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BOSTON, August 6, 2003 ( – Democratic presidential contender John Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts and a self-described Catholic, accused Pope John Paul II of “crossing the line” by publishing the Vatican’s “Considerations” for Catholic legislators regarding same-sex unions.  “It is important not to have the church instructing politicians,” Kerry said. “That is an inappropriate crossing of the line in this country. … President Kennedy drew that line very clearly in 1960 and I believe we need to stand up for that line today. … Our founding fathers separated church and state in America. It is an important separation. It is part of what makes America different and special, and we need to honor that as we go forward and I’m going to fight to do that.”  Monsignor Francis Maniscalco of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops responded: “What one often calls separation of church and state guarantees the religion the right to express its convictions.” Added former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Raymond Flynn, “I don’t see it as crossing any line at all. Too many Catholic politicians want to have it both ways, they want the Catholic vote but then they go ahead and ignore Catholic teaching.”  For local coverage: