A Catholic lawyer who pressed heresy charges against Sen. John Kerry for advocating abortion plans to file similar church lawsuits against other prominent politicians, including Sen. Edward Kennedy.
Denunciations for “Heresy, Sacrilege, and Scandal” will be pressed against Kennedy, D-Mass.; Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; Susan Collins R-Maine; and former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, says Marc Balestrieri, a canon lawyer and director of the Los Angeles-based non-profit group De Fide.
“Senator Kerry is not the only pro-choice Catholic politician,” Balestrieri told WorldNetDaily. “He’s just one of a number who have diretly and incoherently, as Catholics, publicly professed the right to murder. Not only is it incoherent, it’s heretical.”
Balestrieri filed his case against Kerry with the Archdiocese of Boston last June.
He told WND that although Kerry continues to receive communion, the case is still alive.
Citing a source in the archdiocese, Balestrieri said Archbishop O’Malley
has been unable to address the charges against Kerry due to being overwhelmed by abuse cases against the church and the closure of parishes.
Balestrieri plans to reveal more details of his cases against the prominent Catholic politicians in a news conference Monday at the National Press Club in Washington.
As WorldNetDaily reported, a Dominican theologian and consultor to the Vatican wrote a letter to Balestrieri stating his opinion that Catholic politicians who support abortion rights already have excommunicated themselves by their actions – a message that suggests Kerry is no longer a member of the church.
Balestrieri said the Sept. 11 letter from Rev. Basil Cole of the Dominican House of Studies in Northeast Washington provides a basis to declare that any Catholic politician who says he is “personally opposed to abortion, but supports a woman’s right to choose,” incurs automatic excommunication.
Balestrieri describes the letter as “a personal reply confirming the doctrinal merits of the case written by an expert theologian at the request of a Vatican official.”
But Cole downplayed the weight of the letter, telling the Washington Times in October that he had been asked to reply unofficially to Balestrieri because the Vatican never responds officially to requests from laymen.
“It’s a letter about an abstract question,” Cole said. “It’s not from the Vatican at all. It has no authority at all. None. Zip. Zero. It’s not the teaching of the church; it’s me implying what I think are the teachings.”
Balestrieri told WND, however, he believes Cole was under pressure to help ensure the Vatican would not appear to be interfering in the U.S. electoral process.
“Father Cole has never revoked the contents of his reply,” Balestrieri said.
After filing his action against Kerry, Balestrieri traveled to Rome in August to submit documents to the Vatican’s chief doctrinal enforcement arm, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Balestrieri claims that under Roman Catholic Church law, support of abortion rights constitutes the “Right-to-Murder Heresy” condemned by Pope John Paul II in the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae of 1995.
The penalty for that offense, he argues, is automatic excommunication from the church.
Balestrieri has said, however, his goal is repentance rather than excommunication.
The Catholic lawyer argues, “For 2,000 years, the Christian Church has everywhere, at all times, without waver, taught the grave immorality of every act of murder of the innocent.”