John Kerry’s Communion at Catholic Church Upsets Pro-Life Groups

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

John Kerry’s Communion at Catholic Church Upsets Pro-Life Groups

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 9, 2004

Boston, MA ( — Pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is planning to attend a Catholic Church to celebrate Easter and he will take communion. The decision has pro-life groups smarting, saying that he is out of step with the church on abortion and should not take the sacrament.

Recent visits to Protestant churches had opened up the question of whether Kerry was planning to skip attending a Catholic Church to avoid opening himself up for further criticism.

Now, Kerry is planning to attend Easter Sunday services at Boston’s Paulist Center.

Kerry has said on several occasions that his Catholic views do not drive his public policy positions. He opposes official Catholic church views by backing embryonic stem cell research in addition to supporting abortion.

"I fully intend to practice my religion separately from what I do with respect to my public life and that’s the way it ought to be in America," he told reporters in Ohio this week. "There is a separation of Church and State in America and we have prided ourselves about that all of my lifetime, all of our history."

But Father Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life, tells that "Kerry proves by his own remarks that he is dangerously confused about three things: abortion, Catholicism, and ‘separation of church and state.’"

If referring to his "public life," Kerry means "supporting the dismemberment of babies, then not only is he separating his public life from religion, but also from basic human decency," Pavone said.

"Regarding Catholicism, Kerry shows no understanding of the Church’s teaching on the formation of a proper conscience," Pavone explained. "Regarding separation of Church and State, that has nothing to do with the state abandoning its responsibility to protect helpless human children."

While Kerry says the nation has "prided ourselves" on the separation of Church and state, Pavone responds, "We have also prided ourselves on the protection of life and the rejection of violence."

Kerry and his wife, Theresa Heinz, regularly attend services at the Paulist Center, which is not far from their Boston penthouse.
Archbishop Sean O’Malley of Boston 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 Christian sacrament on their own.

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.

"I would have to admonish him not to present himself for Communion," said Burke. "I might give him a blessing or something. If his archbishop has told him he should not present himself for Communion, he shouldn’t. I agree with Archbishop O’Malley."

"It’s ironic that at the same time that he is making these statements, the details of the abortion procedure are being publicly scrutinized in courtroom proceedings about the partial-birth abortion ban. Kerry has no excuse for ignorance about what abortion is," Pavone told