Kerry in next Photo Op at Catholic Expense Receives Communion after Vatican Says No

BOSTON, April 26, 2004 ( - The day after Cardinal Francis Arinze, the Vatican’s leading prelate dealing with the Sacraments, said pro-abortion politicians should be refused Communion, Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry received Communion at a Catholic Church near his home.  The elaborate description of Senator Kerry’s participation in the Mass at the Paulist Center indicates that at least the Associated Press was on hand to record the event.  The Paulist Center is a controversial parish known for questionable catering to practicing gays and lesbians.  The church refused to read a letter on homosexuality last November which was requested to be read at all churches by the Bishops conference of Massachusetts.  The parish priest, Father Joe Ciccone, excused the Kerry incident saying, “We’re following the directive of our archdiocese.”  While it is true that Boston Bishop Sean O’Malley previously said it was not the practice of the diocese to deny Communion, he has not commented on the matter since Cardinal Arinze’s statement.

Explaining the significance of Cardinal Arinze’s statement,  Rev. Joseph Koterski, head of the philosophy department at Fordham University said, “He is the highest-ranking person in the whole chain under the pope with regard to the sacraments.”

Theologian John Paul Meenan, professor of theology at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Eastern Ontario concurred.  Meenan told LifeSite, that the Cardinal’s “comments concerning politicians who publicly support abortion, certainly reflect Church teaching and discipline.”  Meenan added, “by supporting positions directly, publicly and gravely contrary to Church teaching, a pro-abortion politician has put himself outside the Catholic fold.  Since Communion is a sign of full, active membership in the Church, those who have placed themselves outside of full communion with the Mystical Body (e.g., with a mortal sin) are asked to abstain.”  See related LifeSite coverage:  Vatican Cardinal Arinze Says Pro-Abortion Politicians Must be Denied Holy Communion   See related coverage:

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