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Archbishop Burke says he would refuse Communion to Sen Kerry

 
 
yeahman
 
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 11:51 am
Archbishop Burke says he would refuse Communion to Sen Kerry
Post-Dispatch Religion Writer
01/30/2004


If Sen. John Kerry were to stand in Archbishop Raymond L. Burke's Communion line Sunday, Burke would bless him without giving him Communion.

Kerry, a Catholic, has voted to support abortion rights, contrary to the Catholic Church's long-held teaching of opposing abortion.

"I would have to admonish him not to present himself for Communion," said Burke. "I might give him a blessing or something," he said. "If his archbishop has told him he should not present himself for Communion, he shouldn't. I agree with Archbishop O'Malley."

Kim Molstre, a Kerry campaign spokeswoman, said Friday: "The archbishop has the right to deny Communion to whoever he wants, but Senator Kerry respectfully disagrees with him on the issue of choice."

Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston, Kerry's archdiocese, has individually told Catholic elected officials who favor abortion rights that they should not be receiving Communion and should refrain on their own volition.

Last summer, O'Malley issued a statement saying that a Catholic official who favors abortion rights should not receive Communion. He did not ban priests from giving it.

In his former diocese of La Crosse, Wis., Burke sent an official episcopal notification to the diocesan priests to refuse Communion to three Catholic Wisconsin lawmakers who had refused to talk with him about their pro-abortion rights votes.

On Wednesday in St. Louis, Kerry said in an interview that "what I believe personally as a Catholic as an article of faith is an article of faith." But as a public official, he said, it was not "appropriate in the United States for a legislator to legislate personal religious beliefs for the rest of the country."

Burke has said that if a St. Louis Catholic legislator disagreed with the church teachings on abortion or capital punishment, he would ask him to sit down and talk to him.

"On life issues, this is a serious issue for bishops, a grave problem for the church, which has to be addressed," Burke said.

Burke spoke about the issue in response to Post-Dispatch questions at a taping of "Extra Edition," a weekly half-hour news show produced by the Post-Dispatch and KMOV (Channel 4) and hosted by Jamie Allman. The show airs at 6:30 tonight.
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yeahman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 11:52 am
Roman Catholic church raises some eyebrows by warning politicians
By Phillip O'Connor
Of the Post-Dispatch
02/07/2004

For a long time in American politics, many voters believed that the election of a Catholic president would lead the country under the sway of the pope on state matters, according to presidential historians. The election of John F. Kennedy buried those perceptions.

But today, growing calls by church leaders about the duty of Catholic politicians to oppose issues ranging from abortion to euthanasia to gay marriage or face sanction is reviving questions among some political scientists and others about the church's role in politics.

"It's one thing for the Catholic church to behave like any other interest group and say, 'We have these positions and hope people will be persuaded by these positions.' That doesn't raise fears," said John Green, an Akron University professor who studies the intersection of religion and politics. "But when it gets to the next level, where religious sanctions are used against politicians because of positions they take. . ., that does raise some of the fears that people had back in the 1960s. I think that tends to increase the concern that the church may be playing an inappropriate role in democracy."

Green's comments follow those of St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, who last month criticized the abortion-rights stand of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. The archbishop said in a television interview that if Kerry were to stand in his Communion line, he would bless him without giving him the sacrament.

"I would have to admonish him not to present himself for Communion," Burke said at the time.

While some Catholic leaders long have been critical of Catholic politicians who vote counter to church doctrine, Burke's comments seemed an escalation. While some bishops have said that such politicians should not receive Communion, they have not banned priests from giving it.

Kerry responded by saying that Burke had the right to deny Communion to anyone he wanted, but that he disagreed with him on the issue of choice. He said it was not appropriate in the United States for a lawmaker to legislate personal religious beliefs for the rest of the country.

But Joseph Starrs disagreed with that characterization.

"It's not Rome imposing a particular view on anybody," said Starrs, director of the Crusade for the Defense of Our Catholic Church of the American Life League, the nation's largest anti-abortion advocacy group. "It's just the Catholic church asking for all people to stand up for all innocent life, and if you want to be Catholic, some things are non-negotiable, and one of those is protecting life in the womb."

