If you’re from Massachusetts, can you remember your state’s junior senator ever praising the Minutemen “who led the first armed resistance to the tyranny of England’s King George XIII?”
Has Sen. Kerry ever, in Britain or in the British Embassy, referred to “Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth XII”?
If not, why did Sen. and Democratic presidential nominee Kerry announce – reported the New York Times this week:
“My oath between me and God was defined in the Catholic Church by Pius XXIII and Pope Paul VI in the Vatican II. …”
Tell us, senator, about Pope Pius XXIII! The last Pope named Pius was Pius XII, during and after World War II.
Could this Catholic layman, who wants to be president of the United States – an office in which his every word is measured and whose mistaken words can cause all sorts of serious trouble – tell us about the 11 popes named Pius in the last half century?
Candidate Kerry, a graduate of that renowned private boarding school St. Paul’s in Concord, N.H., and Yale, “needs a history lesson,” notes the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. “There never was a Pope Pius XXIII.”
It is absolutely astonishing how any Catholic layman – or ay other educated person – could have given the wrong name for the widely beloved Pope John XXIII, who called the Second Vatican Council.
What on earth would this man do with names if he ever got elected president?
The Catholic League also notes:
Sen. John Kerry got defiant yesterday when told that some are unhappy with the way his voting record departs from Church teachings. Kerry wanted to know who they are, challenging reporters to “name them.” He pointedly asked, “Are they the same legislators who vote for the death penalty, which is in contravention of Catholic teaching?” Kerry also said, “My oath privately between me and God was defined in the Catholic church by Pius XXIII and Pope Paul VI in the Vatican II, which allows for freedom of conscience for Catholics with respect to these choices, and that is exactly where I am.”
Catholic League president William Donohue had this to say:
“When Sen. John Kerry is asked why he disagrees with the Catholic Church on such important life issues as abortion (including partial-birth abortion, parental consent, federal funding and the rights of unborn victims of violence), doctor-assisted suicide and stem-cell research, he responds by saying it is a matter of conscience. But when it comes to those Catholic legislators who disagree with the Catholic Church on capital punishment, the issue of freedom of conscience quickly becomes moot. In fact, Kerry dogmatically condemns such lawmakers.
“Last September, the U.S. bishops released a statement, ‘Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility.’ In it, they said that abortion ‘is never morally acceptable.’ On Nov. 21, 2002, Pope John Paul II approved a doctrinal note on ‘The Participation of Catholics in Political Life’ that was written by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. It said that ‘lawmaking bodies have a grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that attacks human life.’ Regarding conscience, it stressed that ‘it must be noted that a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals.'”
On this Sunday, which is Easter, one of the two greatest days in Christianity, will Candidate Kerry attempt to receive the sacrament in any Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Boston?
David Wade, a spokesman for Kerry, told the New York Times:
“Senator Kerry is a person of faith, he’s a practicing Catholic, and his religion is an important part of his life and of Teresa Heinz Kerry’s life. … He has no concerns about being confronted or snubbed by Catholic leaders. It’s not once been an issue the campaign has run into in almost two years on the campaign trail.”
Not even once, spokesman Wade?
Did not your senator campaign in that key electoral state of Missouri?
And are you and the senator totally unaware of the archbishop of St. Louis, the Most Rev. Raymond Burke, who announced that if Kerry attended Mass in that archdiocese he should not take Communion?
Did you and he miss that excommunication because the Democrat-dominated major media either buried this news or censored it?
Possibly … but not probably.
Is it possible that Sen. Kerry’s new archbishop of Boston, the Most Rev. Sean O’Malley, will not be invited to give the invocation or benediction at any of the sessions of the Democratic National Convention this July in Boston because O’Malley has announced that Catholic politicians who do not vote in line with Catholic teachings, in the Archbishop’s unforgettable words, “shouldn’t dare come to Communion”?
What about Catholic Bishop John Ricard of the Pensacola-Tallahassee diocese, who is chairman of the task force to produce guidelines for American bishops on relations with Catholic politicians?
Bishop Ricard said the bishops were troubled by Mr. Kerry’s vote against a bill that makes it a crime to harm a fetus during an assault on a pregnant woman. President Bush signed the legislation last week, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops immediately issued a news release applauding him.
Bishop Ricard said in Rome: “Of course we were disappointed with Kerry’s voting against it. We were disappointed with others who voted against it, but as Catholic lawmakers, we hold them to a higher standard.”
And what, spokesman Wade, about the Catholic League’s Donohue, who reported the following:
“This week’s issue of Time magazine says Sen. John Kerry ‘sought an annulment of his 18-year first marriage before marrying again.’ News reports indicate, however, that Kerry didn’t seek an annulment until after he married Teresa Heinz in a civil ceremony in 1995. Today’s New York Times says Kerry ‘sought an annulment from the church when he was divorced from his first wife.’ Notice that neither Time nor the New York Times says that an annulment was granted. They say it was ‘sought.’
“Kerry cannot claim that this is a private matter since he publicly joked about his quest for an annulment on the Don Imus show of May 8, 1997. ‘Seventy-five percent of all annulments in the world take place in the United States,’ Kerry said, ‘and I guess the figure drops to 50 percent if you take out all Massachusetts politicians.’ He continued saying, ‘It’s one of those special Catholic things. It’s like confession or feeling guilty about things you haven’t even thought of doing.’
“On Feb. 16, 2004, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that ‘Kerry’s office didn’t respond to several e-mail and telephone requests’ regarding the question of whether an annulment was granted. On March 23, 2003, the Providence Journal-Bulletin said that Kerry ‘will not say whether he obtained an annulment of his first marriage. …’ Why the reticence, especially since Kerry says his ‘current marriage is in good graces with the Church?’
“Why does this matter? If Kerry did not receive an annulment, then he is not married in the Catholic Church and cannot receive the sacraments. But even if he was annulled, did he and Teresa Heinz get married in the Catholic Church following the annulment? If not, then Kerry is not married in the Church, thus raising all sorts of questions.”
And, spokesman Wade, what about Camden, N.J., Bishop Joseph Galante, who served briefly on the task force on Catholics in politics, who said that bishops must, in their roles as teachers, assert Church doctrine and continue to call Catholic politicians to account to prevent them from leading other Catholics astray?
“When someone who is public and identifies as a Catholic takes public positions opposed to Church teaching,” Bishop Galante said, “if it’s just ignored, then the question arises among other Catholic people, who say, ‘Well, I guess it’s all right to hold these positions.'”
As the New York Times reports:
“Catholics make up 27 percent of the electorate and belong to the largest church in the country, with about 65 million members. Many live in states with large blocs of electoral votes. Exit polls in states that have already held their Democratic primaries showed that Mr. Kerry did very well among Catholics.”
But what happens if they learn all the reasons why Kerry has been excommunicated in St. Louis – and if excommunication takes place in his home archdiocese as well?
As the Catholic League notes:
“His voting record is diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Catholic Church on virtually every public policy issue. From abortion and stem-cell research, to gay marriage and school vouchers, Kerry disagrees with the Church. Catholics might rightly want to know why his deeds (voting record) are at odds with his faith (the Church’s teachings).”
UPDATE: The Reuters news service reports Kerry will receive the sacrament if he attends Easter Sunday services at Boston’s Paulist Center tomorrow. He and his wife are “regular worshipers” at the Paulist Center, according to the report.