Wednesday, July 07, 2004

134 John Kerry and Holy Communion

“Recently 48 Catholic members of Congress signed a letter to Theodore Cardinal McCarrick declaring that "We firmly believe that it would be wrong for a bishop to deny the sacrament of holy communion to an individual on the basis of his voting record ... We do not believe it is our role to legislate the teachings of the Catholic Church. For any of us to be singled out by any bishop by the refusal of communion (because of a pro-choice position) is deeply hurtful." Seen in Brent Bozell’s column July 7, 2004

I’m not a Catholic, but a group of Catholics using their positions as U.S. congress people to try to get the Catholic church to change its position on abortion sounds really odd to me. The Supreme Court decided that the unborn aren’t human beings worthy of life and as a result millions of babies have died. The Church has applied Canon Law to those, who like John Kerry, go against Church teaching. If I had to decide who had a direct line to God about morality, I’d choose the Catholic Church over the Supreme Court any day--given only two choices.

George Weigel states in his column of June 21, “. . . the members misrepresent canon law and the purpose of canonical penalties. Canon 915 states that those who "obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion." The application of this canon to present circumstances is being vigorously debated throughout the United States (and in Rome) right now. The debate would be a wiser one if everyone understood (as the forty-eight members of Congress evidently do not) that canonical penalties have a different aim than penalties in civil and criminal law. The purpose of canonical penalties is remedial, even medicinal: imposing a penalty is intended, not so much as a punishment, but as a prod to conversion. The aim is not retribution, but change of heart and mind.”

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