Starrs said: "When a bishop or priest refuses Holy Communion to a politician, it's not a sanction. It's saying, 'Look, you're not in full compliance with the church right now because of your public stand."

Starrs said the church was actually doing such politicians a favor by not allowing them to receive Communion.

"Because if you're receiving Holy Communion in a state of grave sin, you're committing another sin," he said.

A wary attitude

Americans expect candidates to be comfortable talking about God and religion, most are wary about invoking such beliefs when it comes to policy decisions, said Franklyn Niles, assistant professor of political science at John Brown University.

"The American public and candidates are much more moderate than the religious elites," Niles said.

In fact, Catholics are widely divided on many social issues.

An ABC News-Washington Post poll last year found that 88 percent of Catholics find birth control morally acceptable, 62 percent found the death penalty morally acceptable and 30 percent found abortion acceptable.

"The Catholics that are in the pews are there for spiritual fulfillment and aren't looking to the church hierarchy for political leadership and guidance," said Paul Djupe, assistant professor of political science at Denison University in Granville, Ohio.

Still, some question whether such edicts from church leaders come close to crossing the line between the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.

"There is a legitimate question about the role of the church in dictating policies to candidates on issues," Green said. "We have to be cautious about this. These fears are most plausible when it comes to things like denying Catholic politicians Communion. That's a religious sanction. It's one thing to say we think Senator Kerry is wrong. But it's quite another to deny the means of grace because of a political position."

Sue Crawford, an associate professor of political science at Creighton University, said such fears might be more viable if Kerry had reversed his position.

"If Kerry were to come out and say, 'I was wrong and I won't do it anymore because I value my link to the church,' it would raise that concern," she said. "If he backs down on this, what else will he back down? People might be worried then about whether they could trust Catholic politicians."

Instead, she thinks such statements from the church, may in fact, weaken the institution's political power.

"What it tends to do is make the church look less strong, less politically efficacious, because they're making this strong stand and it's not making a difference," Crawford said. "It doesn't seem to help the church, and seems more damaging to the church because they're pushing something to the brink and it doesn't go there way."

Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, an abortion-rights group, believes such statements from church leaders revive concerns about whether Catholic politicians can be trusted to make laws based on the common good rather than religious beliefs.

"This is the fear that those of us who are Catholic have that when bishops say things like this that they may contribute to anti-Catholicism by reigniting the old belief that Catholics are not independent from Rome," Kissling said. "Fortunately, every politician who has ever been attacked by the bishops for his or her pro-choice views have responded immediately by using the John Kennedy formula of saying, 'I don't speak for the church on religion and the church doesn't speak for me on politics.'"

She said: "The intelligent way in which the politicians have responded by saying the bishops don't speak for them politically has assuaged any fear in the populous and makes the bishops look foolish. It just shows they can't control politicians on this subject."
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 12:22 pm
Quote:
Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston, Kerry's archdiocese, has individually told Catholic elected officials who favor abortion rights that they should not be receiving Communion and should refrain on their own volition.

Last summer, O'Malley issued a statement saying that a Catholic official who favors abortion rights should not receive Communion. He did not ban priests from giving it.

The archbishop is correct. A Catholic politician is not permitted to transgress the tenets of the church simply because he or she is a politician. Kerry's stance on abortion may make him a good politician, but it makes him a bad Catholic.
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 12:24 pm
Burke by name and burk by nature then.
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 12:28 pm
I guess Sen. Kerry can't count on the Archbishop's vote. Since I assume the Archbishop's also against capital punishment, would he also refuse communion to politicians who support that?
0 Replies
 
Acquiunk
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 01:29 pm
Up to this point the ritual community to which the candidates belonged, as apposed to their belief, had not been an issue. Burke just put it front and center.
0 Replies
 
yeahman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 01:44 pm
http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/66.htm
ADDRESS TO SOUTHERN BAPTIST LEADERS by JFK

I am grateful for your generous invitation to state my views.

