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Logical leap

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Oct 20, 2004

Speaking to Catholic voters in Denver-- who have been catechized on their voting responsibilities by Archbishop Chaput-- John Kerry (as the Denver Post story recounted) "pointed to a recent letter received by the U.S. bishops from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's arbiter of matters of faith and doctrine, who said it is not necessarily sinful for Catholics to consider all aspects of a public official's record...."

It's "not necessarily sinful." How does that sound as a campaign slogan? Can you see it on a bumper sticker? "Vote for Kerry; it's not necessarily sinful."

But in the very next paragraph, the Post reports: "Kerry said he had the best record in the Senate when it came to Catholic issues."

Wow! Did your eyes just lose vertical hold? From "not necessarily sinful" to "the best" in just one paragraph!

I wonder if the Vatican will consider changing the requirements for canonization, so that if you do a few things during your life that are "not necessarily sinful," you're a saint!

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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