John Kerry’s Abortion Position Causes Easter Church Conflict

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 5, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John Kerry’s Abortion Position Causes Easter Church Conflict

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 5, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Where Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry will attend church over the Easter holiday is becoming a political issue thanks to Kerry’s position in favor of abortion.

If Kerry, who is Catholic, sticks with his plans to attend Easter services in Boston at a local Catholic church, he may possibly be refused communion on one of the most important days for Christians worldwide.

While other parishioners take the Lord’s Supper and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Kerry may not participate, thanks to Archbishop Sean O’Malley of Boston.

O’Malley has told Catholic elected officials who are pro-abortion that they should not be receiving communion and that they should refrain from taking part in the sacrament on their own.

The Kerry campaign has declined comment on his faith and his Easter plans.

Kerry has said that, as an elected official, he must separate his personal religious views from his actions as a legislator and that it is not "appropriate in the United States for a legislator to legislate personal religious beliefs for the rest of the country."

But some critics question whether Kerry has sincere religious beliefs, since so many of his public policy positions — on abortion, human cloning, and embryonic stem cell research for example — run contrary to the teachings of the Catholic church.

"People ask: ‘Is he making up his beliefs to take the red states?’ " Timothy Thibodeau, a history professor at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. told the Washington Times. "Kerry’s problem is that people doubt his sincerity. They think he is cooking up his religion just in time to run for the election."

In February, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke said he would offer the politician a blessing rather than giving him full communion, because of his pro-abortion position.

A spokesman for Kerry’s campaign told the St. Louis Post Dispatch newspaper that Kerry disagreed with Burke’s decision.

"The archbishop has the right to deny Communion to whoever he wants, but Senator Kerry respectfully disagrees with him on the issue of choice," Kim Molstre, a Kerry campaign representative, said.

Kerry could avoid the issue by worshipping at a church that is more tolerant of his pro-abortion views.

While in St. Louis, he worshipped at a Baptist Church and yesterday he attended African Methodist Episcopal Church.