While the so-called religious issue is necessarily and properly the chief topic here tonight, I want to emphasize from the outset that I believe that we have far more critical issues in the 1960 election: the spread of Communist influence, until it now festers only ninety miles off the coast of Florida -- the humiliating treatment of our President and Vice President by those who no longer respect our power -- the hungry children I saw in West Virginia, the old people who cannot pay their doctor's bills, the families forced to give up their farms -- an America with too many slums, with too few schools, and too late to the moon and outer space.

These are the real issues which should decide this campaign. And they are not religious issues -- for war and hunger and ignorance and despair know no religious barrier.

But because I am a Catholic and no Catholic has ever been elected President, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured -- perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again -- not what kind of church I believe in for that should be important only to me, but what kind of America I believe in.

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute -- where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be a Catholic) how to act and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote -- where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference -- and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish -- where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source -- where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials -- and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

For, while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew -- or a Quaker -- or a Unitarian -- or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that led to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today, I may be the victim -- but tomorrow it may be you -- until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped apart at a time of great national peril.

Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end -- where all men and all churches are treated as equal -- where every man has the same right to attend or not to attend the church of his choice -- where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind -- and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, both the lay and the pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.

That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of Presidency in which I believe -- a great office that must be neither humbled by making it the instrument of any religious group, nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding it, its occupancy from the members of any religious group. I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair, neither imposed upon him by the nation or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.

I would not look with favor upon a President working to subvert the First Amendment's guarantees of religious liberty (nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so). And neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test -- even by indirection -- for if they disagree with that safeguard, they should be openly working to repeal it.

I want a chief executive whose public acts are responsible to all and obligated to none -- who can attend any ceremony, service or dinner his office may appropriately require him to fulfill -- and whose fulfillment of his Presidential office is not limited or conditioned by any religious oath, ritual or obligation.

This is the kind of America I believe in -- and this is the kind of America I fought for in the South Pacific and the kind my brother died for in Europe. No one suggested then that we might have a "divided loyalty," that we did "not believe in liberty or that we belonged to a disloyal group that threatened "the freedoms for which our forefathers died."

And in fact this is the kind of America for which our forefathers did die when they fled here to escape religious test oaths, that denied office to members of less favored churches, when they fought for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom -- and when they fought at the shrine I visited today -- the Alamo. For side by side with Bowie and Crockett died Fuentes and McCafferty and Bailey and Bedillio and Carey -- but no one knows whether they were Catholics or not. For there was no religious test there.

I ask you tonight to follow in that tradition, to judge me on the basis of fourteen years in the Congress -- on my declared stands against an ambassador to the Vatican, against unconstitutional aid to parochial schools, and against any boycott of the public schools (which I attended myself) -- and instead of doing this do not judge me on the basis of these pamphlets and publications we have all seen that carefully select quotations out of context from the statements of Catholic Church leaders, usually in other countries, frequently in other centuries, and rarely relevant to any situation here -- and always omitting of course, that statement of the American bishops in 1948 which strongly endorsed church-state separation.

I do not consider these other quotations binding upon my public acts -- why should you? But let me say, with respect to other countries, that I am wholly opposed to the state being used by any religious group, Catholic or Protestant, to compel, prohibit or prosecute the free exercise of any other religion. And that goes for any persecution at any time, by anyone, in any country.

And I hope that you and I condemn with equal fervor those nations which deny it to Catholics. And rather than cite the misdeeds of those who differ, I would also cite the record of the Catholic Church in such nations as France and Ireland -- and the independence of such statesmen as de Gaulle and Adenauer.

But let me stress again that these are my views -- for, contrary to common newspaper usage, I am not the Catholic candidate for President [but the candidate] who happens also to be a Catholic.

I do not speak for my church on public matters -- and the church does not speak for me.

Whatever issue may come before me as President, if I should be elected -- on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling, or any other subject -- I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictate. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

But if the time should ever come -- and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible -- when my office would require me to either violate my conscience, or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office, and I hope any other conscientious public servant would do likewise.

