Kerry's Candidacy Stirs Debate on Religion, Politics

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacNut, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    Kerry's Candidacy Stirs Debate on Religion, Politics
    By Patricia Wilson, Reuters

    BOSTON (April 11) - Democrat John Kerry, a Roman Catholic whose abortion views led some in the church hierarchy to say they would deny him Communion, received the sacrament during Easter Mass at Boston's Paulist Center Sunday.

    As the first Catholic at the top of a major party ticket since John F. Kennedy in 1960, Kerry has stirred a new debate over religion and politics that has left some wondering if he would be turned away when he sought Communion because of his support for abortion rights.

    The discussion of Kerry's eligibility for Communion arose after Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis advised Kerry not to "present himself for Communion" at any church in the city. A few other bishops have issued similar warnings.

    The head of Kerry's Boston diocese, Archbishop Sean O'Malley has suggested that Catholic elected officials -- without mentioning any by name -- who support abortion rights should abstain voluntarily from Communion, but has not asked priests to stop offering it.

    "Archbishop O'Malley has no public statement as to the questions regarding Sen. Kerry and his Catholicism," Rev. Christopher Coyne, spokesman for the archdiocese said. "The matter has been brought to his attention and I do not know when or if he will make a public statement on this matter."

    Kerry and his wife Teresa attended Easter services at the Paulist Center, close to their Beacon Hill home and the church at which they generally worship.

    As he entered, Kerry was asked if he would take Communion. He responded with a firm "yes."

    Worshipers filled the modern room and its balconies. Many more lined the walls and stood at the back as the center's director Rev. John Ardis conducted a family-oriented Mass beneath a suspended crucifix carved from live oak. Kerry and his wife slipped quietly into a rear pew.

    "It was a wonderful service," the Massachusetts senator said as he left the center to applause and cheers from the congregation.


    Kerry's positions on abortion and other issues where he diverges from the church reflect those of many of America's 65 million Catholics, most of whom are concentrated in big U.S. states with the most electoral votes in the Nov. 2 election, like California and New York.

    In Kennedy's day, non-Catholic voters were afraid another senator from Massachusetts might follow Papal Doctrine too strictly. Now, some conservative Catholics are criticizing Kerry for not adhering to it closely enough.

    A practicing Catholic and a former altar boy, Kerry also supports stem cell research, civil unions for gays and lesbians, issues he calls matters of conscience.

    "I fully intend to practice my religion separately from what I do with respect to my public life and that's the way it ought to be in America," he told reporters in Ohio last week. "There is a separation of church and state in America and we have prided ourselves about that all ... of our history."

    The Paulists are a Catholic religious order like the Jesuits or Dominicans. A mission statement posted on their Web site says: "We are a Catholic community that welcomes all, liberates the voice of each and goes forth to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

    04/11/04 12:50 ET
  2. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Religion is a matter of conscious. We will each have to account for what we do on Earth. Kerry is apparently a cafeteria Catholic. That is why to be a real Catholic is very difficult. It has nothing to do with separation of CHurch and State. To be a Catholic or Christian is a matter of faith. Either you follow the teachings of the Church you don't. It is not easy. I fail many times each day, on the small items. The basics are easier such and homosexuality or abortion.
  3. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    That would seem to imply that we really shouldn't have religious Presidents, as any religous President would/should severely alienate everyone in the US who didn't agree with his particular religion.
  4. taeclee99 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2002
    Anywhere but here
    John F. Kerry would do and be anything to get himself votes. I fully expect him at temple next week professing how his father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roomate is buddhist. Next week, I bet John will reveal that he is part muslim part hindi as well.
  5. MrMacMan macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2001
    1 Block away from NYC.
    Moved to Poltical Flaming Forum in 3...2..1...

    This article shows its ignorance...

    Somehow stem cell research is bad? Bush allowed *some* of it to go on.

