A debate is brewing around St. Blog over the appropriateness of refering to pro-abort "Catholic" politicians as Catholic In Name Only (CINO). Initially, I intended to stay clear of this controversy since I'm personally not fond of the CINO label. This has nothing to do with canon law and everything to do with taste -- I prefer the much more inflamatory (and I would argue accurate) designation of Demoncrat.
Nevertheless, over at Catholic Kerry Watch my friend Earl Appleby posted a good post on why he believes the CINO term is appropriate. Additionally, Earl dropped me an email soliciting my thoughts as a canonist and inviting me to respond.
Truth be told, I really don't know what canon law says about calling a pro-abort "Catholic" politician a CINO. Nor am I all that interested in researching the question, since I really don't care about the answer. I only have so much sympathy to go around, and as long as innocent children in the womb are being brutally dismembered limb-by-limb, I'm not gonna waste a drop of sympathy on some panty-waist pro-abort who claims to share the same faith as I do. Guess what? You don't.
So if pro-abort "Catholic" politicians find the CINO designation offensive, I don't care. Why? Because try as I might, everytime I get past my outrage at their abuse of the name Catholic, the horror of abortion stops me before I can give the CINO debate any serious thought. In short, every pro-abort Catholic politician is, in my opinion, an offense that should be met with excommunication or public refusal of Holy Communion.
So rather than cry over a few lost votes, pro-abort "Catholic" politicians should sit down, shut-up and thank God their mother didn't similarly dissent from Catholic moral teaching.