The NY Times reports that John F. Kerry has received communion at the Paulist Center where he and his wife regularly attend. It’s described as a New Age church and also in other ways that hardly make it sound Catholic in communion with Rome. Anyway I knew this was coming and it doesn’t surprise me. Though it certainly does sadden me.
For all the railing I may do against people like Kerry, or more appropriately their actions and their reasoning, I truly believe the man puts his soul at risk. We specifically teach that one must be free of mortal sin to receive communion. At the same time, the Church pretty much has said in one way or another that being active supporters of abortion of abortion and certain other non-negotiables is wrong. His own bishop has said that pro-abort pols “should not dare to receive communion.”
Though he wasn’t named specifically in that statement, Kerry and Ted Kennedy certainly had to be in mind when it was made. They would have to know this, especially since Kerry has stated that his faith is between him and God and the bishop should stay out of it. What does that say about the formation of this man’s faith, or anyone that also holds those views?
As a Catholic we are bound to believe what the Church deems absolute that we believe, the doctrine and dogma of the Church. We are also obliged to follow the disciplines that the Church declares to be mandatory. At Kerry’s age, he should know this. I am in the Church now 2 years, and I know it. This sets a horrible example for all Catholics if he is not rebuked by the bishops. And I believe the priest in question should also be rebuked.
The next thing of course is to make this the start. If we stop with rebuking Kerry, the Church again looks like hypocrites once again. Of course that’s also true if no one says “boo” to Kerry.
Do what is right, and deal with the earthly consequences. We are all held accountable for what we do. But we are also held accountable for what we fail to do.