    And Bush is totally against gays and lesbians marriage... so not to totally alienate the gay members of his party one would think he believes the same thing as kerry.
  6. kgarner macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2004
    Every leader is influenced by his personal beliefs. They could be personal convictions or religious teachings. Either way, they will make decisions (to one degree or another) based on their own personal beliefs.
  7. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040


    Sep 13, 2003
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    I don't think that is the point wdlove is trying to make.

    It has to do with adhering to your own religion and saying you are something that you aren't. Joe Lieberman does an excellent job of being an observant Jew. He didn't campaign on Saturday's, didn't debate then. Unless the vote is urgent he didn't attend the Senate meetings on the Sabbath and when he did there was always the attempt to abide by the laws as well as he could.

    Kerry is a loose Catholic and I don't see anything wrong with that as long as the priest and congregation are okay with that. Since the bishop got involved the priest should have listened to the bishop unless he got word from higher up.
  8. rueyeet macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2003
    True, and Kerry's not the only one. Catholicism demands, by definition, that its believers adhere strictly to the dogma of the Church and the edicts of the Pope. If the Church says that abortion, homosexuality, and same-sex marriage are not morally acceptable, then it is technically the religious duty of every Catholic to adopt those beliefs. I agree with wdlove that most mainstream Catholics, like Kerry, either don't realize this, discount it, or would even openly dispute it.

    Nevertheless, that's what the "I believe in one holy apostolic Church" bit in the Profession of Faith means: that holy authority comes to the Pope through Peter from Jesus, and is handed down to the Church through its ordained priests from the Pope. It does not come from the regular members of the Church upwards. Seen in that light, it's easier to see why the Vatican doesn't see fit to update the Church to reflect the times.

    Critics of the Church have said that being a true Catholic amounts to giving the Catholic hierarchy the right to tell you what to believe, rather than following your own conscience. I would agree with that, but I was raised Catholic enough (and attended CCD for the full 12 years!) that I know that taking this view and deciding not to accept all of the Church's teachings means I'm no longer Catholic. :)
  9. Sarge64 macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2004

    Being free of religion myself I do not understand the superstitions of the world but I do understand that we should not allow any religious invasion of our government. The two cannot co-exist. Religion should be kept at home and not in the House only then can we truly be free.
  10. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040


    Sep 13, 2003
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    It's odd. When I recite the nicene creed it's "We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church."

    :) note the small "c"
  11. amnesiac1984 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2002
    I think it is arrogant for somebody to try to dictate to you the things that God wants you to do. Surely it is up to you, and it is an issue between you and God and you and God alone? I mean really what have you got to gain from being a member of a large organised religion that tells you how to think. Surely your faith enough in the holy father is enough to guide you.

    I can handle living in a society where we have to obey certain laws about what we do, as long as they don't go too far, but I could never, ever be part of a social group where I had to obey rules on what opinions to have. One day I would have to disagree and leave.

    It reminds of the preachers who believe the bible is the exact word of God and then say "I think what God meant to say...." I've never been that confident! (I know I stole that off Bill Hicks)
  12. numediaman macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    Chicago (by way of SF)
    Kerry's religion is a total non-issue, afterall . . .

    Pat Robertson: God Says Bush Will Win in 2004

    Friday, January 02, 2004

    NORFOLK, Va. — Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said Friday he believes God has told him President Bush will be re-elected in a "blowout" in November.​

    Why vote? God, Robertson and the Republicans have already determined the result. All us sinners can all stay home on election day. I'll watch reruns of The West Wing.
  13. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
    And God said: "Let there be chads..." :p
  14. amnesiac1984 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2002
    If god speaks to us, then he speaks to all of us. He never told me that, so I suggest its complete BS. Wait, hello. Hi God, what was that, Oh I see. Thanks,

    Yeah apparently, God just told me, But that was just the metatron playing a prank on us, actually, no-ome is going to win the elections because america will have been destroyed for all its sins before November. I believe it'll be similar to the Noah's ark deal and all fundamentalists will be drowned in a Massive flood, but they will be happy as they will be sent to hell to watch Passion of Christ for all eternity, until they repent and realise how blasphemous it really is.
  15. amnesiac1984 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2002

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