Kerry's church

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Sep 28, 2004

James Carroll, the former Catholic priest who is employed by the Boston Globe to write regular op-ed columns bashing the Catholic Church, has changed his target slightly. Now the "bad guys" are the Republicans who dare to question Kerry's commitment to the Catholic faith.

Carroll instructs his readers that Kerry is free to dispute Church teachings on every crucial moral issue in the political realm, because Catholics are free to embrace the truth wherever they find it (except perhaps in the Republican platform).

Regarding sexual issues, Carroll continues, the Vatican doesn't understand that "it is clear that the human race is undergoing a massive cultural mutation..." (I'm not making this up. I couldn't.)

There's personal testimony here, too. Carroll reveals: "I worship at the same Catholic church in Boston where John Kerry and his wife often attend Mass."

Yup. You're in the same church, all right. I wonder what church it is.

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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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 01, 2004 7:38 PM ET USA

    I don't think, Visions, that even, that even the Venerable Newman would disagree (particularly considering what he is blessed with beholding on a routine basis) that God is any the less for errors both inside and outside the formal Church. It is with THAT security that most of us are able to make the comments that we make without being "dissapated" as you and Newman say. If what you see regarding the comments disturbs you, I have a certain disturbs me too...but it is necessary.

  • Posted by: visions - Oct. 01, 2004 6:56 AM ET USA

    Previous comment was attributed to Venerable John Henery Newman

  • Posted by: visions - Oct. 01, 2004 6:55 AM ET USA

    All proofs of religion, evidences, proofs of particular doctrines Scripture proofs, and the like these certainly furnish scope for the exercise of great and admirable powers of the mind and it would be fanatical to disparage or disown them; but it requires a mind rooted and grounded in love not to be dissipated by them. As for truly religious minds, they, when so engaged, instead of merely disputing, are sure to turn inquiry into meditation exhortation into worship and argument into teaching

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Sep. 30, 2004 3:22 PM ET USA

    Let's pray that Carroll and Kerry will finally state clearly what they have been saying and doing: that they are not Roman Catholic. And let's pray that a few bishops will finally declare this fact publicly about Kerry and Carroll by excommunicating them (for the good of their souls and the souls of the Roman Catholics who are in communion with the Church).

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Sep. 29, 2004 10:30 PM ET USA

    It iis bad enough that the infamous mocking question rings down through the centuries in the halls of so-called "higher" learning and politics, but it surely is most grotesque and almost incomprehensible that it now rears its head within the confines of our own Holy Roman Catholic Church...; "Que est veritas...?"

  • Posted by: - Sep. 29, 2004 2:08 PM ET USA

    Art, your argument against my previous comment is gratuitous. Address the issue: can a Catholic in good conscience ignore the documents of an "ecumenical pastoral" council when that council does not officially require his/her assent? Where are the anathemas routinely present in documents of previous councils that DID bind Catholics? They aren't there because they don't exist. Popes and councils exist to defend and preserve the Faith not to add to it their pet theories ("novelties").

  • Posted by: Art Kelly - Sep. 28, 2004 11:24 PM ET USA

    Minidoc (whoever that is), James Carroll, and John Kerry all think they can substitute their own private judgment for the teaching of the Catholic Church whenever they want. Minidoc wrote, "To the extent that they contain modernist novelties, they are justifiably ignorable." Critics of the Church from the right AND left are BOTH erroneous.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 28, 2004 10:36 PM ET USA

    These old libs from VII just don't understand that there day is over and that young people have soundly rejected there phony theology of the concience. I see young people more and more finding the latin mass of their grandparents the mass that is the only mass they can trulyfind a deep contact with GOD and a real means to obtain grace. you can talk that ecumenical double talk all you want James Carroll the only person you are fooling anymore is yourself.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 28, 2004 9:54 PM ET USA

    Given the advocacy of traditionalist dissent that I've seen among some here, I'm beginning to wonder if some traditionalists are as Catholic as Kerry is.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 28, 2004 8:31 PM ET USA

    To understand where Kerry and his like are coming from, I recommend "They Have Uncrowned Him" by Abp Marcel Lefebve. It goes a long way towards explaining the mystery of iniquity and its camp followers.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 28, 2004 3:53 PM ET USA

    "...Kerry's firmly held personal beliefs..." Huh...? The 'Waffle Man' has firm beliefs...? Well he believes in hanging on firmly to a surfboard. He believes firmly that Partial Birth Abortion should be allowed. He believes firmly that he is owed the presidency. He believes firmly that if you can't make it, you marry it. As to other 'beliefs' - check back tomorrow. Beliefs happen...

  • Posted by: - Sep. 28, 2004 3:50 PM ET USA

    The Second Vatican Council was the first "ecumenical pastoral" council in the entire history of the Church. It's documents were riddled with ambiguities that allowed modernist conspirators (OH NO! NOT A CONSPIRACY!) to turn the Church and the modern world upside down. To the extent that the documents express dogmas previously defined, these documents are an infallible source of authentic teaching. To the extent that they contain modernist novelties, they are justifiably ignorable.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 28, 2004 3:47 PM ET USA

    Forty some odd years ago from the altar of Visitation Church, Chicago we laity were told that the Church would no longer tell us what was right or wrong. Decide for yourself if your question is right or wrong for you and act accordingly. We were also told to "grow up". We told to put away the rosaries and stop pounding our chests at the "Lord have Mercy". We were told this was some of the changes brought about by VII. I will agree with Kerry ONLY on this issue. I pray for his conversion.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 28, 2004 1:36 PM ET USA

    When did Vatican II ever teach "primacy of conscience"??? Funny how "conscience" has become a god in the minds of these dissenters. However, Vatican II did teach the "primary of the pope" in 'Lumen Gentium' and 'Gaudium et Spes' condemened abortion as a crime. I guess some Catholics worship God and follow the Church who teaches purely, while other "Catholics" worship the ever-changing god of conscience bounded by original sin. "Little children, keep yourselves from idols" (1 Jn 5:21)

  • Posted by: - Sep. 28, 2004 9:58 AM ET USA

    Much of the lunacy I read from Catholics like Carroll cause me to either chalk it up to their own malformed conscience or regard it as yet another bad fruit of VII. Has there ever been a Council in Church history so misinterpreted, so misused, so frequently cited to justify Church deconstruction? And if not, where does the blame for this lie: with those who misuse the Council or with the Council Fathers themselves for, e.g., writing ambiguous documents that lend themselves so easily to misuse?

  • Posted by: - Sep. 28, 2004 8:43 AM ET USA

    So I guess, the truth is whatever you wish it to be. And that would mean Catholics are free to embrace Zen, Protestantism, Islam, and Voodoo. And abortion, contraception and sterilization! And euthanasia! Which, come to think of it, is exactly what has happened since Dignitatis Humanae and Gaudium et Spes were accepted as the dogmatic products of a "pastoral" council.