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New pope intervened against Kerry in election campaign

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://beta.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20050419/pl_afp/vaticanpopeus New pope intervened against Kerry in US 2004 election campaign Tue Apr 19, 6:20 PM ET German
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 19, 2005
      http://beta.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20050419/pl_afp/vaticanpopeus

      New pope intervened against Kerry in US 2004 election
      campaign

      Tue Apr 19, 6:20 PM ET

      German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican
      theologian who was elected Pope Benedict XVI,
      intervened in the 2004 US election campaign ordering
      bishops to deny communion to abortion rights
      supporters including presidential candidate John
      Kerry.

      In a June 2004 letter to US bishops enunciating
      principles of worthiness for communion recipients,
      Ratzinger specified that strong and open supporters of
      abortion should be denied the Catholic sacrament, for
      being guilty of a "grave sin."

      He specifically mentioned "the case of a Catholic
      politician consistently campaigning and voting for
      permissive abortion and euthanasia laws," a reference
      widely understood to mean Democratic candidate Kerry,
      a Catholic who has defended abortion rights.

      The letter said a priest confronted with such a person
      seeking communion "must refuse to distribute it."

      A footnote to the letter also condemned any Catholic
      who votes specifically for a candidate because the
      candidate holds a pro-abortion position. Such a voter
      "would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so
      unworthy to present himself for holy communion," the
      letter read.

      The letter, which was revealed in the Italian magazine
      L'Espresso last year, was reportedly only sent to US
      Catholic bishops, who discussed it in their
      convocation in Denver, Colorado, in mid-June.

      Sharply divided on the issue, the bishops decided to
      leave the decision on granting or denying communion to
      the individual priest. Kerry later received communion
      several times from sympathetic priests.

      Nevertheless, in the November election, a majority of
      Catholic voters, who traditionally supported
      Democratic Party candidates, shifted their votes to
      Republican and eventual winner George W. Bush.
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