Kerry Mass Watch

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. (articles ) | Apr 09, 2004

Since John Kerry is perhaps the highest profile lay Catholic in the US right now, and because he has such "creative" views on the Church's teachings, how he practices his faith is of some interest, especially the question of where and whether he goes to Mass (as opposed to his penchant for skipping Mass and going to Protestant churches). With several bishops now saying that they would refuse him Communion in their dioceses, it's also become a question whether his own archbishop, Sean O'Malley of Boston, would have something to say about his open dissent from fundamentals of the faith.

It looks like Archbishop O'Malley has decided to punt on whether to join Bishops Burke and Bruskewitz on the Kerry Communion question. Apparently, John Kerry has decided to attend Mass on Easter Sunday at the Paulist Center in Boston (his "normal" parish) and the archdiocese has not said anything about it publicly, although they may have instructed the Paulists privately.

"Archbishop O'Malley has no public statement as to the questions regarding Sen. Kerry and his Catholicism," said Rev. Christopher Coyne, a spokesman for the archdiocese. "The matter has been brought to his attention and I do not know when or if he will make a public statement on this matter." ...

Rev. John Ardis, director of the Paulist Center, said the Kerrys had received Communion there and were always welcome to do so. Asked if he had been instructed not to offer Kerry Communion Ardis said: "No. Definitely not. I got a call from them (the archdiocese) an hour ago ... They wanted me to know that the archbishop has not taken a stand and he is free to receive the Eucharist."

The archbishop has no public statement? He doesn't wish to refute the errors being promulgated as authentic Catholic teaching by perhaps the most visible lay Catholic in America today, a person who is a member of his flock? So much for the archbishop's strong words at the March for Life when he said: "These politicians should know that if they're not voting correctly on these life issues that they shouldn't dare come to Communion."

And if the Paulist priest is to be believed, it's not only benign neglect, but an active decision to say that he should not be refused Communion. (Not that I expected he would be refused at the Paulist Center.) What message does this send? What lesson do we learn? If Kerry can receive Communion, then anyone can.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 8 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Fr. William - Apr. 10, 2004 5:22 PM ET USA

    Let us take action. Let us write to Archbishop O'Malley and to the Papal Nuncio about this matter directly. If Kerry is not denied Holy Communion because of his active&public support of abortion, his public flaunting of Church Teaching, then Catholics will be further scandalized by Archbishop O'Malley, who apparently refuses to be the Shepherd that God calls him to be and refuses to exercise the fullness of the Spirit of Governance with which he has been entrusted. Then, let us keep praying.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 09, 2004 8:49 PM ET USA

    It seems to me we are at the moment of decision: AmChurch is apparently about to be born through the deliberate decision of American Episcopal wimps. Years hence, historians will probably look back and see this as the year of "choice". And the choice is so simple: "You (Kerry) are a Catholic" or "you are not." Forget the excommunication. Can one legitimately become a Catholic but believe in abortion, divorce and remarriage, etc.? Of course not. How then can Kerry claim continuance? Woe! Woe!

  • Posted by: - Apr. 09, 2004 7:52 PM ET USA

    isn't this just a snapshot of the entire USA catholic church-with a few notable exceptions? catholics can believe what they want, do what they want, have no consequences-at least in this life- and those in authority encourage their attitudes and behavior by their neglect or complicity. Jesus had some notable words for pharasees who "showboat" their religious fervor and who are tolerant of objective sin.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 09, 2004 7:23 PM ET USA

    Dont these prelates understand, they make themselves a party to a sacrilegious reception of the Eucharist .That their sin will be greater than the reciperents?????

  • Posted by: - Apr. 09, 2004 6:42 PM ET USA

    Why do you honor me with your mouths, but then not do what I say? For shame.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 09, 2004 6:41 PM ET USA

    Too bad Lincoln, Nebraska doesn't have jurisdiction; or Cardinal Pell. If we had some Fortitude, then the Archbishop could show up and publicly excommunicate *all* involved in this travesty when it happens. THAT would be a great image on CNN, now wouldn't it?

  • Posted by: - Apr. 09, 2004 2:10 PM ET USA

    Archbishop O'Malley has shown that he only had one service to offer Boston--the speedy end to crippling lawsuits--and that for the rest of his time there he will be the same sort of weak, indifferent and theologically deficient bishop that got the American church where it is today. JPII scores another own-goal.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Apr. 09, 2004 10:13 AM ET USA

    "He who is not for Me is against Me..., and He who does not gather, scatters..." Jesus Christ. At this point it is merely a matter of determining who is on which side...JP