WASHINGTON, October 20, 2004 ( – The controversy over the Catholic lawsuit against Presidential candidate John Kerry, and the denial by Vatican personalities of having been involved in it in any way has generated confusion about Kerry’s status within the church.

Apart from the question of whether or not Kerry is “automatically excommunicated”, recent authoritative Vatican statements have made clear that he is, by virtue of his support for abortion, not permitted to receive communion.  The Catholic penalty of excommunication is to be distinguished from inadmissibility to receive communion which comes with being in a state of serious sin.  The Vatican has spoken loud and clear about Catholic politicians who support abortion and their unworthiness to receive communion.

In April, the Vatican’s leading prelate on the Sacraments, Cardinal Francis Arinze, declared unequivocally that unambiguously pro-abortion politicians should be denied Holy Communion. Later it was revealed that Cardinal Ratzinger, who heads the most important congregation in the Vatican, told U.S. bishops in a letter, entitled ‘Worthiness to receive Holy Communion’, that pro-abortion politicians, who will not alter their stand or abstain from communion after being instructed by church leaders, “must” be refused communion.  Kerry’s own bishop, Boston Archbishop Sean O’Malley told in an interview in January, “These politicians should know that if they’re not voting correctly on these life issues that they shouldn’t dare come to communion.”  Those clear positions have not stopped Kerry from coming forward to receive communion.  As recently as October 11 he was reported to have received communion at a Catholic church.  The Palm Beach Post reports that Kerry attended Mass and received communion at St. James Catholic Church in North Miami Beach.  The paper reports that Rev. Jean Pierre “strayed from religion to politics, echoing some of Kerry’s stump speech about the American Dream (being) on the ballot in November.”

See related coverage:  Highest Authorities in Vatican Back Denial of Communion to Pro-Abortion Politicians Boston Archbishop Says Pro-Abortion Politicians “Shouldn’t Dare Come to Communion”   See the Palm Beach Post coverage:



Commenting Guidelines
LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.