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John F. Kerry - The Great Pretender
by John Jakubczyk, Esq.
8 April 2004

John Kerry describes himself as a "believing and practicing" Catholic, yet he was prevented recently from reciving communion by the Archbiship while in St. Louis. His extreme pro-abortion views - he supports partial birth abortion and voted against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act - are in conflict with the Catholic Church; the Catholic Church automatically excommunicates someone who participates in an abortion. Too bad the mainstream media only acknowledges "Catholics in name only" like Kerry, and shuts out real Catholics.

For the 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.

That 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.

This brings 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.

John Kerry 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.

He is 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.

Recently 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 commands.

For those 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 Christ.

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.

Abortion 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.

Therefore, can Kerry claim to be a Catholic in good standing and support something (abortion) that automatically excommunicates the user, the performer and the facilitator?

Can anyone ignore the fact that Kerry is promoting something (abortion) that is condemned by Christ and His Church?

Can anyone 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?

The recent 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.

This trouble 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.

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.

The strength 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.

Thus, 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.

You don’t represent us. Sadly, you represent everything that is wrong with today’s so-called modern Catholic.

So, reminiscent 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.

John 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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