As Senator John Kerry increases his public exposure in his bid for the White House, the wide divide between his campaign platform and core moral values of the Catholic Church, of which he is a practicing member, is causing Church officials to consider what, if anything, the Church should do about distancing itself from the outspoken Catholic Democrat. Kerry is the first Catholic since John F. Kennedy more than 40 years ago to come this close to the US presidency. The Catholic Church is absolutely in support of the preservation of all life, including the preborn, the elderly, the disabled, and those suffering from terminal illnesses. The Catholic Church is also absolutely in favor of marriage as exclusively for a man and a woman. Kerry has spoken in favor of abortion, euthanasia under certain restricted circumstances, and for same sex civil unions with all the legal rights of marriage.
While the Catholic Church where he lives and which he attends on occasion has not said anything against his views, other Catholic leaders have not been so accommodating. When Kerry campaigned in Missouri, Catholic Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louise warned Kerry "not to present himself for communion" at any church in his city. Kerry elected to go to the Methodist church. The Archbishop of Boston, Kerry's home town, said elected politicians who favored abortion rights should abstain from taking communion.
Last week Kerry met with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington D.C. and the two discussed Kerry's moral views and political stances. According to those who attended the meeting, Cardinal McCarrick asked Kerry some probing and difficult questions. McCarrick heads a task force that is looking in to how the American Catholic Church should deal with politicians whose public views are at variance with the core moral issues of Catholic faith. Raymond Flynn, chairman of the American Catholic Alliance and a former US ambassador to the Vatican noted, "Just as everybody wants to go to heaven and nobody wants to die, there are politicians who want the profound and significant Catholic vote but don't want to show the necessary level of respect for the Church's values." Flynn said that although Kennedy had to convince non-Catholics that he wouldn't be controlled by the pope, 40 years later Kerry has to "convince Catholics that he is faithful to the values and traditions of the Catholic Church."
The Lord's Servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will give them a change of heart leading to a knowledge of the truth
II Timothy 2:24-26