Talk about a bully pulpit

Geraldine Sealey
April 23, 2004 10:08PM (UTC)

The Vatican has historically dragged its feet on disciplining pedophile priests. But if a politician takes a stance on abortion that differs from the Catholic Church, the message is quite clear: No communion for you.

Cardinal Francis Arinze told reporters Friday that "unambiguously pro-abortion" Catholic politicians are "not fit" to receive Communion. "If they should not receive, then they should not be given," he said. The cardinal didn't mention John Kerry by name, but Kerry just happens to be an unambiguously pro-choice Catholic politician.


Here in the U.S., a task force is looking into possible church sanctions for Catholic politicians who support abortion rights. The AP says possible sanctions range from "denying access to Catholic schools or hospitals that might be venues for campaign events to excommunication."

Today, John Kerry said religion should not be a part of the presidential campaign.

[Update: This item once repeated the phrase "pro-abortion" instead of "pro-choice" to refer to Kerry's position. "Pro-abortion" is how the Vatican describes Kerry, and I repeated it unintentionally. Thanks to those of you who pointed it out. GS]

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at

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