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His own special Communion

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. ( articles - email ) | May 10, 2004

This week's Kerry Kommunion Kaper: John Kerry "took" Communion on Sunday in a Pittsburgh Catholic church. (N.B. One doesn't "take" Communion. One "receives" it. To take implies that one has a right to it. To receive implies a gift, which is what the Eucharist is. Loose language gives a glimpse into the mind of he who uses it.)

In any case, Kerry attended his usual Catholic parish when he's at his second wife's estate she inherited from her first husband whose family built it with ketchup money. The image recalls Ted Kennedy's numerous Sundays leaving the local Catholic parish in Hyannisport, with loud guffaws, backslapping, and handshaking, where all the cameras could photograph the hearty reception by the Catholic Church, in the form of the local pastor.

Kerry mingled after Mass, a calculated gesture if there ever was one, as Secret Service protectees are usually whisked from place to place unless there is a specific order and reason not to. So Kerry happens upon a little girl who has just received her First Communion. How else would he be able to publicly recall his own First Communion, and remark that the memory of it was "so special" to him? Certainly, how could a reporter have learned of what must have been such a private moment between Kerry and the little girl? Only a grave cynic would suggest it is calculated.

Yet, oh how cruel are those bishops and those conservative driving them on with whips to even think of denying Communion to such a man who fondly recalls his First Communion. We must believe that he is just a simple Catholic trying to practice his faith as best he can in the face of political foes in clerical garb.

Uh-oh, the cynic's heart rises within me again. I must return to contemplating the angelic 8-year-old John Kerry receiving First Communion to gain back my optimism. Nevermind the grown man he has become.

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