Catholics for Kerry

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Statement from John Kerry on the Passing of Pope John Paul II

Washington, DC - Senator John Kerry issued the following statement on the passing of Pope John Paul II.

"The Holy Father led the Catholic Church during some of the most challenging times the world has witnessed, and persevered through enormous suffering with inspirational dignity. Teresa and I were deeply saddened to hear of his passing."

"Drawing upon his enduring moral strength and conviction, Pope John Paul II advanced the cause of solidarity in his native Poland and helped to topple communism around the world. We will never forget the example he set by forgiving the man who tried to take his life, and by praying at the Western Wall to ask Jews for their forgiveness. He traveled to places forgotten by all but God to pray for the sick and the poor, and millions turned out to hear his voice, even when strained. In death, as in life, his incredible spirit provides every Catholic with strength and his memory provides us with wisdom. Teresa and I join people all over the world in mourning this tremendous loss. The Holy Father is in our prayers."


  • American politics has become terribly divisive and polarized, but the unity of the Church in America must always come prior to the business of American politics. It is dangerous to align one's faith with a broad political stance. For example, the Bush administration is inconsistent in its support for life in that it rejects abortion yet embraces capital punishment. The Kerry campaign is in the same position only in reverse. Bush’s comments on the death of our beloved John Paul II mention the pope’s strong stance for human freedom and dignity and the value of human life and yet when the John Paul II asked our President to stand down his strike against Iraq for the sake of human life our President refused. I am sure that a similar situation would have arisen had John Kerry been elected and the pope ask him to reverse his stance on abortion. The fact of the matter is that the Roman Catholic Church’s positions on many things relating to human life are irreconcilable with major party politics in America. I consider myself to be a Catholic American, and so I support those candidates who embrace more of the teaching of the RCC, with due consideration for the relative weight of each issue, and refuse to align myself with either party. In addition to the impossibility of an orthodox RC thoroughly aligning himself or herself with either political party there exists the additional and more pressing concern of church unity. When one is unable to welcome and embrace one's brother or sister in the faith because of their affiliation with one political party or another one is effectively dividing the Body of Christ. In other words, what unites us as Catholics is more important than what divides us as Americans because one is eternal while the other is temporal, one is divine while the other is man-made, one is of the order of grace while the other is of the order of nature. This is not to say that such egregious crimes against humanity as abortion or capital punishment should be tolerated, such crimes cry to heaven for justice; however, one must always remember Jesus words about sinning against the Spirit, and one must also remember that it is the Spirit which unifies the Church. One must think long and hard before being willing to alienate all Catholics who are Republicans or all Catholics who are Democrats; where do these people really stand on the issues that matter most, and how have they come to their belief about what matters most. It is often the case that a person is simply ignorant of the true teaching of the church, and even more ignorant of the reasons for the teaching. If acceptance is not possible then toleration, and if not toleration then I recommend getting into the business of Catholic Education and Adult Catechesis, and actively engage in the work of stomping out the ignorance of our era.

    By Blogger cwrite, at April 9, 2005 at 10:10 AM  

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