McCarrick, Sacrilege Is A Bad Choice for “Pro-Choice” Kerry
18, 2004 For immediate release
In early April, Pope John Paul II met with a group of U.S.
bishops during their ad limina visits. He called them to reform saying,
"In the life of every bishop the challenge of interior renewal must
involve an integral understanding of his service as 'pastor gregis'
(pastor of the flock), entrusted by Christ's will with a specific ministry of
pastoral governance in the Church and the responsibility and apostolic power
which accompany that ministry."
The pope's call for bishops to exercise
responsibility and "apostolic power" is necessary and welcome. There
is much to concern faithful Catholics about the actions, or rather inaction,
of our bishops. Just take one cleric, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of the
Archdiocese of Washington, formerly of Newark, NJ.
The Cardinal met privately with presidential candidate Senator John
Kerry two days after discussing his views on Kerry and the Eucharist with Newsweek
reporter Melinda Henneberger.
A believing Catholic who loves the Eucharist could hope that Cardinal McCarrick admonished the senator and told him he would not allow him to commit sacrilege in his diocese by receiving Our Lord while he repudiates His teaching by consistently voting for abortion.
When he was Archbishop of Newark, McCarrick
allowed his Cathedral church to be used by pro-abortion Governor Christine
Todd Whitman for an interfaith prayer service as part of her inaugural events.
His recorded remarks are chilling in their detachment and courteous
indifference. It reminds one of Cardinal Bernardin’s use of the
"seamless garment" to undercut efforts to defend the unborn. (Yes,
killing babies is wrong, but.... )
The Cardinal also has allowed AFL-CIO
head John Sweeney, a radical pro-abort, to be honored and feted at more than
one Catholic function in D.C. Continuous
opposition from courageous local Catholics about this and other scandals has
no apparent impact on the Cardinal's support for prominent figures who
publicly reject Church teachings. Can one believe the Cardinal's words
defending the unborn when he treats those who advocate their murder as honored
guests? Hardly -- rather it appears those with money and power can do almost
anything without fear of serious censure.
Melinda Henneberger’s Newsweek interview with Cardinal McCarrick, if accurate, is particularly troubling. She quotes the cardinal:
would find it hard to use the Eucharist as a sanction,' he said gently. 'You
don’t know what’s in anyone’s heart when they come before you. It’s
important that everyone know what our principles are, but you’d have to be
very sure someone had a malicious intent [before denying him communion.]' McCarrick
is surprisingly humble, and a reluctant judge. 'It’s between the person and
God,’ he said. Should Kerry or someone in his campaign seek counsel on
Catholic protocol? 'What they do,' he demurred, 'is really their business and
not mine.' The archdiocese has gotten some calls on the subject from
rank-and-file Catholics, but he declined to characterize the faithful as a
monolith: 'Obviously, we run the spectrum in the Catholic Church, from people
who feel very annoyed with their politicians to those who are very
This is language to make faithful Catholics weep. Are we not the flock?
Is the state of our souls not a concern for our shepherds? Is it not the
business of the shepherd to go after the lost sheep and protect the flock from
wolves? Is not "admonish the sinner" one of our corporal works of
mercy? Do we measure the "spectrum" of belief among the faithful
before taking action? Is this a servant of the people of God speaking or a
Cardinal McCarrick has been selected to head the bishops' task force on how to deal with pro-abortion Catholics who hold public office. As Catholic leader of the nation's capitol he is perhaps an appropriate selection. On the other hand, the cardinal unquestionably hobnobs with the rich and famous of D.C.'s political establishment and the liberal elite. It is a heady atmosphere offering grave temptations to base decisions on human respect.
Remember also that Cardinal McCarrick is the same cleric who held the secret meeting of dissenters at the Catholic Cultural Center last year. He was out of the country when it was arranged and claimed he didn't know about it, but it is hard to reconcile that level of naiveté with the shrewd and polished individual he appears to be. As a senior government executive said,
And so we return to the question at hand.
Should John Kerry be denied Communion? Unquestionably yes. Canon 915 says
nothing about "malicious intent." It reads,
those "who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be
admitted to Holy Communion." Kerry has been warned and admonished and he
"obstinately persists in manifest grave sin." To give him
Communion sacrilegiously is condemned by the Church. It is also a
serious public scandal that will probably lead others into sin. If that
doesn't concern the cardinal it certainly should!
There are many couples in invalid marriages
who long to return to the Sacraments but do not because of their irregular
situations and their respect for what the Church teaches. What does it say to
them when John Kerry (who Catholic League head, William Donohue, points out
may not be validly married in the
Church) is allowed to receive Communion? What does it say to all of us that
so-called Catholic politicians crucify Our Lord in his tiny babies and then
sacrilegiously receive Holy Communion? Is it any wonder that three quarters of
professed Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the
Eucharist? How many among those disbelievers are bishops of our Church?
We urge Cardinal McCarrick and all bishops
to listen to the Holy Father and to exercise their apostolic power to defend
the faith. It is the highest form
of charity to do so.
Mary Ann Kreitzer Les Femmes Woodstock, VA Diocese of Arlington www.lesfemmes-thetruth.org
Cecilia H. Martin, Ed.
The Catholic Advocate
Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida
Georgene Sorenson, President
Romans in the Desert
Diocese of Tucson
Betty L. Gudat
Defenders of the Magisterium
San Antonio, Texas
Valerie Lubitz, President
Los Pequenos de Cristo
P.O. Box 16117
Albuquerque, NM 87191-6117
and Donna Marek
Diocese of Ogdensburg
P.O. Box 495
Tangerine, FL 32777
Women at the Cross
Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama