From the WashTimes Politics Blog.

On the very day of Archbishop Wuerl’s installation, two of Massachusetts’ most pro-choice Catholics — Kerry and the state’s senior U.S. senator, Ted Kennedy — showed up and sat in the VIP section. Archbishop Wuerl shook their hands as he moved toward the altar. I didn’t see whether Kennedy took Communion, but I know Kerry did because I talked with him immediately afterward. He was there, he said, as a longtime friend of the archbishop’s.

Isn’t it odd that two of the Senate’s most liberal Catholics made time in their schedules to be at the installation Mass while their conservative Republican colleague from Pennsylvania, Sen. Rick Santorum, did not?

Santorum, I heard, had to stay close to his office for a vote. All the same, here were two Democratic senators giving the new archbishop notice that they intend to ignore any move to disenfranchise them from the Eucharist. No one could miss the message.
Welcome to Washington, Archbishop.


What otherwise might have been a legitimate pastoral step for a bishop to take in the teeth of the contempt shown the teaching of the Church by the Kennedys and the Kerrys, good ol' Bush supporting, God and Country, Catholic brownshirts turned into a mockery during the 2004 presidential campaign when their Bush-first- Benedict-second mindset caused them to attempt the reduction of the Eucharist into a Rove serving football. Joining them were Chaput and the Evangelical equivalentists on ETWN in their own attempts in forcing Catholic votes for Bush. It was all very poorly disguised, particularly the performance of house Catholic, "Such A Deal" Hudson. I think we'd best keep Jesus out of this one.

John Lowell

The reporter who wrote the Washington Times blog entry to which you are reacting is not a "Catholic brownshirt," on the I-think-definitive grounds that she's not even a Catholic. A point about which I tease her no end, in hope that she'll one day see the Catholic Light.

Amazing how you can twist Kerry unabashedly taking communion into a plot by Rove to rally the Catholic vote to the Republican side. I guess I must have missed all those commercials with Kerry taking communion and the tagline "Mortal Sin Makes for Bad President."


Kerry's not the point, every school child knows that he's a phoney on life. And his bishop ought to deny him communion, if for nothing else for his own sake. It's what the so-called "orthodox" Catholic leadership in its all-too-close relationship to the Bush Regime tried to make of it. All of their professed concern for Catholic purity went down the toilet when they sought to place the Eucharist at the service of Karl Rove. In every way, these folks are simply the flip side of Kerry. If their Bush-first-Benedict-second warmongering isn't checked, they'll soon have you singing Die Fahne Hoch, believe me.

John Lowell

OK, so let me get this straight:

Every schoolchild knows that Kerry is a pro-abort who should be denied communion for his own good at least. In the words of some 1st century theologian, to take the Body and Blood of Christ unworthily is to eat and drink your own damnation.

But those who say this publicly are too close to Karl Rove and the Bushitleretardespot regime. And therefore ... ?

Are you saying that correct theology, which even a child knows, should be ignored because those most frequently making the calls for it to be followed are unworthy. If not, what is the point of bringing up your manifest hatred of them, you Donatist, you.

Talk about putting politics first. Sheeesh.


No. What I'm saying is that those in the so-called "orthodox" Catholic leadership that so strongly supported the idea of refusing Kerry the sacraments did so at a time and in such a way that the importance of their political connections and not the interests of the Church was being prioritized. None of these alleged champions of orthodoxy felt in the slightest constrained by the fact that Bush had earned the condemnation of both the Vatican and the USCCB for his compromise on the embryonic stem-cell matter in 2001, that or the fact that he has never once supported the idea of overthrowning Roe vs. Wade. To abort a baby and to support federal funding for the dismemberment of a tiny embryo, no matter in how limited a way, are of the same order. Never did the William Donnellys or the John Richard Neuhauses raise a complaint against this latter, Federally funded embryonic stem-cell research, set up in the way that Bush designed it, was perfectly OK with them. Phoney is as phoney does and these folks do an awful lot of phoney.

John Lowell

John Lowell seems to miss the fact that, though the Republican Party has been very slow to deliver on some of its pro-life, pro- heterosexual marriage promises, one has only to look at how the Democrats under Clinton and how Democrats today are the ones virtually fanatically promoting homosexualism, abortion, and all the Orwellian Frankenstein -like manipulation of human life OR--with their liberal allies in the media --doing everything possible to stymy (usually by hate-filled harangues) all attempts to stem radical left policies in these areas. Right now, here in the Lavender Dictatorship of Mass. it is Dem Party leadership doing everything possible to keep people from having the right to vote on the court's corrupt seizure of power from the people on social issues such as gay marriage.
As a former life-long Democrat from a family of generations and generations of Democrats, I blame the Democrats for driving almost every member of my family out of the party--not Karl Rove, or any combination of Republicans and Conservative Catholics

Deacon Bresnahan,

It hardly suffices to support Republicans because the Democrats are somehow perceived as worse. That was the shuffle Chaput & Company tried selling during the election, in some instances even suggesting that there was an overriding Catholic responsibity to vote for someone, at least, no matter how unsatisfactory. And it is just this nonsense that I had in mind when I wrote earlier about the cosiness of Karl Rove and our supposed "better voices" at EWTN the like. The pressure to vote Republican was more than simply suggested at the time, it was overt, and, in many cases thoroughly resented. I have absolutely no Catholic duty to vote nor do you, neither have I an obligation to support the lesser of two evils. Frankly, in my view, Catholic duty in present circumstances comes very close to imposing non-participation on someone. Would Chaput have urged membership in the Stahlhelm rather than the SA in Germany in 1933 because its leadership was perceived to be more gentiel? His logic suggested as much.