But I do not intend to apologize for these views to my critics of either Catholic or Protestant faith, nor do I intend to disavow either my views or my church in order to win this election. If I should lose on the real issues, I shall return to my seat in the Senate satisfied that I tried my best and was fairly judged.

But if this election is decided on the basis that 40,000,000 Americans lost their chance of being President on the day they were baptized, then it is the whole nation that will be the loser in the eyes of Catholics and non-Catholics around the world, in the eyes of history, and in the eyes of our own people.

But if, on the other hand, I should win this election, I shall devote every effort of mind and spirit to fulfilling the oath of the Presidency -- practically identical, I might add with the oath I have taken for fourteen years in the Congress. For, without reservation, I can, and I quote "solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution so help me God."
0 Replies
 
husker
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 02:54 pm
Did JFK get Communion?
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 03:13 pm
Who gives a r. a.?

How much have the recent scandals among the Catholic priesthood diminished the role of the Catholic Church as a political force in the USA?
Is the church still seen as a force for good?
Does anyone care about what a bishop says about a political candidate?
Should a bishop say anything about a political candidate?
What about the tenet "He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone."?
0 Replies
 
husker
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 03:16 pm
McTag wrote:
Who gives a r. a.?

How much have the recent scandals among the Catholic priesthood diminished the role of the Catholic Church as a political force in the USA?
Is the church still seen as a force for good?
Does anyone care about what a bishop says about a political candidate?
Should a bishop say anything about a political candidate?
What about the tenet "He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone."?


Cool down there dad! :wink:
0 Replies
 
Acquiunk
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 03:31 pm
The main beneficiary of this, if it becomes an issue, will be Bush, as it will reinforce the fears of his evangelical Christian support. If this Archbishop can't keep his mouth shut, and you can bet the press will be on this guy, all Bush will have to do is repeat high minded platitudes and let the bishop do his work for him.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 03:36 pm
Exactly.

Jesus. After all these years, still no separation of Church and State.
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 03:42 pm
Id like to read the headline:

PRESIDENT KERRY REFUSES TO GIVE PUBLIC FUNDS TO ARCHBISHOP BURKE
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 03:58 pm
This reminds me of a chat I had with a neighbor this past weekend, as we milled around during the state caucus. We were talking about the gay marriage issue, and I told her how annoying it was to hear Bush's spokesman intone that the President was unhappy about the Massachusetts court ruling for gay marriage: "The President believes in the sanctity of marriage between man and woman" or some such.

To which I say: Fine. But who cares what he likes? It's none of his business, nor of any one else in gov't. The "sanctity of marriage" is church business. Period.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 05:05 pm
joefromchicago
Quote:
The archbishop is correct. A Catholic politician is not permitted to transgress the tenets of the church simply because he or she is a politician. Kerry's stance on abortion may make him a good politician, but it makes him a bad Catholic
.

Based upon the US being a secular nation and the separation of church and state a "good" Catholic should never be allowed to run for office. Since by your definition his allegiance in political matters would be to his church not the people he is supposed to represent.
Just an observation.
0 Replies
 
yeahman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 05:23 pm
Can't you be pro-life and a politican? You can't be Catholic and pro-choice.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 05:58 pm
It is not whether you are pro life or pro choice it is the thought that the Church will be so to speak directing traffic through religious blackmail.
0 Replies
 
Acquiunk
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 06:04 pm
This is the kind of charge that Kerry will have to face from the evangelical right if he becomes the Democratic candidate. He had better address this issue right now, before it gets out of hand if he wants the nomination.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 06:15 pm
Acquiunk
True, But come to think of it isn't the evangelical right guilty of the same thing. Look at Bush's religious initiatives. Is there an athiest running for office? Embarrassed
0 Replies
 
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2004 06:22 pm
Who gives a rats arse what the Catholic Church thinks anyway. Bunch of paedophile protecting arseholes.
0 Replies
 
 

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