry voted against the ban on partial birth abortion.
Kerry has been bought and paid for by Planned Parenthood, NARAL
and NOW. They own him, plain and simple.
of the pro-life movement has been in the grass roots, rank and
file membership of Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, orthodox
Jews and others of good will. Pro-lifers are members of both
parties. However, no self-respecting Catholic who really believes
that Jesus Christ died for our sins and commissioned His Church
to go forth and teach all nations is going to buy the snake
oil John Kerry is selling. And John Kerry may one day learn
the lesson that it does not matter if one gains the whole world,
if one suffers the loss of his soul.
the great pretender will find out that if one really believes,
one must live one’s beliefs. Or as Kerry was fond to quote
in St. Louis, “Faith without works is dead.” So,
unless you walk the walk, John Kerry, don’t tell me you
are a Catholic. And don’t tell me that you can just the
pick and choose what you want to believe. And don’t insult
the millions of Catholics who love their faith, by claiming
the title. Too many Catholics have died for the faith. Too many
Catholics have been persecuted for the faith. And too many Catholics
live the faith every day in their own humble way to tolerate
your insulting pandering behavior.
represent us. Sadly, you represent everything that is wrong
with today’s so-called modern Catholic.
of the words of John the Baptist, John Kerry, you must “prove
your repentance by the fruit you bear.” Submit yourself
to the Truth who is Christ and embrace His teachings as presented
by the Church. Only then can you begin to claim full communion
as a Catholic. Until then, you are only a pretender and a fraud.
Jakubczyk is a lawyer and President of Arizona
Right to Life. He has been a frequent speaker on life issues
throughout the country.
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