John Lowell

Would Chaput have urged membership in the Stahlhelm rather than the SA in Germany in 1933 because its leadership was perceived to be more gentiel? [sic]

Godwin's Law strikes again!

For the record, the stem-cell research that Bush supported in 2001 was with cells that had already been extracted from embryos. He was (and is) against destroying embryos for the sole purpose of experiementing on them. Serious and quite orthodox theologians differed on Bush's approach.

Father Neuhaus -- whom I adore -- had this to say in the October 2001 edition of First Things:

...For the moment, I believe [Bush made] a morally defensible decision, although critics are right to note that the distinction between using human embryos and using stem cells derived from human embryos after “the life or death decision has been made? is not as bright a line as Bush’s explanation suggested. In addition, he failed to say that what will not be done with federal funding should not be done at all.
So it isn't really accurate to say that Father Neuhaus "was perfectly OK with" Bush's policy. He said it was "defensible," which isn't the same thing at all.

I have absolutely no Catholic duty to vote nor do you, neither have I an obligation to support the lesser of two evils.

Yeah, you do: "Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one's country" (CCC 2240).

First of all, it's William Donohue and Richard John Neuhaus.

Second, please stop the Nazi analogies. It's really patience-trying and infantile.

Third, what the colorful could the actions of Bush (a Methodist) on abortion and stem-cell research (while obviously imperfect) possibly have to do with what to do about communion and Catholic lawmakers?

Fourth, what would the actions of conservatives, however questionable or "phony," speak to (e.g.) Kerry's eating his own damnation (which you stipulate). Is "tu quoque" a good argument? And you are on your own terms, quite literally putting politics ahead of (e.g.) Kerry's soul.

Fifth, you're responding to a blog post by a non-Catholic with a quite explicable news peg (Wuerl's installment) and yet you babble about "the so-called 'orthodox' Catholic leadership ... [acting] at a time and in such a way that the importance of their political connections and not the interests of the Church was being prioritized."

Sixth, do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Or feign neutrality between the imperfect and the evil. Politics is a thing outside the Garden. Some people will do things for, among other reasons, political motives. Doesn't affect what is the right thing to do.

Yes Eric, I'm more than a little familiar with Fr. Neuhaus' take on the Bush stem-cell compromise of 2001 and all of what passed as theological reasoning supporting it at the time. As a matter of fact a letter of mine to the editor at First Things objecting to Neuhaus' comment was published by them, albeit it in a thoroughly emasculated form, shortly after he'd made it. I've also published a web article on the question:

Neuhaus' claim that the Bush compromise was "morally defensible" was made right in the teeth of the USCCB condemnation of it. The Vatican took up the logic of the bishops supporting them wholeheartedly on Vatican Radio, with both calling the decision "morally unacceptable". Now what part of "unacceptable" Neuhaus failed to grasp remains a mystery only to those who take comfort in his shilling for his Republican string-pullers. Anyone even vaguely familiar with the details of relevant CDF material, most specifically Donum Vitae, realized that important provisions respecting the handling of the remains of deceased embryos clearly precluded any conclusion whatsoever that the Bush compromise was "defensible". Here "unacceptable" means "morally indefensible". The moral argumentation that I saw attempting to support the compromise studiously avoided contact with Donum Vitae, preferring instead either to treat of the largely tangential questions regarding remote and proximate culpability or to make the absurd claim that a dead embryo was a non-person and therefore immune to abuse. But, believe me, the case against this outrage didn't rest solely on Donum Vitae, there were arguments against it in theological anthopology and eschatology as well. But Neuhaus couldn't quite manage the threat to his White House access if he were to criticize the decision. So he chose syncophancy instead.

Now, as to your citation of CCC 2240, if you are in any way implying that any portion of this text forces on me a certain choice, even a choice that is imagined to be of a lesser over a greater evil which was the distortion Chaput and Pavone were trying to sell in 2004, you're gravely mistaken. I am entitled morally to abstain and, by abstaining, negatively fulfil my obligation as a citizen. Spare us, please, the Catechetical positivism.

John Lowell

A correction: The words "remote" and "proximate" that appear in my earlier post should read "formal" and "material". It's late. Apologies for any confusion.

John Lowell

I think the phrase "catechetical positivism" speaks volumes.

What do you love, Mr. John Lowell?

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